Thursday, 30 May 2013

Keyboard STILL not detected. Press F1 to continue

I'm very particular about keyboards and mice. I find a huge difference between devices with different feels - for example,  I've usually found cherry keyboards to be a bit clicky. I've recently been supplied with a new work laptop which has a 'chiclet' keyboard - which I hate. At one point I acquired a second hand Tandem PC which came with an original IBM AT keyboard. The latter was a phenomenal piece of cold-war engineering, clearly designed to survive at ground zero of a thermo nuclear strike. The keys were like those on a manual typewriter. CLICK - clack - CLICK. You would have expected a bell to ring every time you pressed the return button. I quickly found something else and sold the IBM keyboard at a car boot sale to a lumberjack whom needed a new axe.

Fast forward a number of years....I blogged before about getting a cheapo keyboard from Currys. This had been providing sterling service for the past 2 years, until one day, completely out of the blue, strange things started happening after I logged in. Initially the mouse starting selecting stuff at random, clicking on links in my browser caused new windows to open. So I tried applying the holy mantra of IT - switch-it-off-and-back-on-again. Incorrect password. And again....hang on a minute. Time for applying some advanced systems admin skills. Summoning my computer mojo and focussing 30+ years of hardware and software skills into a finely honed, cutting edge of diagnostic meditation....no - the Caps lock key is definitely off.

Numlock...on....off. Caps lock....on....off. Ctrl-Alt-F2, switch to a text console - good, that works. Now try logging in. ROOT. Who? Shift seems to be inverted. This is not right. I pick up the keyboard. Water pours out. Water? Smoke, yes, I'd expect that from computers, but not water. Did I mention I have kids?  I don't know if it was my clumsiness in taking it apart, permanent damage from the water, or I just couldn't get it dry enough but the keyboard was a goner.

Off to Curry's. However the only wired keyboards they have are rather nasty. The ones with good quality mechanical bits are all wireless (every wireless keyboard I've used has been very slow) or ridiculously pricey 'gaming' keyboards with heavy clicks. My search is further complicated by the fat I'm looking for a three-quarters sized keyboard to make better use of my desktop real-estate. Back home and on to Amazon, where I find this which looks like it fits the bill in terms of size, key type and action. Having been so fussy about not getting keyboards because I don't like the feel of them, it's a bit of a gamble to buy one online - but sometimes we all just go a bit crazy!

It arrived today. I was excited. The keys have a nice soft click to them. But it proved to be a bit difficult to get working. This anti-ghosting thing means that it just won't talk to the USB HCI stuff in Linux. I could access and type in the Bios, but after after that nothing.

I plugged back in a spare PS2 keyboard and found this in my logs:


May 30 20:00:57 localhost klogd: usb 2-1: New USB device found, idVendor=060b, idProduct=2231
May 30 20:00:57 localhost klogd: usb 2-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
May 30 20:00:57 localhost klogd: usb 2-1: Product: USB Keyboard
May 30 20:00:57 localhost klogd: usb 2-1: Manufacturer: KB
May 30 20:00:57 localhost klogd: input: KB USB Keyboard as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0b.0/usb2/2-1/2-1:1.0/input/input0
May 30 20:00:57 localhost klogd: generic-usb 0003:060B:2231.0001: input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.11 Keyboard [KB USB Keyboard] on usb-0000:00:0b.0-1/input0
May 30 20:00:57 localhost klogd: generic-usb: probe of 0003:060B:2231.0002 failed with error -22

lsusb said this:

Bus 002 Device 002: ID 060b:2231 Solid Year
Device Descriptor:
  bLength                18
  bDescriptorType         1
  bcdUSB               2.00
  bDeviceClass            0 (Defined at Interface level)
  bDeviceSubClass         0
  bDeviceProtocol         0
  bMaxPacketSize0         8
  idVendor           0x060b Solid Year
  idProduct          0x2231
  bcdDevice            2.21
  iManufacturer           1 KB
  iProduct                2 USB Keyboard
  iSerial                 0
  bNumConfigurations      1
  Configuration Descriptor:
    bLength                 9
    bDescriptorType         2
    wTotalLength           59
    bNumInterfaces          2
    bConfigurationValue     1
    iConfiguration          0
    bmAttributes         0xa0
      (Bus Powered)
      Remote Wakeup
    MaxPower              100mA
    Interface Descriptor:
      bLength                 9
      bDescriptorType         4
      bInterfaceNumber        0
      bAlternateSetting       0
      bNumEndpoints           1
      bInterfaceClass         3 Human Interface Device
      bInterfaceSubClass      1 Boot Interface Subclass
      bInterfaceProtocol      1 Keyboard
      iInterface              0
      ** UNRECOGNIZED:  09 21 11 01 00 01 22 4b 00
      Endpoint Descriptor:
        bLength                 7
        bDescriptorType         5
        bEndpointAddress     0x81  EP 1 IN
        bmAttributes            3
          Transfer Type            Interrupt
          Synch Type               None
          Usage Type               Data
        wMaxPacketSize     0x0008  1x 8 bytes
        bInterval              10
    Interface Descriptor:
      bLength                 9
      bDescriptorType         4
      bInterfaceNumber        1
      bAlternateSetting       0
      bNumEndpoints           1
      bInterfaceClass         3 Human Interface Device
      bInterfaceSubClass      0 No Subclass
      bInterfaceProtocol      0 None
      iInterface              0
      ** UNRECOGNIZED:  09 21 11 01 00 01 22 6c 00
      Endpoint Descriptor:
        bLength                 7
        bDescriptorType         5
        bEndpointAddress     0x82  EP 2 IN
        bmAttributes            3
          Transfer Type            Interrupt
          Synch Type               None
          Usage Type               Data
        wMaxPacketSize     0x0008  1x 8 bytes
        bInterval              10
Device Status:     0x0000
  (Bus Powered)

A bit of Googling and I find that the problem is caused by the Anti-Ghosting support in the keyboard (allows you to press lots of keys simultaeneously). Pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift (all bottom left) + N disables this and the keyboard is usable with Linux (no mention of this in the manual which came with it of course).

Rather than have to remember the weird key combination I've ordered a PS2 adapter which I've read should solve the problem.

(and along the way I find *MORE* bugs in Blogger's WYSIWYG editor. Sigh)




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