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#346426 - 14/07/2011 14:16 WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Does anyone here have a Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard in good working condition that they would sell me?

My 25 year old AnyKey is becoming erratic, playing back corrupted macros that sometimes lock up the computer requiring a reboot, and some of the keys are now sending double or even triple characters when struck.

I know that many people are not big fans of the AnyKey, but I depend very heavily on mine. Some of my macros that I use nearly every day have 40-60 keystrokes in them.

tanstaafl.
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#346429 - 14/07/2011 16:31 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
I've heard of washing out keyboards in the sink- even tried it myself once (to no avail).

Unplug, lather, rinse, dry for a day in a warm spot, plug in.

Have you tried something like that? Could buy you another few years of service.
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#346433 - 14/07/2011 17:21 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: Robotic]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
A pencil eraser works well on the contact surfaces to clean off the contacts.

Soap and water works well for Coke incidents.

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#346434 - 14/07/2011 19:59 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: Robotic]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Robotic
I've heard of washing out keyboards in the sink- even tried it myself once (to no avail).

Probably that won't work in this case. The AnyKey contains a fair bit of electronics where the programmed macros are stored. In any case, the problem isn't one of intermittent contact except perhaps in the case of the keys occasionally giving double or triple letters. The problem seems to be in the electronics. A macro will go bad and print gibberish, and will repeat the same gibberish every time I play it back. If I can't come up with another AnyKey, this may be a workable solution. Not as convenient as the AnyKey, but better than nothing.

The software-only solutions I've looked at are just not feasible for me. Many, many times I program simple 5--10 keystroke macros that will only be used a few times and then discarded. The AnyKey makes that so simple: one keystroke to enter program mode, type the macro, one keystroke to exit program mode and it's done.

The software programs require me to grab the mouse, find the program icon, double-click to open the macro program, go through a menu to tell it if I am recording, erasing, or running an existing macro, record the macro, give it a name so that I can save it, assign it to a hot key, then exit the menu, close the program, and go back to the keyboard. Screw that! That's too much work to go through to record a sequence like "Down-arrow, down-arrow, ctrl-shift-right-arrow, delete, enter, page-down" that might get used 10 times in one session and then never again.

There are a very few AnyKeys for sale on eBay, being sold in "as-is" condition. I'll try and pick up a couple of them, but I'm hoping someone here will have one lovingly stored in its original box for the last 20 years or so...

tanstaafl.
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#346436 - 14/07/2011 22:40 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: Redrum]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Redrum
A pencil eraser works well on the contact surfaces to clean off the contacts.
It's easier than that with this keyboard. All of the contacts are on a pretty rugged Mylar sheet that I was able to just lay flat on a towel and clean with Windex and a microfiber cloth. (see photos) However, as mentioned above, the problem is probably not mechanical. Even after cleaning the contacts, the keyboard cannot be used with the macro function enabled. It becomes electronically confused, substituting "/"s for "i"s, and any random letter I type might suddenly decide that instead of "a" it is "f1#r_&htynp", and will print that same string each time I press the key. Frequently it locks up the computer, forcing me to do a power-off reboot, after which it will work normally for a few minutes.

As long as I have "Suspend Macro" activated (disabling the macro function) the keyboard works "normally", although in my eyes in a crippled fashion.

There's a guy on eBay with four AnyKeys for sale, three tested "good", one for parts only. I asked him if he'd end the auction early (no bids yet) and sell me two "good" ones plus the "parts" for about 40% more than his opening bid request. Little does he know I will pay whatever it takes... Just in the half hour I've been without my macros, it's making me crazy!

tanstaafl.

Edit: The eBay guy agreed to my offer. Well, he held out for an extra $20, but I was glad to pay it. I now have coming to me two working and one "parts" AnyKey keyboards, for not much more than twice what they cost when they were new.


