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Multiple Keyboards

Posted on 2004-10-12
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Last Modified: 2010-04-23
I am planning to write an application involving a rewired keyboard plugged in to a laptop, to enable a large number of dedicated function keys, simplifying the user interface.

Is there anyway to differentiate between input from the inbuilt keyboard and the rewired external one?  

Or as a secondary solution, is there anyway to temporarily disable the internal keyboard when I go into the phase of the program which I'm designing the external keyboard for?
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Question by:zac_twidale
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12 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:zac_twidale
ID: 12295505
Still trying to make sense of the first link, (a lot of unfamiliar stuff in there).  But the second link goes nowhere.
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by:armoghan
ID: 12295879
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by:Mikal613
ID: 12297279
thanks ;) /
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Expert Comment

by:planocz
ID: 12299675
One way is to intercept the keypress's with this sample....

   Protected Overrides Function ProcessCmdKey(ByRef msg As System.Windows.Forms.Message, ByVal keyData As System.Windows.Forms.Keys) As Boolean
        Const WM_KEYDOWN As Integer = &H100
        Const WM_SYSKEYDOWN As Integer = &H104
        Dim e As System.EventArgs

        If ((msg.Msg = WM_KEYDOWN) Or (msg.Msg = WM_SYSKEYDOWN)) Then
            Select Case (keyData)
                'The Number Key Pads, 10 key and regular 0-9 keys
            Case Keys.NumPad0, Keys.D0
                    'Do something
                Case Keys.NumPad1, Keys.D1
                    'Do something
                Case Keys.NumPad2, Keys.D2
                     'Do something
            End Select
        End If
        Return MyBase.ProcessCmdKey(msg, keyData)
    End Function
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Author Comment

by:zac_twidale
ID: 12303605
I'll go through the suggested solutions in detail, but they seem to address various means of intercepting keyboard input (which I can do).  They don't look at how to differentiate between which keyboard the input came from.

And those that look at disabling the keyboard don't seem to address how to disable one keyboard, but not the other.
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Assisted Solution

by:armoghan
armoghan earned 400 total points
ID: 12304919
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Expert Comment

by:planocz
ID: 12307025
you said "rewired external one". I think the best route to go would be to leave the key board as a standard key board
and just intercept the input keys  with the code I gave you.
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Expert Comment

by:planocz
ID: 12615860
Hi zac_twidale,

Have you worked thru this problem?
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Author Comment

by:zac_twidale
ID: 12620733
Nope, not yet.  armoghan's link helps a little, and I have got hold of the DDK, but am still a long way from making sense of it.
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Accepted Solution

by:
The_Biochemist earned 600 total points
ID: 12776072
Slight sidetrack from your question...

Have you ever heard of a concept keyboard? A4 or A3 sized devices with upto 256 programmable touch sensitive pads. They are generally used for students with learning difficulties but are also used for many other solutions and are quite cheap too.

I had to create a user friendly professional video editing suite and found that concpet keyboards are perfect for adding extra keyboard type functionality to an application.

http://assistive.traxsys.com/staticproduct.asp?strAreaNo=2001_4&intElement=328

just a thought
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Author Comment

by:zac_twidale
ID: 12779220
Sounds like a pretty good lead.  Thanks for that
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