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Linux Software Hardware

Cherry Announces Linux keyboard 490

Errtu76 writes "ZDnet says Cherry has announced a specially designed Linux keyboard that will be available in the UK, Ireland and Germany later this year. The Cherry CyMotion Master Linux keyboard has the Linux penguin logo, Tux, instead of the Windows start key and features 29 hot keys. The hot keys are configured for the Linux operating system and desktop applications, simplifying actions such as cutting, copying and pasting text, and moving between Web pages. PCworld has a little more info on the keyboard."
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Cherry Announces Linux keyboard

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  • by TimeTrav ( 460837 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:02AM (#10056278)
    Is there a hotkey for First Post?
  • Hot Keys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Morphix84 ( 797143 ) <xanthor@ g m a i l . c om> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:03AM (#10056302) Homepage
    Is it just me, or are Hot Keys for thinks like Copying and Pasting really over rated, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X, etc. (And the Linux Equivilants, i'm a Windows user) are subconcious to me at this point, rather than rooting around for some key at the top of the keyboard.
    • Re:Hot Keys (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tolan-b ( 230077 )
      Completely agree. Although I quite like volume keys.

      Ctrl-c/v/x work in Linux too. Well in Gnome at least, and KDE iirc.
      • Re:Hot Keys (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Threni ( 635302 )
        > Although I quite like volume keys.

        And while we're designing control surfaces, I'd like:

        Cd-player interface (stop, play, next/prev track etc etc).
        make that a dvd/cd player interface
        a rotary pot (sliders haven't been used on real hardware for 20 years!)

        I mean, come on - Fisher Price has been making this stuff for 30 years!
    • Re:Hot Keys (Score:5, Funny)

      by TykeClone ( 668449 ) <> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:16AM (#10056490) Homepage Journal
      They need the 29 other keys for emacs.
    • Re:Hot Keys (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bsd4me ( 759597 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:23AM (#10056596)

      If you are doing mouse heavy editing (like with graphics), then hotkeys can be handy. However, if you have a five button mouse that you can program per-application, then you can use the extra buttons for that purpose, too.

    • Re:Hot Keys (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kfg ( 145172 )
      No, it's not just you. The last time I went keyboard shopping I was annoyed that I could no longer buy a keyboard through the common retail outlets that didn't have all sorts of silly keys all over it.

      This keyboard seems aimed at the 1337 crowd, not the geek crowd. To attract geeks I'd think what they'd want to do is reintroduce the Model M.

      They can put a Tux sticker on one of the keys if it makes them feel better for some reason.

    • Perhaps the Linux keyboard has special keys for cutting and pasting both PRIMARY and SECONDARY selections.
    • Re:Hot Keys (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Euphonious Coward ( 189818 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:27AM (#10056666)
      What we need in a Linux keyboard is fewer keys. Eliminate all the extra junk, and then use better keyswitches for the keys remaining. The "happy hacker" keyboard's layout is OK, but its action totally stinks.

      Back in the 80s, Apple tried several times to switch to membrane-switch keyboards, and the market always made clear that they were intolerable. It's sad to see hackers accepting them today.

      • by HBI ( 604924 )
        My IBM 42H1292 keyboard is the only one I will use. My noisy clacking will destroy your puny membrane switches!
    • Re:Hot Keys (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dunstan ( 97493 )
      And, more to the point, are they going to put the control key where God meant it to be, and consign the caps lock key to somewhere out of the way?

  • An idea... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArbiterOne ( 715233 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:04AM (#10056309) Homepage
    Why don't they also include PDF/ copies of the Linux User Guide (mentioned on /. recently and found at []) in order to create a real "Linux starter kit"?
  • Picture (Score:5, Informative)

    by skoch ( 238567 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:05AM (#10056324)
    Was this the only article without a picture? ml
  • by rumblin'rabbit ( 711865 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:05AM (#10056333) Journal
    Yeeesssss. It's the only damn thing I really want from a keyboard. Oh, and an Undo key. Oh yeah, and a foot pedal controlling the capitalization. And get rid of the Alt key. And the Escape, while your at it.
    • Use this (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kahei ( 466208 )

      I realize I always plug these when an article on keyboards comes up, but... you can have what you want (subject to you writing a few macros for some keys) with one of these:

      Kinesis []

      Customizable... programmable... pedals... and an exciting chunky shape! I use the pedals for ctrl and programming punctuation, though, not caps.