Attachments
P1130685-W960.jpg (1403 downloads)
P1130686-W960.jpg (506 downloads)
P1130687-W960.jpg (1143 downloads)



Edited by tanstaafl. (15/07/2011 00:32)
Edit Reason: Followup
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#346437 - 14/07/2011 23:53 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13529
Loc: Canada
In my experience, the only things that "die" in most electronics are the capacitors -- specifically the electrolytic "can" capacitors. They either dry out, or swell and burst.

Replacing them can give most items a full and healthy second life.

Sometimes other components die, but way more often than not it's the caps.

Cheers

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#346438 - 14/07/2011 23:56 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13529
Loc: Canada
Mmm... can you photograph the electronics bits in more detail and more sharp focus?

Thanks

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#346439 - 15/07/2011 03:21 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7858
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
The AnyKey makes that so simple: one keystroke to enter program mode, type the macro, one keystroke to exit program mode and it's done.

For future reference (if the replacements don't work out), the Logitech G15 works this way. At least mine does, the older one with a blue LCD, and 18 macro keys. The logic isn't directly in the keyboard like the AnyKey, but it does have a dedicated record button to start and stop capture of a macro.


Edited by drakino (15/07/2011 03:23)
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#346442 - 15/07/2011 14:32 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: drakino]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: drakino
For future reference (if the replacements don't work out), the Logitech G15 works this way. At least mine does, the older one with a blue LCD, and 18 macro keys. The logic isn't directly in the keyboard like the AnyKey, but it does have a dedicated record button to start and stop capture of a macro.
One other indispensable (to me, anyway) feature of the AnyKey is that I can remap any key (get it? AnyKey? smile ) into either a macro or another key. So that the letter "n" on my keyboard types (are you ready for this?) "n", while "ctrl+n" types "ñ". Similarly for á, é, ¿, etc. I need that stuff down here south of the border.

With four AnyKeys to work with, it's a pretty good bet I can put together one good one!

Thanks for the heads up on the Logitech G15. I'll definitely look into it.

tanstaafl.
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#346443 - 15/07/2011 14:48 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: mlord]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: mlord
Mmm... can you photograph the electronics bits in more detail and more sharp focus?


Yes. Attached is a low-res picture to give you the idea; I have emailed the high-res version to you directly.

tanstaafl.


Attachments
Keyboard Electronics-W1600.jpg


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#346444 - 15/07/2011 15:32 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13529
Loc: Canada
Nice barrel distortion there. smile

emails sent.

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#346446 - 15/07/2011 16:12 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Just this week I learned about the Interrobang glyph. Wouldn't you know it, my Droid wouldn't display it. frown

You could map it to your fancy keyboard, though. smile
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#346448 - 15/07/2011 17:13 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7858
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
One other indispensable (to me, anyway) feature of the AnyKey is that I can remap any key (get it? AnyKey? smile ) into either a macro or another key. So that the letter "n" on my keyboard types (are you ready for this?) "n", while "ctrl+n" types "ñ". Similarly for á, é, ¿, etc. I need that stuff down here south of the border.

I'll double check after my vacation to see if the G15 allows similar. I take it your macro is really pressing ALT and whatever number sequence. Still seems weird to me Windows hasn't adopted an easier method. ñ is Option-N, N on a Mac. The first Option-N creates the tilde, then the second N confirms you wanted ñ instead of say ã (Option-N, A). May be a handy tip to pass onto SWMBO with her Mac.
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#346450 - 15/07/2011 18:01 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: drakino]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13529
Loc: Canada
The other nice thing about the AnyKey, is he can plug it into any computer in the house (or anywhere), running any O/S, and it will still do his macros correctly without any reconfiguration.

Cheers

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#346451 - 15/07/2011 20:15 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: mlord]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: mlord
Nice barrel distortion there. smile
It's an artifact produced by the stitching program -- it's actually three shots joined together. Don't know exactly what caused it, haven't had that happen before.

tanstaafl.
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#346455 - 16/07/2011 02:41 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
RobotCaleb
pooh-bah

Registered: 15/01/2002
Posts: 1866
Loc: Austin
Here's a couple of minutes with Hugin.




