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I just installed Linux Mint as an actual desktop linux and i'm freaking loving it! I still have my windows 7 installation on the hdd I replaced, but I don't ...
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  1. #1
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    Get state of "light-upable" programmable keys on lappy


    I just installed Linux Mint as an actual desktop linux and i'm freaking loving it! I still have my windows 7 installation on the hdd I replaced, but I don't think I'll ever need to go back to it I'm getting such a nice experience from Linux Mint - Cinnamon!

    But I've lost tiny bits of functionality since upgrading. My mute button on my laptop used to light up to indicate whether things were muted or not. I love that light. How can I programatically light that succer up and turn it off again?

    Also, I had another button that used to open the windows calculator. Now when I press it, it just lights up. Pressing it again turns it off. While this is REALL REALLY COOL, it's not useful to me. I'd like to beable to make some kind of a program that when run, makes it flash on and off rapidly like a super awesome strobe light.

    I've tried to see if it has some kind of keycode associated with it, but when I scan for keys with xkeybinds, it doesn't seem to capture the key. The laptop model happens to be a gateway NV Series.

    Any thoughts or experiences?

  2. #2
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    You can try disabling acpi in the kernel at boot time. Either modify your grub entry temporarily, or just do it interactively at the grub prompt when you first boot up.

    Lots of details about that here:

    [ubuntu] Toshiba A665 Laptop -- Illuminated Backlit Keyboard - Ubuntu Forums

    The problem is that disabling acpi might do a lot of other wacky things to your laptop (like disable HyperThreading, lose battery indications, etc.), so it is certainly not a fix, but would tell you if that is your problem.

    Also, have you perused the BIOS for any settings that might explain it? It is possible that the Gateway has Windows software that is used to talk to the BIOS to control the keyboard.

  3. #3
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    I see. I was kind of hoping there would be a generic API I could use from, say, C++ like

    Code:
    getKeyboardLightState(TONS_OF_PARAMATERS, THAT_GIVE_YOU, CARPEL_TUNNEL, AND_ARE_HARD_TO_LOOK_AT, BUT_ATLEAST_GET_THE_LOW_LEVEL_STUFF_DONE);
    That would be a lot of fun for me, but I'm sure it's more complicated than that, just finding all the libs, or god forbid, having to deal with confusing driver things.

    I'll give disabling ACPI a shot and see what that does though, it will be interesting to see if it has an effect.

    Oh, and the bios on this laptop is incredibly primitive. It has features up to "boot on lan" but then it just gives me nothing. I consider myself tremendously lucky they even gave me that because I love having clonezilla off of TFTP boots, and there's an anoying netbook I have at work that blocked that feature =(

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobuscorpus View Post
    I see. I was kind of hoping there would be a generic API I could use from, say, C++ like

    Code:
    getKeyboardLightState(TONS_OF_PARAMATERS, THAT_GIVE_YOU, CARPEL_TUNNEL, AND_ARE_HARD_TO_LOOK_AT, BUT_ATLEAST_GET_THE_LOW_LEVEL_STUFF_DONE);
    I'm not saying that API doesn't exist, but it possibly has not open sourced.

    Oh, and the bios on this laptop is incredibly primitive. It has features up to "boot on lan" but then it just gives me nothing. I consider myself tremendously lucky they even gave me that because I love having clonezilla off of TFTP boots, and there's an anoying netbook I have at work that blocked that feature =(
    are you saying that you have a netbook that cannot boot from LAN? i love using PXE booting too, and i've run into that situation, too. i resolved it using this brilliant project called Etherboot. they create tiny images containing minimal network drivers for NICs that can be loaded into the preboot environment, emulating a PXE boot. you have to put the image somewhere, though, like on a floppy or CDROM, or even on a hard disk (and call it from grub/lilo/syslinux, etc.). You can generate images on the fly at www.rom-o-matic.net. The only draw-back is that only a certain list of NICs are supported. There is a good enough list for me to use it regularly for Desktop PCs, though, i'm not sure how lucky you'll be w/a netbook. It may support some common USB-to-Ethernet adapters, though, not sure.

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