    • by TheHonestTruth ( 759975 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:22AM (#10056563) Journal
      You only need the foot pedals if you use emacs. Shift-Meta-Control-ChickenBone, Shift-Meta-Control-CircleOfBlood-Chanting-S to save a file. (The foot pedals key in the Shift-Meta) Simple.


  • by billysara ( 264 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:06AM (#10056353)
    ... get a free OS?

    "In addition, the keyboard comes with a CD including a special edition of SuSE Linux 9.1 from Novell"...

    How long till we get special versions of RedHat or SuSE free with our breakfast cerial..... :-)
  • by kuiken ( 115647 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:08AM (#10056366) Homepage
    why dont you make a keyboard, with like all the normal keys and none of that stupiod windows key crap, let alone 50 other buttons to open my mail client, browser and 48 other apps i dont even use.

    I want an old school 101 or 102 keys keyboard
  • Auto-sense the OS? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grunt107 ( 739510 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:09AM (#10056387)
    Why not ship the keyboard with software that detects the OS, and configures 'hot' keys based on said OS?

    AFA the 'Windows' key, charge a few pennies more and ship w/iconic keys for all 'major' OS-es.

    Or ship with spiffy EOTD (emoticon of the day) that the fashionistas can buy and traded (Pokeyboardmon).
    • I don't think anyone who would be interested in this kind of keyboard would be too lazy/stupid to flip a switch on the back of the keyboard. Additionally, I'm sure plenty of people (err, me) would refuse to install that sort of bundled software in the first place. Besides, if the OS is capable of running that software to control the keyboard, it's probably capable of re-mapping the keys on its own.
  • I wonder if this is the first case of recieving a pack-in operating system with the purchase of a keyboard? Seems kind of backward if you ask me... but I guess stranger things have happened. ;)
  • That sucks (Score:2, Redundant)

    Don't people understand that the major innovation of the Internet was interoperability? Web developers with their Java and Flash and "Designed for MSIE 600x800 with JVM 1.4.2ab only" web sites misssed the entire feat of the Internet: a globally compatible worldwide network. Then Microsoft took this mindset to the next level by trying to put a "Windows key" on the keyboard, as if putting proprietary crap in a universal Human-Computer interface was somehow a good idea. It was a horrible idea when Macintosh di
    • Re:That sucks (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GregAllen ( 178208 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:48AM (#10056966) Homepage
      So I've got mod points, and was looking for the person that says "Why the f**k would you want a special Linux keyboard?" I was going to mod up your post, but then felt I had to respond.

      putting proprietary crap in a universal Human-Computer interface .... It was a horrible idea when Macintosh did it....

      I completely disagree here -- it was a GREAT idea when the Mac did it. The command key is one of the things that made the Mac so usable. The Mac was a completely new paradigm in the Human-Computer interface, and a new key gave outstanding access to it. The other keys already had other uses. Control-C is interrupt. Control-S is stop. Control-Q is resume. Other windowing systems also added keys (like the X meta key).

      Control-C did NOT universally mean copy when the Mac was made. In early versions of Win, cut and paste were something like ctrl-shift-delete and ctrl-shift-insert. Eventually Win evolved to use the exact same key combinations as the Mac (ZXCV), but substituting the Control key in place of the Command key.

      The problem was that MS added the Windows key long after people were using the Control key for that sort of thing. By then nobody cared about the Win key, and it was too late for it to be useful.

      You could argue that NOW Apple should go back and take off the Command key since lots of people are using the Control key, but I'd disagree. I like the fact that in my terminal windows Command-C is copy, and Control-C is interrupt.
  • Let's pray for a G80 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hhnerkopfabbeisser ( 645832 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:11AM (#10056408)
    Cherry's G80 series of keyboards is considered by many (including me) to provide the best tactile expierience since the old IBM-keyboards with click, but without the weight and noise.