Attachments
hugin-2-Keyboard_Electronics-W1600-Keyboard_Electronics-W1600.jpg (1795 downloads)


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#346480 - 18/07/2011 16:37 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: RobotCaleb]
julf
veteran

Registered: 01/10/2001
Posts: 1290
Loc: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ah. good old Pertinax (resin bonded paper). smile

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#346510 - 19/07/2011 22:53 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: mlord]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7858
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: mlord
The other nice thing about the AnyKey, is he can plug it into any computer in the house (or anywhere), running any O/S, and it will still do his macros correctly without any reconfiguration.

Yep, understandable this is a big potential benefit. It really surprises me that no other keyboard has built in this type of functionality after all these years.

My checking on the G15 was more to help find a suitable alternative in case the AnyKey is beyond repair. (and because my G15 is no longer in active use) Unfortunately, the macros only work on the dedicated G1-G18 macro keys, and can't be assigned to the normal 104 other keys. It does offer a total of 54 usable keys, due to there also being an M1-M3 key to swap which macros are active on the keys. The software can also switch the full set of 54 mappings per application. Just not quite as convenient as Doug's current solution though.
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#346512 - 20/07/2011 00:44 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: drakino]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
My AnyKey lives! I took action that I should have done right from the beginning, but didn't because the consequences are... daunting.

By keying in Ctrl-Alt-SuspndMacro, I was able to completely wipe the on-board memory in the keyboard. Then I began the task of re-entering all the information, consisting of macros, key re-mappings, repeat-key rate, etc. And these aren't simple just-type-them-in macros. Below is a sample of just one of them. I currently have (as near as I can determine) 24 macros programmed into 22 different keys (some of them do double duty with Alt or Ctrl or Shift key modifiers). It is a fair piece of work to reconstruct all of them.

Alt-T Alt-A Space Tab End Ctrl-Shift-LeftArrow Ctrl-X BkSpace
Home Ctrl-V , Space Alt-T Tab Home Ctrl-V -
Shift-End Ctrl-C Alt-U Space Tab Home Ctrl-V Space (Read by
Space End ) Alt-A Space Tab Home Ctrl-Right-Arrow
Left-Arrow(2x) Shift-End Ctrl-X Ctrl-Enter Alt-o Tab(10x) Ctrl-Enter Tab(10x)
Alt-R Ctrl-Enter Alt-M Alt-T Alt-A Space Tab End Ctrl-V
Ctrl-Enter Alt-T Alt-E Tab Down-Arrow PgDn(4x) Up-Arrow Down-Arrow

On the minute chance that anybody cares, that macro writes MP3TS tags for audio book files, changing the author name to lastname, firstname format, adding the name of the narrator, appending the track number to the title, and renaming the file in artist-album-track#-title sequence, all done by a single keystroke for a book that may contain 30 or more files. (It only works when preceded by a 61-character "prep" macro.) If that seems like a lot of work to go through just to write a tag... consider that my audio book collection now encompasses well over 36,000 separate audio files, all tagged and named with metronomic consistency. smile

Apparently some of the regular, non-macro designated keys had somehow become "corrupted" so that when the key was pressed, instead of typing "a" or "d" or whatever, it typed weird non-ascii stuff that locked up the computer. Completely wiping the keyboard memory also wiped the corruption. All the macros are back in now, and I have tested and verified all of them except the "top row Shift-F9" macro which adds track numbers to audio book tags in MP3TS when they are missing from the download file. (No new books have been missing the numbers.) That one is pretty simple, only 23 keystrokes, and I am confident it will work first time out.

I have a spare AnyKey on hand, but it had been stored for the past several years in non-optimal conditions (temperatures reaching 125 degrees (F) or more on occasion) and when I brought it out, about half the keys wouldn't register any input, in particular the "SuspndMacro" key. It is an older model AnyKey and apparentlly is sealed. I can get the top cover off, but it looks like the only way to get into the mechanicals of it would be to drill out about a dozen plastic tabs on the bottom. I tried the trick of soaking it in soapy water, and have let it dry for the last two days. I'll try it tomorrow, but am not optimistic.

