All I wanted at first was to find a way to get around the ghost slash key on the built-in keyboard to stop depressing itself at the most inopportune moments—like when i’m entering a password—or hard-coding html. When I realized there was no way I could stop it short of removing it, that’s what I did. It took less than 30 minutes to disassemble, remove connector, re-assemble. Piece of cake, thanks to Irisvista.com and its guides to dismantling just about every model Toshiba laptop there is. So off the connector goes, put the keyboard back in so it still looks like a good laptop, and then off to shop for a mini keyboard that will fit snugly into the Targus along with the rather hefty Satellite Pro, which Sam has once referred to as Lazaria, one who was brought back to life.
At first I had my eye on the Okion Handio which I saw at the Office Warehouse in SM Sucat. Rather steep price for my lean wallet at P600, so I let it lie while waiting for that extra bit of cash. When it did come, opportunity led me into Electroworld’s doors at the Mall of Asia where they were out of stock in Okion’s, but did have the A4Tech KLS-5UP in black and silver. Although I would have preferred the all-black model, the A4Tech KLS-5UP was almost half the price of the Okion.
With an external keyboard, I didn’t have to worry about feeling the heat from the laptop on my wrists, and the A4Tech’s Anti-RSI design does help a lot in the way of comfort. Now with the keyboard problem dealt with, I could start on the other problems I had, such as connecting to the VPN at the office. Google-ing solved that particular one, after weaving through piles of comments and advice in various forums, I came across this blogpost that solved both the VPN connection setup and why I could not connect to the VPN with my wireless. The post was written for Edgy Eft users, but it worked like a charm in Feisty.
Even the issue I had with the keypad cursor keys has been solved. When I first started out in Ubuntu I was quite piqued at the way the cursor keys would take a screenshot instead of taking me left right up or down. After a bit of experimenting I realized that for the keypad cursor keys to work as they should I had to press the Windows key. This may be remedied in time when keyboard manufacturers release Linux drivers for their products. In fairness, when you go System > Preferences > Keyboard > Layouts, there are three A4Tech drivers to choose from, it’s just that there is no driver for this particular model.
This long weekend I will spend ironing out the last few kinks—printing over the network (done! via CUPS and selecting the Edimax print server as a UNIX Printer LPD), getting VCD’s to run in Kaffeine (CAN’T—it’s a documented bug in Feisty). DVDs work ok but I haven’t figured out why it can’t play VCD’s—very important when we take Lazaria on the road up north week after next just so Maia will have a portable CD/DVD player on which to play her Dora and Barbie movies. Too bad PLDT’s WeRoam card does not have Linux drivers, otherwise Maia may even have the luxury of mobile connectivity. Too much for a three-year-old, you think?