    All other cherries I ever tried to type (G81 and G83) gave me the expierience that they wanted to break my fingers...
    • I concur. I found an old G80 series Cherry keyboard here at work a few months ago, and I've been using it ever since. The keys have just the right amount of bounce to them, allowing me to type much quicker than with the one I previously used. The only downsides: the keyboard is European, so there is a " above the 2 key instead of a @, a £ above the 3 instead of a #, and a few other minor key differences. Of course, since the OS thinks it's a US keyboard, if I type a shift-2 I'll get a @ anyways. Only
    • ok, sterio type. Please don't flame me. It's still funny. Have a laugh... even if your german. But if you are german, please don't laugh it public.. it's frightening.
  • Any key? (Score:5, Funny)

    by whovian ( 107062 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:13AM (#10056431)
    Will there be an Any key?
  • I prefer this one [].
  • Too bad (Score:4, Informative)

    by iamdrscience ( 541136 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:14AM (#10056450) Homepage
    Amazingly enough, the windows key works just fine in linux. It's not essential at all that it have a picture of tux on it.
  • by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <<giles.jones> <at> <>> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:15AM (#10056462)
    However I don't see why keyboards can't just come with different caps that you press onto the keyboard. Customise those Windows and function keys.

    Hell, we could even have funny ones like an "any" key :D
  • Is this [] the keyboard? because it doesnt seem to have extra keys. But it does have the tux logo and its from cherry.
  • I hope the hot keys are mapped to usefull functions such as:

    tux key + M + S = email Bill Gates hate mail
  • Why not just get rid of the Windows logo on the key and put in something generic and OS neutral?

    And no, I don't mean the same thing as these ridiculous "LCD key" or "changeable key" posts. I mean just put a picture of a window or something on there. That'll fit in fine for Windows and for Linux and for any other OS. (That key is often used on UNIX machines for window manager control these days - so a window is still a good icon to put on the key.)

    Seriously. Change the graphic to a rectangle with a dou
  • Oh please! (Score:4, Funny)

    by iamdrscience ( 541136 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:18AM (#10056509) Homepage
    I hope this keyboard has an internet button like Compaq's keyboards do! Finally the internet could be coming to linux!
  • More special keys? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Avian visitor ( 257765 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:20AM (#10056536) Homepage
    The hot keys are configured for the Linux operating system and desktop applications, simplifying actions such as cutting, copying and pasting text, and moving between Web pages.

    Seriously, who uses all the special hot keys on recent keyboards? Do they really "simplify actions"? They are usually placed on top of all keys, which means you have to move your hands all the way to the top to, for example, copy or paste text. On the other hand, ctrl and c keys are conveniently placed around the letter keys.

    Even my standard 104-key keyboard has keys that I use very rarely. For example: Printscreen/SysRQ is useless (unless you are a kernel hacker and you are using it as kernel magic key). I haven't used Pause/Breakkey since the days of DOS. Same goes for entire numeric keyboard, but I believe it can be useful for people that need to enter a lot of numbers. And I won't even mention Windows/Tux/whatever and menu keys (which I removed with a screwdriver on some of my keyboards anyway).

    If you ask me, the perfect Linux keyboard has a bigger, more convenient space bar and enter keys (They are certainly the most used and should be as large as possible. They are ridiculously small on some modern keyboards.). Forget the numeric keyboard and the useless keys I mentioned above. Oh and of course, remove the capslock key and place the control key in the proper place.

  • I've used a few keyboards with hotkeys and honestly the only time I've thought they gave any advantage was when I changed my "calculator" button to play Kraftwerk's "Pocket Calculator" ("I'm the operator with my pocket calculator! When I press a special key, it plays a little melody!").
  • by Walrusss ( 750700 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:20AM (#10056545)
    Personaly, I'm using the happy hacking keyboard [], which is maybe not "specially designed for" linux, but works very well. And there is an "diamond" key that makes the menu pop-up, which is fine for the windows-like-button fans.

    Stick to Tux, buy a tuxsticker ! []

  • Stickers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bocaj ( 84920 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:21AM (#10056555) Homepage
    A lot of keyboards just use permanent stickers for special keys. This way they only have to make one keyboard and then they ship it to mulitple countries. Why not just leave the stickers off the extra keys and supply sets for the user to put them on?
  • Heck, I'd pay $50 just for SuSE.

    Throw in a keyboard AND an opportunity to demonstrate that consumers will purchase hardware designed for non-Windows systems... I'm there!

    Perhaps even twice!

  • by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:25AM (#10056629)
    This seems like the classic misunderstanding of your market. My cut-and-dry view.

    1. Market: People who abhor the Dell keyboards that have 10 buttons for shopping and other keyboards filled with other useless crap.