I have three additional AnyKeys coming from eBay, two in working order, one for parts, so it looks like I'll be well set for macro capability for the next few years, as long as any computer I have uses PS2 keyboard input. Hmmm... I see that "PS2 to USB Adapter" brings up more than a million hits on Google, so that probably isn't a problem either.

Anyway, I am much happier now, and a nagging worry I have had in the back of my mind for the last 10 years or so, about not having a backup for my indispensable, nearly irreplaceable keyboard, has been alleviated. I have typed on a lot of keyboards in the past 50 years, and while nobody has ever matched the perfection of feel of the IBM Selectric typewriter, I rank the Gateway AnyKey not too far behind it. It feels much different from the Selectric, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad. It's like... like typing on velvet. Quiet, smooth, and incredibly versatile.

tanstaafl.
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#346518 - 20/07/2011 13:23 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4141
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.

Alt-T Alt-A Space Tab End Ctrl-Shift-LeftArrow Ctrl-X BkSpace
Home Ctrl-V , Space Alt-T Tab Home Ctrl-V -
Shift-End Ctrl-C Alt-U Space Tab Home Ctrl-V Space (Read by
Space End ) Alt-A Space Tab Home Ctrl-Right-Arrow
Left-Arrow(2x) Shift-End Ctrl-X Ctrl-Enter Alt-o Tab(10x) Ctrl-Enter Tab(10x)
Alt-R Ctrl-Enter Alt-M Alt-T Alt-A Space Tab End Ctrl-V
Ctrl-Enter Alt-T Alt-E Tab Down-Arrow PgDn(4x) Up-Arrow Down-Arrow

OK, I take it back. Perl is not the world's worst scripting language.

Peter

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#346520 - 20/07/2011 14:47 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Could it be that you are one of the first to require memory defrag on a keyboard?
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#346523 - 20/07/2011 15:24 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
I have a spare AnyKey on hand, but it had been stored for the past several years in non-optimal conditions (temperatures reaching 125 degrees (F) or more on occasion) and when I brought it out, about half the keys wouldn't register any input

Now this is interesting... from a Wikipedia article:

The 2189014-00-211 Gateway AnyKey model contains a toroid on the inside, around the keyboard wires near the top middle of the keyboard, which might rub against the plastic membrane circuit board and cut the leftmost trace emerging from the left ribbon connector.

My spare keyboard is not the ...-211 model, but does have the toroid, so it got me to looking. I wonder if a thin strip of foil across that break would fix it? I am at a loss as to how to disassemble the keyboard to actually get at the mylar sheet with the tracings on it, but that one little spot is semi-accessible without taking it any further apart. Worth a try, I suppose.

tanstaafl.


Attachments
P1130714-W1280.jpg


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#346525 - 20/07/2011 15:29 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: Robotic]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
Years ago I know there was some paint on stuff that would repair breaks like that.

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#346526 - 20/07/2011 15:39 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: Redrum]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 956
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
Electronic stores have a conductive felt pen that would do this.

Probably the repair pens for car rear window defrosters would work too. I'm thinking there's probably no electronics stores in Ajijic.

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#346527 - 20/07/2011 15:51 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: larry818]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
Originally Posted By: larry818
Electronic stores have a conductive felt pen that would do this.

Probably the repair pens for car rear window defrosters would work too. I'm thinking there's probably no electronics stores in Ajijic.


Maybe not a lot od window defrosters either smile

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#346528 - 20/07/2011 16:38 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: Redrum]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Redrum
Maybe not a lot of window defrosters either :smile
No, you misunderstand the severity of the weather we have here. Why, just last week the temperature dropped all the way down into the 60's (F), and people were walking around in coats and scarves, and local dogs were well protected with fleece coats strapped around them.

