Author Topic: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?  (Read 1868 times)

Offline smokelessjoe

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Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« on: November 21, 2018, 08:34:45 AM »
I’m looking for a new keyboard with function keys that are compatible in OS 9.  I’m talking about the volume up, volume down, mute and disc eject keys.

It’s expensive, but I like the look of the Matias tactile pro (http://matias.ca/tactilepro4/).  My concern is that when I plug in a new aluminum A1243 keyboard, it thinks those keys are part of the F-keys at the top.

Are there any modern keyboards that support the volume/mute/eject keys in OS 9?

Offline smokelessjoe

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 08:47:12 PM »
Yeah, it’s been a while.  Maybe I need to rephrase the question:

Is there any way to use a third-party keyboard to control the speaker volume in Mac OS 9?

Offline refinery

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2020, 01:12:53 AM »
(edit) nevermind, misread the original post. sorry.
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Offline IIO

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2020, 05:09:44 AM »
for eject and volume there is a bunch of other options. the main issue is always the modifier keys.

i am sometimes using my apple keybord at the windows laptop and it is a bit like switching from left to right lane traffic.
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Offline Roman323

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2020, 01:48:44 PM »
I think any keyboard should work, just no gestures. I have a magic keyboard I got for the 2010 Mac Pro and tried it with Os 9 - it worked as a standard keyboard but that’s all.

Offline DieHard

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2020, 01:51:13 PM »
Any keyboard that has function keys that are recognized, can easily be programmed to eject or do anything you want is OS 9, we have covered that here :)

Offline IIO

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2020, 02:15:28 PM »
the keyboard he is looking at has an eject key, and you only need to assign "F17" to the volume and you are done.

but if you have a windows keyboard with F1 - F12 it might be a bad idea to assign F keys to system functions, as they could also be needed in an application - or you personally already wanted to use that key for something else.
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Offline DieHard

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2020, 02:17:30 PM »
Quote
but if you have a windows keyboard with F1 - F12 it might be a bad idea to assign F keys to system functions, as they could also be needed in an application
A good point, but no apps will need F6 thru F12, and the keyboards with an eject are rare and thus expensive, yet the $10 keyboard can easily be programmed to do a bunch of stuff

Offline smokelessjoe

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2020, 05:48:12 PM »
Wow!  Thanks for all the replies!  I really appreciate it.

for eject and volume there is a bunch of other options.

I like Eject Extras (https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/eject-extras), but what options exist for volume?

Any keyboard that has function keys that are recognized, can easily be programmed to eject or do anything you want is OS 9, we have covered that here :)

I figured out how to assign a function key to run Eject (from Eject Extras, above), but how do I program volume, specifically?  I have searched these forums, but I'm willing to admit that maybe I suck at searching.

Offline GaryN

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2020, 06:47:06 PM »
You didn't say exactly what volume you want to control with specialized keys, BUT know this:
There is a shortcoming in OS9 that involves its lack of co-operative multitasking. It's extremely difficult to "reach around" the current app to control something like itunes in the background.

We went around with this to the point that OS923 wrote an incredibly long script to achieve it - trying to switch the foreground and the background to control the volume and then switch it back. He says it works, I haven't tried it.

Read this - it has much info on the subject:  http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,4734.msg33971.html#msg33971

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2020, 07:05:20 PM »
Quote
but if you have a windows keyboard with F1 - F12 it might be a bad idea to assign F keys to system functions, as they could also be needed in an application
A good point, but no apps will need F6 thru F12, and the keyboards with an eject are rare and thus expensive, yet the $10 keyboard can easily be programmed to do a bunch of stuff

It is clear that you are a non protools power user.

F12 is the record button, and F5-8 are used  and F1 to F4 for the mode.

In fact when you install Protools in Mac OS X it warns you that the Spotlight and Exposé are using the F keys.




We should make a list with the cheap amazon working keyboards.

There are cheap models for iPad/Win/Macs bluetooth with USB reciever with Mac layout that could work.

I tested one multimedia USB keyboard years ago and only worked the extra stuff (Volume), but not the keyboard itself...
Looking for MacOS 9.2.4

Offline DieHard

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2020, 09:04:49 PM »
Quote
It is clear that you are a non protools power user.

F12 is the record button, and F5-8 are used  and F1 to F4 for the mode.

In fact when you install Protools in Mac OS X it warns you that the Spotlight and Exposé are using the F keys.

Yeah, your right, I am spoiled with Cubase VST 32, all recording controls are on the numeric pad :)

Ohhh... one last thing, did he say he was using ProTools ?

