SUMMARY: wacky Sparc keyboards

From: Danny Johnson (
Date: Thu Sep 02 1993 - 13:32:38 CDT

> From danny Mon Aug 9 14:48:05 1993
> I have a problem that I thought was restricted to only
> 1 system, but now I see it is either spreading or has
> existed for some time unnoticed--some of the keys on
> the keyboard don't work, i.e. they come up with keysym
> NoSymbol. Let's just pick the one I know is common to
> all problem systems: AltGraph (ModeSwitch). It is not
> (or not just) the keyboards, because every keyboard that
> fails on one system works on another! Can anybody tell
> me what is going on?
> All keyboards of a given type have the same switch settings
> (which are: all down for type-4, 3+7 up all others down for
> type-5.) We have the following combinations (all systems on
> 4.1.3 with openwin3.0):
> working:
> all IPXs with type-4 or type-5
> all IPCs with type-4
> some Sparc10s with type-5
> non-working:
> a IPC with type-5 (replaced motherboard already, no change)
> a Sparc2 with type-4
> a Sparc10 with type-4 or type-5 (same Sparc10)
> the following is the difference between the non-working
> Sparc2 "<" and a working IPX ">", both with the SAME
> type-4 keyboard (xmodmap -pk):
...details irrelevant...

Turns out to be a case of multiple and/or naive system
administrators and a lying vendor who shall remain nameless:
we overwrote /usr/openwin/lib/XKeysymDB with a file containing
only the additions needed for a certain product, which zapped
some of the special SUN keysyms. Since most keysyms are standard,
most things still worked. It took us many days to figure this
out (with SUN's help). Note that no error messages appeared at
any time.

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