I tell people that I used to walk my little dog (miniature poodle) in Alaska at temperatures of 40 below zero (F or C, take your pick) and he was just fine with that. Surprisingly, he has no trouble down here even when the temperatures go up into the 90's.

Go figure.

tanstaafl.


Attachments
16 Akela in the Surf-W960.jpg




Edited by tanstaafl. (20/07/2011 16:51)
Edit Reason: Add picture of Akela plalying in the surf
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#346529 - 20/07/2011 16:49 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
that one little spot is semi-accessible without taking it any further apart. Worth a try, I suppose.
Apparently that trace is just a marker around the perimeter of the mylar sheet, and does not perform any function other than decorative.

Before trying to bridge the broken trace, I plugged the keyboard back into the computer just to see how badly I had wrecked it by soaking it in soapy water (electronics and all) in my bathtub. To my absolute astonishment it is now 100% functional. The only problem that arose was a sticking "Alt" key, and a single drop of teflon lubricant fixed that. I now have two working AnyKeys, and three more coming in the mail. Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?

I guess these keyboards are pretty robust.

tanstaafl.
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#346530 - 20/07/2011 17:06 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
However by looking at pooches skid marks it looks like he's not a fan of water

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#349839 - 17/01/2012 03:56 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
Montano
new poster

Registered: 17/01/2012
Posts: 3
I have read this thread with interest. I also have a Gateway2000 Anykey, have used it for almost 20 years. Suddenly the "N" and "P" keys began behaving strangely -- there was a slight delay after pressing the key, then a repeat happened (NNNNNNNNN...) which I could only interrupt by pressing other keys.

I tried the CRL-ALT-Suspend Macro clear to no avail. I was sure it was a hardware issue, something under the "N" and "P" keys causing the delay/repeats. I took the top faceplate off the keyboard, but as tanstaafl will understand I have the series that does not come apart inside.

BUT, when I remapped another letter to the "N" or "P" keys, the keys then behaved normally. And when I remapped the "N" or "P" letters to another key, I got the strange delay/repeat behavior from the new key. In short wherever the "N" and "P" are triggered from does not matter, they delay/repeat.

Any suggestions where I might go next with this would be greatly appreciated!

EDIT: Some background, I recently moved and shipped stuff (including my keyboard) by sea, but there is no apparent damage to the keyboard it was packaged well and all arrived dry and intact. Also, I have a new computer with no PS/2 jack so am now using the nextech PS/2 to USB Adapter. Everything works on the keyboard except "P" and "N." Strange isn't it?




Edited by Montano (17/01/2012 04:41)

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#349841 - 17/01/2012 11:57 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: Montano]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Montano
I tried the CRL-ALT-Suspend Macro clear to no avail.
I have only found three things that worked to "repair" an AnyKey keyboard.

The Ctrl-Alt-SuspendMacro is the first line of defense. If that doesn't work, then disassemble the keyboard (difficult with your model) and clean the Mylar contact sheet, then re-seat and secure (with RTV silicone or with good quality packaging tape) the circuit board where it attaches to the Mylar sheet. The final, last-ditch desperation step (although in your case it will probably have to be the next thing you try) is soaking and "swishing around" the keyboard in warm, soapy water followed by a couple days of drying. That worked for me, but YMMV.

FWIW, both of my "new" replacement keyboards failed last month, in both cases the circuit boards had separated from the Mylar sheet. Some previous owner had repaired this problem before, with two small pieces of Scotch tape. I re-did the repair much more robustly, with full-length strips of clear packaging tape and to my delight, both keyboards subsequently worked perfectly. I'm typing this on one of them now.

If I had to guess, I would say that your current problem with the "N" and the "P" keys is caused by this separation, although there is some doubt because it is only the "N" and "P" keys that have failed. Each one of those circuit traces from the Mylar sheet to the circuit board (there are about a dozen of them IIRC) controls about 10 separate keys, odd that just two of them would fail. It might well be a mechanical problem, dirt on the contacts on the Mylar sheet for those two keys that might be fixed by non-disassembled washing.

