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[#] Tue May 29 2018 12:47:08 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Now the hard part is standardizing on a new name for it. :) I've heard it called the "Super key" (an homage to the Space Cadet keyboard), or the logo key, or the meta key, or (particularly among Mac users) the command key.

Microsoft will probably always call it the Windows key (using phrases such as "press Win-Shift-S to get a screenshot") and if Microsoft continues to follow in IBM's footsteps they'll continue to have desktop leverage for about another 20 years, so it would be difficult to force a renaming of the key.
However, having noted that the key has become less and less stylized over the years, as the Windows logo has become less stylized -- note how it was originally the Nyan Cat logo with the trail behind it, then it was the flag shaped logo, and now it's the quadrisected trapezoid logo they've been using since 'doze 8 -- I propose that we call it the "window key" and keyboard manufacturers should render it as a quadrisected square. Subtle change, but one that takes away all vendor specificity, similar to the "menu key" which appears on the other side of the keyboard.

[#] Tue May 29 2018 14:57:53 EDT from fleeb

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I have heard 'logo key' as well. That's probably not a bad name for it, although I'd prefer 'super', as I'd prefer to not have any homage to Microsoft involved at all.

[#] Tue May 29 2018 17:00:18 EDT from zooer

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The "Compose Key", not to be confused with the 'Compost key'.

[#] Wed May 30 2018 09:26:48 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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If I press a "logo key" I expect the computer to start up a LOGO environment.
Where's that damn turtle when you need him?

[#] Fri Jun 01 2018 17:47:30 EDT from kc5tja

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The one thing Mac got right: it's a key that's used to give commands to the computer, so call it the "command" key.

[#] Fri Jun 01 2018 18:16:58 EDT from zooer

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PC computers had a SysRq key, it was shared with the Print Screen key.

[#] Sun Jun 03 2018 10:06:28 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Are we going to go there?

The whole row ... Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause ... no modern software uses them.  Yes, I know you can hit Scroll Lock to make Excel scroll in a different mode, but I've never seen anyone do that, and I know how to use the "Magic SysRq Key" in Linux, and almost no one uses that either (let's face it: the reason that key combination was chosen is because the key has no other use).  These keys should have been removed along with PF13 through PF24 when the PC keyboard became intended solely for the PC.

They're in an unfortunate place, though: even on a "tenkeyless" (no number pad) layout, the place where those keys go is still there, so there's no point in removing them.  Maybe that's the reason why keyboard manufacturers have persisted in including them.  How about we get rid of those three keys, put the Window and Menu keys there, and make the space bar bigger?

I'm just going to have to buy a bunch of Cherry switches and build my own console.  Yeah you heard me, a console, with a fixed screen, and a non-floating keyboard, and whale skin hubcaps, and all-leather cow interior, and big brown baby seal eyes for headlights...  (Sorry, switched modes there ... my turn to shower *poof*)

[#] Sun Jun 03 2018 14:24:11 EDT from wizard of aahz

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IG - Make a good console and I bet there would be a business there.

[#] Mon Jun 04 2018 18:27:13 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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The plethora of retro-style case options available for people to put Raspberry Pi rigs into suggests that it's a real thing. One option is to buy an old broken computer and stuff new guts into it. But even that's getting expensive, with broken Apples selling for $100 or more, and old PETs (which would be ideal) selling for many hundreds of dollars.

I've got an old Sony monitor in the garage which would have been the *ultimate* envy of my nerd friends in high school if I had it on my Commodore 64, or even among those Apple II users who weren't cool enough to have Commodores.
I really want to hook it up to something. Does anyone manufacture PCIe CGA cards?

[#] Thu Jun 07 2018 16:39:19 EDT from wizard of aahz

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That looks like an awesome toy. But is it want or need Ragnar?

[#] Thu Jun 07 2018 17:49:19 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold

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Is there a difference?

[#] Fri Jun 08 2018 05:56:37 EDT from fleeb

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Heart defibrillators are awesome toys. The way you can make someone dance if you can remote control them provides entertainment second to none.

[#] Fri Jun 08 2018 09:59:40 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Thu Jun 07 2018 04:04:07 PM EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold

Why do you need a portable directory server?  Don't you have a couple of Active Directory machines sitting behind the glass somewhere?

[#] Tue May 28 2019 17:06:48 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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I'm thinking about getting an HDMI+USB KVM switch for my desk at home, to share a single monitor/keyboard/mouse between my personal and work computers.
Are there any gotchas to watch out for here, or do they work as well as they used to when everything was VGA+PS2?

Can I just buy the lowest cost CheapChinese(tm) KVM on eBay and expect it to work, or are there brands that are particularly good and/or bad? I suppose it's worth noting that the output will be converted to DVI to connect to the monitor, but I don't want to buy a DVI KVM because I want the solution to outlive this monitor.

[#] Thu May 30 2019 01:56:43 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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I use a USB KVM switch. Currently I have a Raspberry Pi, a Surface Pro i7 hooked up to a Surface Pro Dock, an old Dell P4 running Ubuntu with Compiz... and a Mac G4 Quicksilver hooked up to it. There is a little pushbutton switch. I have to hit the mode select on one monitor to scan between Analog and HDMI when I switch... and I have to remember how many times to push the little button to get to the right machine... (I have the machines labeled 1-4 and I just count and eventually you get good at this.) 

It isn't like a datacenter grade KVM.  You can't hook up a rack full of blade server with 6 blades per chassis, you can't control them remotely or VPN into them from your home office. Adjusting from PS/2 home KVMs to the USB was a little bit of a transition. But... it is cheap and works well. It'll maximize your desk space. 


[#] Thu May 30 2019 01:57:48 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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Mine may be a Belkin. I'll crawl under my desk tomorrow when I'm sober and tell you which one I bought. It wasn't super cheap. I feel like with this kind of thing, going with a known name brand can't hurt. Cheap Chinese shit is *usually* cheap Chinese shit. 


[#] Thu May 30 2019 18:05:47 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Ok, I went ahead and bought the CheapChinese(tm) 2-port switch from eBay.
It was only about $20 and if it works, it will provide an easy way to switch HDMI+USB between my personal computer and my work computer. We'll see how it goes. I don't know how smart the switch will be, and whether it will be disruptive to the computers when switched. It even comes with an adorable little remote button that I can put on the desk while the switch itself and all the cables sit behind the desk.

What I'm wondering is whether the switch is capable of fooling the non-active computer into thinking that the monitor is still there, maybe by continuing to answer EDID requests from both hosts or something like that. The USB side I'm less concerned about, since those are designed to be hotplugged all day long. I might even put my webcam on the switched side of the bus so I can use it on either computer.

[#] Fri May 31 2019 02:14:53 EDT from ParanoidDelusions

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I find that the monitors reset sync when I switch between systems. Occasionally I have to hit the monitor select button to get it into the right mode - but I have at least one connected system hooked up HDMI, and at least one hooked up Analog VGA. 


[#] Tue Jun 04 2019 00:39:39 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Well that was a bit of a failure.

So the switch is indeed completely passive -- there is no spoofing of EDID and no other simulation of the presence of KVM on the non-selected computer.
As far as the computers are concerned, you're just hotplugging the monitor and keyboard and mouse.

This wasn't a problem; both Linux and Windows seem to handle that with little difficulty.

But what I discovered was that my personal rig (an older Intel NUC) and my big monitor (native resolution 1920x1200) simply don't get along. I tried it on Linux and Windows, I tried it without the KVM in between, it just wouldn't display at any resolution higher than 800x600. Sooooooo the smaller monitor is back on the desk, and I'm only using the switch for the keyboard and monitor.

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