Solved: Assigning 'Extra' keys on keyboard?

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Graiskye

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Hello everyone. I'm wondering about something thats been bugging me for a bit? What are the extra keys on the keyboard for, or more to the point how does one configure them. The KB I use right now only has three extra keys, a sun, a moon, and another(?) I think for power, or stand bye?? But my sisters KB has mega, hers is a MSN 'netboard'. Is there somewhere I can learn how to utilize the extra keys. When I press any of them now they don't do anything?? Help is appreciated, but this is not a pressing,(pretty punny eh), matter, so please help those who really have a problem first! This is just something I have always wanted to know?? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one?? So Thanks again, Graiskye (y) PS just to be clear I have done a pretty good search of archives before posting question, something I encourage ALL posters to do, saves redundant posts, and you will ALWAYS learn something. I browse the posts all the time just reading the titles and checking threads that interest? Peace, Grai.
 
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All key presses (and releases) generate, or alter, codes. Depending upon the manufacturer, the extra keys may or may not be the expected codes that Windows wants for extra functions. You probably only need the manufacturer's driver for your particular keyboard. With the correct driver you will probably find a new applet in your Control Panel that will allow your extra keys to send Windows expected code - or even the ability to modify a key to send your desired 'other' code.
 
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I have a similar query to Graiskye in that my recently acquired secondary computer (XP) has a Compaq keyboard, model SK-2850C, which has seven extra keys; symbols show an arrow, an airplane, a shopping trolley (or pram), a Q, an envelope, a circle with a red dot and a magnifying glass. The last brings up the calculator, the rest do nothing. I have searched the Compaq site for a driver but no luck.
Is there an online keyboard driver depot anywhere?

johnni
 
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My guess for those keys are that they are for functions:
arrow, =Forward
an airplane, =Travel
a shopping trolley (or pram), =Shopping
a Q, =Questions, as in at a search website, like Google
an envelope, =Mail
a circle with a red dot and a magnifying glass. =Find

I'll look for you once I get back from a meeting, around noon.
 
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Hi ChuckE. The arrow is a curved one going from left to right and is like the 'Redo' arrow in Word. The circle is actually two circles surrounding a large centre dot, with the tiny red dot at the nine o'clock position; this button takes pride of place at the centre of the button assembly and sits within a depression. Weird!. The magnifying glass starts the calculator, but I don't see the connection between the symbol and the function.

johnni
 
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As for the magnifying glass starting the calculator is only because the keypress of that button generates a keycode that Windows has reserved for the calculator.
Windows has many dozens of reserved keycodes for special functions.

Various keyboard manufacturers have set up particular keycodes for every keypress as well.
Sometimes, a key press for key "x" does not generate the code that Windows expects for feature "y." That especially happens when new keys are created before Windows has standardized what keycodes are expected for features x, or y, or z.

So, the keyboard manufacturer creates a driver that re-interprets one keypress to send the desired, or expected, keycode to Windows.
So once you get the correct keyboard driver your keys will be mapped to the expected Windows functions. And, if the driver is really good, you will also have the ability to change even those functions to do something else, of your choosing.
 
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ChuckE - thank you for all your work. I downloaded the hp file for XP, installed it and restarted; went to Control Panel, Keyboard. Under Advanced it gave me the opportunity to reassign commands for each listed button. The problem was that no buttons were listed! So I gave up on that one. There was no change in the lack of functions.
The drivers.com site did not include XP in its list of supported OS for that driver; it also required registration which, although free, requires more personal info than I want to give, so I decided not to proceed.

On reflection I think almost all of those buttons are internet related, and that particular PC does not have a connection. So I have decided to ignore their existence (except for the calculator button). But I do appreciate your efforts to help.

johnni
 
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Found another place, actually several.
This one has a picture and brief description of the keyboard, with a link to a driver for it:
http://www.directron.com/sk2850c.html
The details there say that the custom keys are "User definable Internet Hot Keys"

Another site from Compaq:
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/files/evoworkstation/us/download/14161.html
DESCRIPTION:
Compaq Easy Access Buttons Software allows users to program the Compaq Easy Access Buttons or use the default settings.


