December 7th, 2003

So now that X works on my PowerBook, I've been running OpenBSD when I get home from work to continue making other things work so I can eventually run OpenBSD all the time. The awacs audio driver seems to be for older chipsets and doesn't support the new "snapper" chip on my machine, so I'll need to port something from Linux or use an external USB audio system. Neither sound appealing.

While playing around in OpenBSD, I've found the keyboard to be very annoying. At random times a key will appear to be stuck and continue repeating until some other keys are mashed to get it to stop. I was rdesktop'd into a Windows machine when this happened with the Enter key, so after clicking on the Start Menu, it immediately selected "Shut down" and then hit Enter on the confirmation screen. Luckily the drop down was on "Reboot" and not "Shut down"

Occasionally it also goes into what I call "drunken mode", where you type a series of letters somewhat quickly and it somehow gets some of the letters reversed. I spot the error, so I backspace and try to type it again, but no matter how many times I type it correctly, the letters still come out in a different order. At first I thought I was still drunk or something, but there's definitely a bug in the keyboard driver (or the keyboard itself that Mac OS X works around). If you type the sequence slowly with half-second delays between each keystroke, it will come out normally.

The caps lock key is definitely messed up. I used xmodmap to turn it into a Control key (as it should be) but occasionally it stops working as a Control key. It doesn't fall back to a Caps Lock key, but just doesn't do anything. I know this is a hardware issue because using ucontrol in Mac OS X to do the same thing results in the same bug. If I hit Caps Lock like 5 or 6 times in a row, it starts responding again. This might be the same repeating problem as above, though.

I brought the akbd driver in OpenBSD up to sync with NetBSD's, but nothing seemed to change. I might get it committed just for good measure, though.

I also tried modifying the abtn driver that currently handles Fn+F1 and Fn+F2 to adjust the screen brightness (through OpenFirmware calls) to generate normal keystrokes (XF86XK_AudioLowerVolume, XF86XK_AudioMute, etc.) for the audio and eject buttons so I could handle them on my own in X, but it didn't work for some reason.

Questions or comments?
Please feel free to contact me.