Offline IIO

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2020, 04:55:43 AM »
A good point, but no apps will need F6 thru F12, and the keyboards with an eject are rare and thus expensive, yet the $10 keyboard can easily be programmed to do a bunch of stuff

beside rare cases such as protools that is probably right, i was a bit egocentric here because i had in mind that you normally do a dual boot on a mac - and in OSX there are quite some apps which use functions keys, for examples many games use 1-12.

eject and volume are really important and it is not so easy to loose them after 20 years. :) i would never use a cheap PC keyboard on a mac where i had to program keyboard commands for the finder using third party extensions.

btw, adding a proper volume control to the soundmanager (i.e. with more than 10 levels) should be put on the to do list.
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Offline smokelessjoe

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2020, 02:13:38 PM »
You didn't say exactly what volume you want to control with specialized keys

I'm just trying to control system volume.  I don't run iTunes on this system, just some old games that I want to have easy, keyboard volume control.

Offline smokelessjoe

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2020, 02:16:04 PM »
Any keyboard that has function keys that are recognized, can easily be programmed to eject or do anything you want is OS 9, we have covered that here :)

Where exactly?  I'm looking for details on how to program a function key to control system volume (volume up, volume down, mute).  Thanks.

Offline GaryN

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2020, 07:14:20 PM »
This is the thread that just won't die. Even fearless leader hiccups occasionally:
Any keyboard that has function keys that are recognized, can easily be programmed to eject or do anything you want is OS 9, we have covered that here :)

You cannot program an F-key to raise or lower volume in OS9……period.  F-keys require that the OS has built-in code that will recognize that you just tapped a key and that means "execute xxx function" i.e. "eject CD" or "open xxx app" etc. HOWEVER:

There is NO "step volume up" OR "step volume down" function in the operating system.

Audio level in OS9 is controlled by the graphic slider in the Control Panel. That slider is mapped on a pixel-by-pixel basis so that it's "position" corresponds to a specific percentage of 100% volume.
What you want would require that there be a function that would "increase system volume by x increments" which would require that there first BE a defined set of volume increments (other than "one percent of 100") that will cause the System Volume control in the Control Panel to change a specified amount such as "up 5%" or similar.

No such code exists in ≤OS9. (That's why Cliff tore his hair out trying to write an extension to do it)

This little conundrum is just (a minor) one of the thousand-or-so reasons Apple dumped the entire MacOS for OSX. The interface only addresses the frontmost app. If - in this example - volume level is not baked into the app code, there's only one way to "reach around" it to access the little bit of reserved System function that exists in the Control Panels: The Control Strip. That cleverly avoids disrupting the frontmost app and allows certain changes in low-level hardware control directly. Unfortunately, Apple did NOT provide a preset volume up/down incremental function there - only the graphic slider…SO you can mouse over to the volume Control Strip Module, click and drag the slider up or down to change volume but you cannot order it to move or the system volume to change a pre-specified amount by tapping a keyboard key. You just can't.

Now… just to beat this nag to death even longer, you can use QuicKeys to make volume changes at the touch of a key. It's difficult and requires some work but it's possible. You can record a set of QK macros that will "grab" the mouse cursor and click it twice in the volume Control Strip module: First to open it, second to click on a specific point along it's travel. You record a number of macros (the more there are, the finer the increments) and assign them to a series of the F-keys in the top row… the leftmost being say 0%(mute) and increasing maybe 10% at a time to the rightmost one at 100%. You can use fewer if you tolerate larger increments.

This may or may not be suitable depending on the running app (or especially a game) because you're causing QK to momentarily grab control and execute a couple of very rapid clicks then return control to the running app. It's a very short interruption (in human time…an eternity in CPU time), but an interruption nonetheless.

Sometimes the best way to program a solution is to NOT program it at all. You want to make something happen… you think "well, it should just be a key" but maybe it doesn't have to be…… as long as the solution gets you where you want to go.

I present: The simplest way to change your system volume at any time. It does NOT interfere with any running app and works reliably 100% of the time… OBSERVE

The powered computer speaker with integrated volume control. Comes complete with a friggin' subwoofer for $20 or so on fleabay.

PROBLEM SOLVED

Offline IIO

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2020, 03:45:54 AM »
it is for sure easier to use a control strip module than to open the controlpanel

the other option is that you just keep using an apple keyboard which has the volume control keys built-in. yeah, i know, thats not what he asked for.
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Offline GaryN

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2020, 04:02:25 PM »
Dammit! Dammit!  DAMMIT!!

As much as I diss 110 for…well, just for being, THIS time he's put me down and out without (I think) even realizing it.

the other option is that you just keep using an apple keyboard which has the volume control keys built-in. yeah, i know, thats not what he asked for.
So, I went out to the garage, dug thru my 30-years-worth of Apple obsoleteum and found an old Apple keyboard.
I brought it out, plugged it in and I'll be damned if it didn't have volume keys AND a mute key that worked in OS9 !