    2. Product: Keyboard filled with useless crap.

    A better idea would be one with some fully customizable hot keys but with an emphasis on monitoring -- maybe a keyboard with some LCDs monitoring temperature, disk usage, etc. so precious screen space isn't used. Now that I would consider buying.
  • by leandrod ( 17766 ) <`l' `at' `'> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:25AM (#10056636) Homepage Journal
    Does this thing has mechanical springs à la IBM Model M?

    If not, and if I can't get a Brazilian layout, I have no use for it.
  • I've been using the Happy acker [] Lite 2 for about three or four years.

    I'd used lots of keybords before it and went through about one a year. They'd be difficult on my hands (no feedback) and they'd be hard to clean.

    I even bought one of those old IBM keyboards upon Roblimo's recommendation, but it died in a week after I spilled a drink on it.

    The Happy Hacker is small, but is a full size keyboard. It has a very pleasant feel (good click, but not too hard), light, and very rugged. It's also very easy t
  • Cherry usually makes excellent keyboards, but this key-for-everything mindset just mystifies me. Logitech seems to have the same disease. Perhaps it's the typical consumer more-is-better mindset, but you'd think Cherry would realize the average linux user is FAR from the typical PC consumer.

    I wish they'd make something like the Happy Hacking keyboard -- which I am pretty happy with but it appears to only have ~ 2-3 key rollover which is problematic at high typing speeds. Cherry usually has N-key rollover,
  • Wireless? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by XryanX ( 775412 ) < minus language> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:31AM (#10056734)
    Neither the linked article nor the article have said whether or not this keyboard will be wireless.

    It seems rather useless to me if it has a wire.
  • but it doesn't have control, alt or del keys - oh wait - we don't need them...
  • How about a wireless ball mouse, where the ball movement charges up the mouse, so you never need batteries?

  • by kclittle ( 625128 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:34AM (#10056760)
    Linux 101 Keyboard []

    The Ctrl key is in the placd God intended. Get the rubber-dome model for work to spare your coworkers the noice, get the buckling spring for home.

  • Give me a keyboard with mechanical keys and 24 function keys like the keyboards you get with an IBM 3270...
  • What I really want to know is if the Ctrl key and Caps Lock are in their "correct" positions, i.e. reversed from your typical desktop computer. It makes sense that they should be switched, since you use the Ctrl key a lot more often than the Caps Lock key, and putting it to the left middle, rather than the left bottom, makes it more accessible.
  • by voodoo1man ( 594237 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:39AM (#10056833)
    And for that matter, get rid of Caps Lock too. Those keys have really overstayed their welcome. And use some of those 29 extra keys as modifiers. It's time the impoverished Linux users discovered the joys of "Hyper" and "Super."
  • by thomasj ( 36355 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @11:51AM (#10057021) Homepage
    I would rather like some new navigation keys:
    • Let TAB be tabular space and make a new "Next field" key.
    • Let ENTER be line break and make a new "Expand selection widget"
    • Make an "OK" key to accelerate form/dialog-box submission and a "Cancel" one too
    • Make some "Zoom in"/"Zoom out"/"Scroll"/"Pan"/"Bank"/"Tilt"/etc and free the cursor-keys/PgUp/PgDn
    • ...
    • Write a CUA-addendum with specifics and examples
    I don't need a key to open my email client. It opens when I log on.
  • About as useful... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by soccerisgod ( 585710 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @12:23PM (#10057481) a condom machine in the vatican.

    Seriously, you can take any keyboard that has extra keys and map them to whatever you want, whatever kind of symbol is on the keys. I happily use the 'windows key' as an extra meta key for emacs...

  • Bad Idea(tm) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brandybuck ( 704397 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @02:09PM (#10058840) Homepage Journal
    This is a Bad Idea(tm). The notion that keyboards must be OS specific is silly when you think about it. Sure, Redmond and Cupertino promote it, but that doesn't mean it's right.

    Platform specific keyboards (Solaris, Mac) might make some sense, but multiple PC-x86 keyboards is loopy. Do I need two keyboards if I dual-boot? Three if I triple-boot? Will there be different Wyse terminals depending on which system you wish to connect to?

    Just dump the OS logo and replace it with a generic menu key.
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @08:59PM (#10063010) Journal
    You end up relying on those hot keys and when you inevitably have to do something without using your non-standard wiz bang keyboard you end up slowing down and looking incompetent.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.