OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
16 October 2001
Alex Samorukov is an OS/2 user since version 2.11 and web designer. He is currently a technical director of web-design studio Deep Vision. He is the author of several small programs for OS/2, the co-author of the win95key project and an editor of OS2.Ru.

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ZOC - Telnet Client and Terminal Emulator via Secure Shell (SSH/SSH2), Modem and ISDN

Using Multimedia Keyboards under OS/2

In recent years a number of keyboards with additional "internet" and "multimedia" buttons have appeared.

Since the author of this article has just upgraded his hardware, he came into posession of one of these keyboards (manufactured by HP.)

This keyboard, besides the standard keys (Microsoft key included) has an additional key row over the Fxx key row. This has "multimedia" buttons (rewind, play, stop and eject) and a volume control. Over the "Scroll Lock" button there are some "internet" buttons. The drivers for this miracle of progress were for the Windows platform only. But, because I use another OS I decided to find a way to put these new buttons to use.

In order to solve this problem I chose the program Win95key which can assign events to key combinations. By means of this program I elucidated that all the new keys produce scan codes to which events can be easily assigned. Thus all "internet" keys were used (I assigned to them netscape, pwicq and so on).

The way I used the "multimedia" keys was determined when I visited the Z! (my favorite MP3 player) site . This player has a Pipe API control unit.

So I wrote the pipe plugin for win95key which allows sending specified commands to the Pipe specified by the user.

For example, in order to find how to use the ">>" button, just launch the PmConf program,

determine the button ScanCode ("Get Code"), choose the plugin "SendToPipe" and indicate in its settings ("Settings...") in the field "text to send" - *next, and in the field "pipe name" - "\pipe\zmp3".

Now press "Add" and "Apply". In the very same fashion you can assign other keys (by the way you can, of course, choose the hotkeys for Z! on the ordinary keyboard as well). After starting Z! you may use all the assigned keys.

Win95key project
Website: http://os2.ru/projects/win95key/index.phtml.en

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