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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday March 06 2014, @12:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the satisying-clackity-clack dept.
An anonymous coward writes "Anyone know of good affordable keyboards that are low latency (preferably backed by actual stats)? Low latency is not the same as polling rate.

I had an old keyboard that was high latency (added about 30-50ms more latency when compared to a "gaming" mouse I had!) so I bought a low end "gaming" keyboard[1] which is lower latency but the keys "stick" sometimes (e.g. the system thinks keys are still being held down even though they aren't have to press the offending keys again to unstick them). I don't want to buy an expensive keyboard and find the latency to not be really much better or even worse[2]. And yes 30-50ms can be a noticeable and significant difference in games (2-3 frames).

I've done those reaction time test stuff and I get about 150-170ms using my "fastest" mouse (I have two), 170-190 with my new keyboard and 200+ms with my old keyboard. I see many people get 200+ ( see: http://cognitivefun.net/stat/1 ). At work on my employer's macbook pro I get 220+ms. So it's likely that high latency mice/keyboards[2] and screens[3] are too common. And you can appear to have 50-80ms faster reflexes just by having better equipment.

[1] an A4Tech G800V keyboard, based on one of the few less useless responses from the Other Site when I asked a similar question. Maybe it's faulty but it's going to be hard to prove since it's intermittent. FWIW I got it for half the newegg price and the place I bought it from doesn't sell A4tech mice or keyboards anymore.

[2] http://www.blackboxtoolkit.com/responsedevices.htm l
  http://www.pstnet.com/eprimedevice.cfm

[3] http://www.displaylag.com/display-database/"
 
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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by engblom on Thursday March 06 2014, @12:41PM

    by engblom (556) on Thursday March 06 2014, @12:41PM (#11881)

    I will probably be modded as troll for this, but taking gaming this seriously is not sounding normal.

    I do understand the need of high quality keyboards to prevent RSI. There are mechanical keyboards for that. Every single keyboard I have used has been fast enough to type anything you need.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by nil on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:30PM

      by nil (2468) on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:30PM (#11909)
      Why is it childish to enjoy a hobby enough to want good equipment for it?

      I'm no child, by my dad enjoys rock hunting (physically digging them out of the earth). Because of this, he's spent a good while and invested a decent amount of money into custom made chisels and hammers that are well suited for his craft. He wasn't satisfied with the lower-grade steel used in other, store-bought chisels. Is he childish for caring more about his equipment than the layman?

      It is the height of ignorance to assume, just because someone enjoys a different hobby than you and puts importance on the equipment of that hobby, that they are somehow childish or lacking in maturity.

      Or do you simply subscribe to the naive thought that video games are 4kidz.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bugamn on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:24PM

        by bugamn (1017) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:24PM (#11945)

        I wouldn't say that it is childish to want good equipment, but I believe part of it is snake oil. taking advantage of the passion for the hobby. A difference of 2 or 3 frames seems too small to be noticeable in a normal game (between 30 and 60 frames per second). A better example are gaming mouses with gold tipped USB connectors for "improved performance". As far as I know those change nothing.

        Also: Amazon's Monster Cables.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hatta on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:58PM

          by hatta (879) on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:58PM (#12003)

          You'd think so, but top gamers really can notice one frame of lag. When it's the difference between landing a combo or not, it can't really be due to the placebo effect.

          It would be easy enough to test rigorously. By default MAME inserts a frame of lag in input handling. There's a MAME derivative ShmupMAME that removes this frame of lag for games that will work without it. ABX the two programs and see if the differences in score are statistically significant.

          Or you could do it in hardware, wire a delay into the controls of an arcade machine, and ABX whether it's activated or not.

        • (Score: 1) by gottabeme on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:38PM

          by gottabeme (1531) on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:38PM (#12037)

          2-3 frames of input lag can be very noticable, depending on framerate. If your framerate was 30fps, that's up to 100ms, which is horrible. If you're playing an MMO, who cares. If you're playing a competitive shooter, it's the difference between life and death.