About your only other solution would be a good thesaurus where you could look up alternative words without "N"s or "P"s in them... frown

tanstaafl.
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#349842 - 17/01/2012 12:40 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
Montano
new poster

Registered: 17/01/2012
Posts: 3
Aha! You really are an Anykey aficionado! Thanks for the input. I think the problem should not be mechanical because if I remap the letter "N" to (for example) the "Y" key, then I get the "NNNNNNNN...." repeat whenever I push the "Y" key. (And the suspect "N" key works fine, as long as I've remapped a different letter to it.)

So I'm reluctant to do the soapy water, but completely baffled as to why these two letters (not keys) are affected.

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#349851 - 17/01/2012 22:38 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: Montano]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Montano
if I remap the letter "N" to (for example) the "Y" key, then I get the "NNNNNNNN...." repeat whenever I push the "Y" key.
Ah! I misunderstood that part, didn't read carefully enough. It would appear that the problem is electronic, then. All I can suggest is to re-do the Ctrl-Alt-SuspendMacro function a few more times, and hope that it makes things better. That has fixed things for me more than once.

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#349856 - 18/01/2012 02:08 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13529
Loc: Canada
Yeah, that, and/or a full hard reset/reinit of the keyboard firmware back to square-1, if that is possible.

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#349860 - 18/01/2012 04:41 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: mlord]
Montano
new poster

Registered: 17/01/2012
Posts: 3
Yes I'm inclined to think it is electronic, in the "impulse" (probably the wrong term) that the Anykey sends to the computer. Tried multiple Ctrl-Alt-Suspend Macro maneuvers with and without disconnections (effectively "powering off" the keyboard), but no luck. It may be difficult if I don't replace the electronics entirely. Anyway if there are any "eureka" flashes please tell me, and I will update if I find a fix. Thx.

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#356543 - 27/11/2012 03:44 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: Montano]
JLCog
new poster

Registered: 27/11/2012
Posts: 1
You can do this to straighten out your n & p keys:
hold down the suspend macro key and while keeping suspend macro pressed hit the reset button. Keep holding the suspend macro button until Windows finishes booting. Now you can carefully reprogram your keyboard. Hint: backup your anykey personality file from time to time. Best will to you all, JL_Cog.

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#356560 - 28/11/2012 01:55 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: JLCog]
gbeer
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/12/2000
Posts: 2646
Loc: Manteca, California
Way to go, for a first post.
_________________________
Glenn

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#363486 - 23/02/2015 10:11 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
DonCorbata
new poster

Registered: 22/02/2015
Posts: 4
It's been a long time since you posted on this topic and I wonder if you still read this Forum! I too have a need to use the ‘anykey’ functionality indefinitely – I think we are a dying breed!
Forgive me if I missed something but I saw at one time you were contemplating re-typing all the Macros into a replacement/working keyboard. Did you have a good reason not have a copy of the Macros backed up by the Anykey30 utility to save all the retyping and to avoid the possibility of transcription errors? I know this little utility needs to run under DOS and I have kept an old PC which runs DOS especially to manage this. A few questions here:-
1. Have you found a way to run Anykey30.exe under Windows and I don’t mean DOSBOX, it is too clumsy?
2. Have you heard of anyone rewriting Anykey30.exe such as to run under a Windows OS?
3. I have compromised my choice of replacement PC because I wanted ‘native PS2’ functionality for my keyboard and thus needed a PS/2 connection. I may not be able to find what I want when I next upgrade. Do you know exactly what I need (software/hardware) to a ‘augment USB’ connector so as to achieve the required results using USB connection?

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#363487 - 23/02/2015 17:10 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: DonCorbata]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: DonCorbata
Did you have a good reason not have a copy of the Macros backed up by the Anykey30 utility
Yes.

The Anykey30 utility won't run on anything except a 16-bit computer. I have a newer version (Anykey34) but it is still 16-bit only.

