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"Keys" versus "Hotkeys"

 
 
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      05-25-2008
Man, you learn something new every week. Just found this article
<http://www.howtoforge.com/manage-your-laptop-hotkeys-on-fedora> about
managing "hotkeys" on a laptop. (On my Eee, these are special keystrokes
generated by holding down the "Fn" key while pressing one of F1-F9.) Turns
out these don't generate normal keyboard input: instead, they're detected
as "ACPI events". Under Linux, these are picked up by the acpid process,
which in turn can be configured to run whatever commands you like.

I found the scripts that are supposed to be invoked by acpid, but there's
definitely something missing from them. For instance, the commands for
raising and lowering the volume make sense, but the sequence for toggling
the mute function has nothing in it but a comment, yet the mute button most
certainly works. So the code for doing this must be stashed away somewhere
else.

Asus has done several customizations like this. For instance, the init
process (process number 1, which on Unix systems is the grand-daddy of all
other processes) is a special program called "fastinit". I had a snoop
through it, and instead of being customizable through config files or an
editable shell script, it's a binary program that has a number of script
commands hard-coded in it.
 
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