For a second, I thought it must have a bit of code in RAM or something but no, it simply manages to access a function in the OS exactly like the one I just spent a bunch of time claiming didn't exist! There apparently IS a function that allows for incremental volume changes and even a specific mute. It would appear that later keyboards just don't send those command codes anymore, instead sending different although identical-in-function ones that are only recognized by later OSX systems. It is to conform with PC keyboards? Maybe, but that just sucks for us.

Submitted for your contemplation……
Two keyboards, same company, same company's hardware, same company's software, same key markings on the keyboard:

The OLD keyboard changes volume in BOTH OS9 AND OSX.
The NEW keyboard changes volume ONLY in OSX.

I AM friggin' embarrassed… I use OS9 at least every other day but I almost never change the system volume. If I do, I use the Control Strip. My apologies to all for being an idiot. It's now obvious that the incremental "volume up/down" function IS there to be accessed by simply sending the proper (what…two bytes?) codes from the keyboard.

That doesn't mean it's easy.

This is waay beyond MY wheelhouse. It would seem to be something you would address with an OS update…since that ain't gonna happen, the next best thing is an OS9 System Extension. So it's just one MORE thing we could fix if we could only write Extensions……

Offline IIO

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2020, 04:58:34 PM »
it doesnt matter if you are right or wrong or if we are all idiots or only the two of us, because this thread is about non-apple keyboards and there this problem exists - and it exists completely independent from the last six pages you wrote about apple keyboards and apple OS, which is another topic.

(at this point you might want to consider to re-read the orignal question in the midi interface thread from two days ago, where you also failed the point... and no, bandwidth doesnt have to do with timing accuracy & when you use an usb2serial adapter bewteen 2 devices this does not give you usb bandwidth for the connection^^)

but jokes aside, it is a pity that it is so difficult to attach mac keyboards on windows machines or the other way round - and the volume control keys and the eject keys is the lesser problem compared to the modifer keys IMHO.

the volume keys can not be faked - also not in the OSX tcsh shell - simply because they dont talk ASCII nor keycodes.
volume up, down, mute and eject are not part of the "keyboard", they are more the follow up of the good old power button of the old world ADB keyboards.
personally i like how they still have the same design than regular keys; on dell laptops for example the volume buttons are fugly and hard to press.

i have combinations here where the windows version of a programming language is using alt where the mac version uses command - and if you connect a mac keyboard to the windows PC you have to press control in order to get alt which is normally command ....aaaargh. and now imagine using a setup like that to create a program which uses modifier keys, too.


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Offline IIO

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2020, 05:15:34 PM »
and i dont know either how it works, (maybe via the generic usb driver?) but it doesnt by faking the keys.

third party "eject" software can use apple events to finder among other things. audio is more mysterious, as usual.
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Offline adespoton

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2020, 08:33:35 PM »
i have combinations here where the windows version of a programming language is using alt where the mac version uses command - and if you connect a mac keyboard to the windows PC you have to press control in order to get alt which is normally command ....aaaargh. and now imagine using a setup like that to create a program which uses modifier keys, too.


It gets even more complicated; I connect to a setup like that to work on programming software that uses modifier keys... and I do it using VNC from a Windows 10 laptop.

Offline GaryN

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Re: Modern OS 9 compatible keyboards?
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2020, 10:31:39 PM »
Now, that's what i get for even trying to be apologetic… more snide bullshit.
(at this point you might want to consider to re-read the orignal question in the midi interface thread from two days ago, where you also failed the point... and no, bandwidth doesnt have to do with timing accuracy & when you use an usb2serial adapter bewteen 2 devices this does not give you usb bandwidth for the connection^^)
Clearly, you are the one who needs to re-read the MIDI thread. I never said or even insinuated "when you use an usb2serial adapter bewteen 2 devices this does not give you usb bandwidth for the connection^^"
I said that the USB protocol is fast enough so that it does not becomes a choke point or similar interfering with MIDI data being carried on it and having it in the mix is NOT detrimental to MIDI data flow and timing.

NOW…………

the volume keys can not be faked - also not in the OSX tcsh shell - simply because they dont talk ASCII nor keycodes.
volume up, down, mute and eject are not part of the "keyboard", they are more the follow up of the good old power button of the old world ADB keyboards.
AND
and i dont know either how it works, (maybe via the generic usb driver?) but it doesnt by faking the keys.

third party "eject" software can use apple events to finder among other things. audio is more mysterious, as usual.

As I said, this ain't my wheelhouse BUT as far as I can tell, ALL communication between the keyboards and the computer takes place over a 4-wire USB line of which:
#1… Power
#2… Data -
#3… Data +
#4… Ground

There is NO extra path or provision for specialized signaling of any kind so ALL must be data encoded by the kbd and decoded by the computer. ALL USB devices are required to be compliant with a very long list of protocol. So…

If you know something here that I don't about some kind of phantom signaling sneaking over the USB bus, NOW is the time to explain it to the class.