Now that I am running 64-bit Windows 8.1, there is no chance.

Originally Posted By: DonCorbata
Have you heard of anyone rewriting Anykey30.exe such as to run under a Windows OS?
No. We have people on this bbs with the talent and skills that they could do so, but the likelihood of taking on that task to hep the dozen or so people in the world who still use the AnyKey is not high.

Originally Posted By: DonCorbata
I wanted ‘native PS2’ functionality for my keyboard and thus needed a PS/2 connection. ... Do you know exactly what I need (software/hardware) to a ‘augment USB’ connector so as to achieve the required results using USB connection?
No. At this time, I don't know whether the AnyKey will work through a USB adapter, but can think of no reason why it wouldn't. Nonetheless, I had my new computer built with a PS2 connection, and the computer shop had to look long and hard to find a 64-bit motherboard to meet the requirement.

I would be interested in finding out if the AnyKey will work through a USB adapter. Hmmm... I guess I could find that out for myself by purchasing an adapter and plugging the AnyKey into it.

tanstaafl.
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#363488 - 24/02/2015 04:46 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1917
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Would the backup utility run in a VM? I don't know how it communicates with the keyboard but I'm guessing it's fairly low level to talk via a PS/2 port and is probably hitting the hardware directly?

Edit: Seems highly unlikely... I'm just a bit of a fan of VMs lately.

What about AutoHotKey and run the macros on the PC itself. It should be capable. I use a very simple one to generate middle mouseclicks on my two button laptop mouse pad.


Edited by Shonky (24/02/2015 04:52)
_________________________
Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#363489 - 24/02/2015 12:11 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: Shonky]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Shonky
What about AutoHotKey and run the macros on the PC itself.
The "on-the-PC" macro storing programs I have seen have such a clumsy interface as to make them unusable except for very complex macros that will be run many times.

The beauty of the AnyKey is that it is so quick and easy to make a simple macro that even if the macro will only be used three or four times ever and then discarded, it is worth the trouble.

For a silly example, an Excel spreadsheet where I have ten cells in a column and for whatever reason every cell needs to have a comma inserted before the last word in the cell: I would press the "Program Macro" key on the keyboard, press the key in which I wanted to store the macro (by default, my temporary macro key is the "/" key on the number pad), and then type "F2 Ctrl-LeftArrow Comma Enter" and press the "Program Macro" key again to turn off recording. Then, each time I press the "/" key it updates that cell and proceeds to the next. The whole job, including modifying all 10 cells, would take far less time than it took to read this. [Just to be pedantic, I made a spreadsheet and timed how long it took to create the macro and do the job outlined above: 12.2 seconds.]

"In-PC" macro programs are too complex, where you find the macro program, start it up, tell it to start recording, save the keystrokes, tell it to stop recording, then give the macro a filename and save it, exit the macro program. To run the macro, you find the program, start it up, and tell it to find the macro you want to run, execute the macro, finally exit the macro program. Now, it has been a few years since I last looked at macro recorders, maybe they've gotten a lot better since then. But as long as I can keep my AnyKeys working, I think they are a better solution.

tanstaafl.
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#363491 - 24/02/2015 19:29 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
jmwking
addict

Registered: 27/02/2003
Posts: 651
Loc: Washington, DC metro
I had the Northgate OmniKey equivalent of this keyboard for ages. Until my (then) wife spilled a coke in it, anyway. I didn't think to wash it out with soapy water, alas!

It was a fabulous keyboard. Easy macros. Clicky, too! Clicky is so much better than squishy, even if it annoys the neighbors. ("Tactile" was the jargon of the day.) I still miss it...

-jk

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#363493 - 24/02/2015 21:13 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1917
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
I agree the recording method on something like AutoHotkey is a bit more geared towards permanent macros but I'd be 99% sure there is a way to implement what you have currently in it or some other macro program without the rigmarole you mention, some of which I don't think is realistic ("find", "start", "exit" for example - it should always run in your system tray - you're just being difficult smile ).