This is driver version 2.20 that is 7.5MB. That is large for a keyboard driver, but it includes a Word doc file that has icons to print that you can slide under the keycaps.

Good luck. If those keys can be reprogrammed to open up to specific sites of your choosing, then it probably is possible to start up your desired applications. Keep trying.
 
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Thanks again. The picture shows the correct keyboard and I downloaded the driver file; but again it only mentione it as suitable for Win9x, 2000 and NT. Anyway I installed it, restarted and chose Ctrl.Panel and keyboard. This time there was no option to reassign the keys, and the PC locked up which even Ctrl-Alt-Del couldn't fix. The second driver file was similar but no hang-up.
No, both the PC and keyboard are second-hand and may not have been together in the past. Both are old and the keyboard (especially its shortcuts) was obviously never intended for XP.
The main thing is that the keyboard works as such, the PC has no modem and both are only for standby in the event of this PC dying (no sign of that at present). I have kept the links you provided in case I re-use the Compaq with Win9x, but frankly I find black keyboards hard to use!

johnni
 
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The website that shows the picture, has the "version 2.20.B1 J (28 Jan 02)" driver, and that page mentions the driver is for WinXP.

The 2nd website (without the picture) has the "version 2.20.D2 (3 Apr 02)" driver. That is the one that has the 7,5MB file. I don't see anywhere as for what OS it is for. But it seems that it may only be for the Evo Workstation (W4000, W6000, or W8000). If that is the driver you tried, then that might be why it froze. I only mentioned the 7.5MB file before, since it had the Word doc inside with key icons you might be able to use. When you uncompress the file you will find the doc at
"C:\compaq\sp20817\disk1\Paper Insert Template.doc"

Other than that one doc, the rest might not be useful. Don't install the driver, just get the doc out, if you want it. Then trash the rest.
 
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Sorry, yes the page does mention support for XP, but when I clicked on SP20189.exe after downloading it mentioned all the operating systems but not XP. Also on the web page for the driver it says "This Softpaq contains support software for the Compaq Easy Access Keyboard Software when used with the Compaq products listed below", even though the first page says "suitable for all PCs", and "...silver panel area for Internet Hot Keys". But the PC I am using it with is a HP Vectra, and not listed; It has a label stuck on the front stating it is designed for Win 2000 Pro and NT Workstation 4.0, even though it has XP installed. This is the driver that froze the OS.
Even the second driver link lists a series of supported Evo Workstations.
The main thing is that I can use the keyboard and not worry about those extra keys because, as I mentioned, that HP PC is not connected to the internet and those Compaq extra buttons are really for the 'net as mentioned above. As such I do not need to relabel the keys.
It is quite nice to NOT have a web-connected PC and let THIS one (with its reliable WinME and MS keyboard) bear the burden of spam, scams etc.!
But thanks anyway, and I have retained the links in case anything changes.

johnni
 

Graiskye

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
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104
Well I don't have any idea what type of KB I have??? It did come in its own box?? I don't suppose there any way to tell??? What about generic drivers?? Just thought Id add a little to the thread I started, Darn hijackers!!! JUST KIDDING. But I have seen people freak over that, thankfully not here at TSG. Thanks Graiskye, ps what about protocol for marking as solved? Should one leave the thread open if there are still active questions and responses from others??? Just wondered! (n)
 
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Compaq users may be able to use Compaq Selective Restore in Help and Support Center.

Open Help and Support>undo harmful or unintended changes to your system>under "Compaq Selective Restore", click keyboard driver.

Not all Compaq systems may have this feature. Good luck. :)
 
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Graiskye - I am truly sorry to have upset you by 'hijacking' your thread; I didn't mean to upset you. My query just seemed to be a logical extension of your query and I didn't know it would be so extended.
As far as I am concerned it is solved ( or finished) but as it's your thread it is up to you to mark it solved when you want to.
Please forgive me.

johnni
 
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