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Unix keyboard I/O

How do I test for key pressed in UNIX? Better still, I am displaying data updates on a ASCII screen, and would like to lock the screen update function and invoke a command interpeter when the user presses a key. A getchar() function in a secondary thread does not seem to work well.
1 Solution
I believe you would have to capture the port for the terminal then check all input coming in.  
AustinKalbAuthor Commented:
I am still struggling with this question. The old microsoft compiler had a "check keyboard buffer" function call. It returned a true when someone started typing on the keyboard, then I could go and get the data using a scanf or some other call. What I am really looking for is a way to to know someone want to type in a command without having to press return. For example, how would I read a function key without an eof after it?
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