Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Aluminium Keyboard support under X11: all models, all OSes

I finally found the time to update my previous support for Aluminium Keyboard under Xorg, and take it to the Next Level (tm). The overall support is now much more polished. For you this means several things:

  • I've implemented the XKB geometries of all variants of the long Aluminium Keyboard, be it ANSI (American), ISO (Internationnal) or JIS (Japanese)! And believe me, it's darned complicated to support JIS keyboard's dual layout without having access to the real hardware :D
  • I've added support for base XKB rules, which means that the keyboard will now be properly configured on other OSes than Linux. I personally used OpenSolaris during my tests, but it should work equally well on FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and all their cousins!
  • The keyboard support is now aware of the system-wide keyboard settings as found in Debian or Fedora for example. If you configured your system to default to Dvorak layout, the support will use it automatically!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Make your Apple Aluminium Keyboard really work under Linux, X.org

Like many others, I've bought an Aluminium Keyboard for its cool style the smooth typing experience it provides. Mine is a wired version, ISO variant (international, 110-keys). It's not working 100% out-of-the-box under Linux, so this post explains what I did to make it happen:

  • Supporting the additional keys (F13..F19) and geometry (physical layout) under X.org
  • Making the keyboard auto-configured at X.org startup. No need to mess with xorg.conf!

But wait, there's more. If you're accustomed to PC keyboards, you really need those ones too:

  • Making this fn key located on top of the delete key behave like a regular PC keyboard: Insert!
  • Making multimedia keys output Fxx symbols by default
  • Making F13..F15 behave like those charmingly obsolete Scroll Lock..Print Screen keys
  • Keeping the multimedia keys accessible when the fn key is remapped to Insert

Monday, February 23, 2009

Toolchain.sh is amazing!

A few weeks ago, I finally upgraded my iPhone to firwmare 2.2.1. It was actually an utterly painless operation, thanks to the amazing toolchain.sh by the guys from iphonedevlinux.

I remember in the 1.1.4 days, I had a hard time extracting the MacOS 10.5 SDK on Linux and compiling the openSDK on my Core2 Quad by following saurik's great instructions.

It turns out that building an open SDK for firmware 2.2.1 is actually very simple: getting a copy of the phone's sysroot, building GCC, importing headers from the official iphone SDK, classdumping private frameworks... all these operations are now almost automatic thanks to toolchain.sh.

The icing on the cake: those smart people from iphonedevlinux are friendly and reactive! Another good reason for sending them patches and using their script :)