So do we need keyboard certification?
Some time ago, R-Technics implemented the hardware certification program. Due to the nature of worship presentation software and its use, stability and compatibility are qualities that have a higher priority for presentation computers than, say, the typical office computer. Our certification process is quite rigorous, but in the end, you can depend on the machines that we've certified. GoFishMedia presently has two certified machines and a third one is in the testing process. (GFM PCs)
However, our certification process does not include the keyboard -- perhaps it should. I'll explain.
I'm a big fan of illuminated keyboards. Currently, I'm using the Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard with one of my development machines.
Previously, I was using the Saitek Eclipse II Keyboard.
When I heard about the new Saitek Cyborg Gaming Keyboard , I was immediately interested, and acquired one in short order.
This keyboard is a big improvement over the Eclipse II model. It has better backlighting and a better feel. It was also designed to handle multiple keyboard combinations in a better way then typical keyboards, which is particularly useful for first-person shooter games.
What I learned quickly, however, is that this keyboard is not compatible with SongShow plus. In particular, Ctrl-Shift-Insert does not work. Well more specifically, the Left-Ctrl-Shift-Insert combination doesn't work. That is to say that when Ctrl-Shift-Insert is pressed, it doesn't work if the left Ctrl key is used. What is odd is that when using the right Ctrl key, the combination does work. After writing a little program to verify this directly, I also noticed that neither Ctrl-Shift-Home nor Ctrl-Shift-Page Up work either. However, Ctrl-Shift-Del, Ctrl-Shift-End, and Ctrl-Shift-Page Down do work.
I thought that perhaps the problem was with the keyboard itself, but after exchanging with a new one, the problem still exists. There is obviously a design flaw with this keybaord.
Why does this matter. Well the text and scripture slide builders in SongShow Plus make use of Ctrl-Shift-Insert to split a slide, so it's a key combination that could get used frequently. Now if I really wanted to use this particular keyboard, I could have used the right Ctrl key. But if we were certifying a keyboard for general recommendation to SongShow Plus users, I think we'd have to fail it.
I discussed this issue with Steven, who told me that he's experienced multi-key issues on a number of keyboards. His understanding was that keyboards are only required to handle two-simultaneous key presses, and that any more than that is undefined behavior. If that is correct, it is quite interesting since a program as prevalent as Microsoft Word uses a number of three-key shortcuts. One thing he suggested that I try was to use the numeric keypad Insert key rather than the Insert key located above the cursor keys, which is what I was using.. I didn't get around to testing that before returning the keyboard. That would have been an interesting experiment.
Anyway, the Cyborg keyboard looks like a great keyboard for gamers. But I'm back using the G15, which I like very much as a keyboard, so I'm not complaining.
Illuminated keyboards are actually a very practical for worship presentation systems.