Saving/loading etc should be doable on any fixed key with just need a special keystroke to start the recording needed to replace your special macro key.
_________________________
Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#363741 - 27/03/2015 06:35 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
DonCorbata
new poster

Registered: 22/02/2015
Posts: 4
Thank you for the comprehensive answers to my previous questions - very kind of you!
I feel I may be exposing myself to ridicule in asking the question which follows regarding the 'washing of the keyboards'. (Gateway2000 Anykey with the dreaded melted plastic rivets). I can't see, in the posts, a definitive statement of exactly what is swished around in warm soapy water! It goes against all instincts to even allow 'dampness' near electrical components - even if one takes the drying out very seriously. I have to ask because the cause of the fault is unidentified and the remedial action, while sometimes sucessful, not being completely understood, it just might be the case that unusual and apparently contra-conventional action is required?
What is washed? Is it what remains after removing the printed circuit board or does it include the printed circuit board?

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#363743 - 27/03/2015 12:24 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: DonCorbata]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: DonCorbata
What is washed? Is it what remains after removing the printed circuit board or does it include the printed circuit board?
Everything.

Electrical components are not harmed by water, IF you can get them completely dry before putting power to them. They don't melt or dissolve in water; the potential for damage is that if there is power to them while still wet, the water will conduct electricity to places you don't want it to go.

I have disassembled a "Gateway2000 Anykey with the dreaded melted plastic rivets" and successfully reassembled it. I don't recall what I did about the drilled-out rivets, it was years ago, but it wasn't anything high-tech. Possibly a few dabs of RTV Silicone or something, or maybe even some good quality strapping tape.

In the case of the riveted keyboard, I wouldn't wash it without disassembling it, because it would be difficult to get it completely dry while it was all sealed up.

Don't do what a fellow I ran into at the local computer shop did... he spilled soda pop into the keyboard of his Macbook Pro, wiped it off and then powered it up to see if it had been damaged. It probably hadn't been -- until he hit that power button. It made a few bad sounds (not from the speakers) and that was the end of it.

The AnyKey doesn't have any transformers or other difficult to dry components in it. You can wash it as much as you want as long as you get it completely dry afterwards.

tanstaafl.
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#363746 - 27/03/2015 20:05 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
DonCorbata
new poster

Registered: 22/02/2015
Posts: 4
Thank You again for taking the time to explain everything. I hate myself for being so pedantic, but . . .
When you said you would not wash the Gateway 2000 Anykey keyboard without disassemling it, did you mean without drilling out the 'dreaded rivets' (as you had done in the past) so as to open things up as far as is possible or wash it without removing the rivets?
I can imaging the washing working on boards which have dirt between contacts etc, but have you any idea what process could take place in order to get 'magical' results from including the Printed Circuit Board in the wash?
I will try never to trouble you again - I sincerely Thank You for your patience!

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#363747 - 28/03/2015 01:22 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: DonCorbata]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5292
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: DonCorbata
did you mean without drilling out the 'dreaded rivets' (as you had done in the past) so as to open things up as far as is possible or wash it without removing the rivets?
I think if you washed it without drilling out the rivets so as to enable complete disassembly it might prove difficult to get it completely dry.

What failure mode is the keyboard operating in? If it is groups of keys that are not responding, then the problem is almost certainly the interface between the circuit board and the Mylar sheet with the circuit traces on it. This must be very carefully cleaned without rubbing so hard that the black carbon traces are damaged. These can be refreshed with a soft pencil. But, to do so you have to take out the rivets to get to them. Proper alignment of this interface upon reassembly is absolutely crucial.

tanstaafl.
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#363748 - 29/03/2015 08:55 Re: WTB: Gateway 2000 AnyKey keyboard [Re: tanstaafl.]
DonCorbata
new poster

Registered: 22/02/2015
Posts: 4
Just a final Thank You! I think I now have all the info' required to make a decision - Thanks

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