        • (Score: 1) by nil on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:54PM

          by nil (2468) on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:54PM (#12125)
          Monster cables are a valid example of "snake oil". However, input lag is a legitimate concern, and one that can become glaringly apparent when precise, timed mouse movements and keyboard clicks are required.

          What I don't understand is that, despite the original poster saying he ran reaction tests and got different results with different tech, people still want to try to claim he is wrong or misguided. Why can't we just answer the question, or give alternate solutions (use a ps/2 keyboard over usb, for instance)?

          Come on, soylent. We really shouldn't continue that old slashdot "arguing for the sake of arguing" bullshit. We can be way more constructive than that.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @07:45PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @07:45PM (#12153)

            If you have different devices you can test it out for yourself. For example, try the reaction time tests with a macbook pro or similar (with slow IPS screen) try it with mouse, try it with keyboard and try with touchpad. Then attach a CRT to the macbook and try with a decent gaming mouse. For me there's a difference.

            PS/2 devices can also be slow (you can take my word or see the links in the submission e.g. http://www.pstnet.com/eprimedevice.cfm [pstnet.com] ).

            Anyone who doesn't think 50ms makes a difference hasn't played Streetfighter or one of those twitch FPS at a high level. At high levels even 16ms makes a difference. You still need skill of course.

            If anyone wants more useless bullshit they can revisit the first keyboard latency article on slashdot (this is a follow up after all). I don't recommend it though - you might hit Beta ;).

          • (Score: 1) by bugamn on Friday March 07 2014, @02:35AM

            by bugamn (1017) on Friday March 07 2014, @02:35AM (#12416)

            What I don't understand is that, despite the original poster saying he ran reaction tests and got different results with different tech, people still want to try to claim he is wrong or misguided. Why can't we just answer the question, or give alternate solutions (use a ps/2 keyboard over usb, for instance)?

            Because I don't know how rigorous he was with his test and people tend to see the data they want.

            Also, I talk about snake oil because I think that perhaps there isn't much room for improvement. I know that there is bad hardware that can really lag, but I don't believe top gaming keyboard/mice really offer improvements over reasonably priced quality alternatives in this area.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @03:07AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @03:07AM (#12444)

              but I don't believe top gaming keyboard/mice really offer improvements over reasonably priced quality alternatives in this area.
              So what tests have you yourself done to prove your assumption? Or are you just going to say stuff about snake oil etc just because you believe there isn't any difference, without doing any tests of the rigor you expect, or even looking at the links in the submission showing the variation in latency of various input devices (done by others).

      • (Score: 1) by Yog-Yogguth on Friday March 07 2014, @09:39PM

        by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 07 2014, @09:39PM (#12941) Journal

        Oh that kind of rock hunting (actual geology/prospecting). Lol I was picturing an energetic old man "on the loose" with a shovel; digging up random gardens to find favorite pet rocks, and it sounded like a nice quaint hobby I should pick up (I fell into that pun) :)

        Thumbs up to your dad (and of course you're entirely correct).

        --
        Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:23PM (#11980)

      > not sounding normal

      Well, that *is* a problem. -rolls eyes-

    • (Score: 1) by egcagrac0 on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:04PM

      by egcagrac0 (2705) on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:04PM (#12086)

      Keyboards, in this context, are not used strictly for data entry, but for real-time control of a simulation.

      Many of the "gaming" class keyboards also seem to be comfortable (and RSI-resistant) for data entry, fortunately.

      While I personally don't understand why anyone would want anything that's not a Model M [wikipedia.org], I do understand that there are people who are picky about input devices. There are concerns beyond "can I input?", including look, feel, responsiveness, and tactile feedback.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by GeminiDomino on Thursday March 06 2014, @12:58PM

    by GeminiDomino (661) on Thursday March 06 2014, @12:58PM (#11891)

    If it's gaming you're going to use your keyboard for, there's something else you didn't mention in your Ask that may very well end up being more important than latency: n-Rollover. In my experience (YMMV depending on the sort of games that you play), it's possible to need to have 4 or 5 keys held at once through the course of a game (platformers are particularly demanding, with combinations like Crouch + Jump + Forward + Strafe + Attack, all in the same move).

    Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for an inexpensive one, as I've seen the range from "pricy" to "are they kidding?"

    --
    "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:09PM (#11899)

    Why is there a latency at all for a normal keyboard? isn't the key down and key up events sent directly when they happen? I really don't understand why there be any "polling" involved...
    is that some way to make it cheaper to produce and save on some of the wiring (I mean the lines to keys painted on the plastic sheets in the keyboard that you connect when pressing a key) or on the little chip in the keyboard?
    I know there is some stupid keyboards that have severe limits on how many keys (and which) can be held down at the same time but that is a complete other problem.

    It could be interesting to read if someone here knows the inner workings

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Kilo110 on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:14PM

      by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:14PM (#11900)

      USB Keyboard work by polling. PS/2 Keyboards use hardware level interrupts.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by gallondr00nk on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:45PM

        by gallondr00nk (392) on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:45PM (#11917)

        The answer then would be to find a good quality used PS/2 keyboard, perhaps a Cherry or Model M. I assume that a PS/2 mouse would be faster as well?

        It might be something as simple as buying a couple of USB -> PS/2 adapters?

        I'm not sure if it's still true, but a lot of LCD monitors displays used to add a good 50-100ms onto latency as well. It's still true of TVs. A lot of speedrun gamers using old consoles insist on using a CRT TV, because the postprocessing in an LCD TV adds lag.

        • (Score: 1) by tempest on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:21PM

          by tempest (3050) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:21PM (#11938)

          Most "serious gaming keyboards" have PS2 connectors due to the n-key rollover issue. Personally I think "keyboard lag" is absurd, but if he's got problems with keys sticking, his whole keyboard is messed up so perhaps that's a really issue for him.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by mechanicjay on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:30PM

          by mechanicjay (7) <{mechanicjay} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:30PM (#11986) Homepage Journal
          A USB -> PS/2 adapter doesn't change the fact that you're still polling for keyboard input. Better USB -> PS/2 adapters don't have N-key rollover issues. I guess there is a enough on-chip logic to handle it. I wonder if that makes keyboard response faster or slower though.
          --
          My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:57PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:57PM (#12240)

          Posting AC to avoid undoing moderation...

          This is key right here. PS/2 is interrupt driven, and USB is not only polled, but shared, and hub-ed, which means the polling is tree-ed out down the hubs. The more USB things plugged in the worse it gets, even of those things are simply other USB ports with a built in HUB.

          If you know your motherboard, you can make sure your keyboard/mouse is not shearing a header with anything else (external disk drives, thumb drives, wifi, sound devices, SD card readers, etc), and this will make a big difference. Most people don't realize just how widely their USB devices fan out. Polling has to ask each device if it has data to send, and even no response takes time to check.

          I always use PS2 keyboard for game play, although I've found I can get by with a wireless USB mouse if I keep it on a separate USB header. I've tried wireless and wired USB keyboards and they are quite inferior.

      • (Score: 1) by bill_mcgonigle on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:32PM

        by bill_mcgonigle (1105) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:32PM (#11946)

        Yes, the submitter should use any old cheap PS/2 keyboard to determine if his latency issue is really in the keyboard, or if it's in the USB stack, a hub, the USB interface itself, etc.

        Anybody can stick in some buffer logic that's too big or unnecessary.

        That said, there are some serious sampling devices that are USB-based that are used for real science, etc. There must be an established method for measuring USB bus latency from the app to the PHY on the device.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by len_harms on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:20PM

          by len_harms (1904) on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:20PM (#11979) Journal

          Also keep in mind the latency may not even be at the keyboard level.

          I plugged my laptop into a 55 inch lcd. Massive lag of up to a 1/4 a second. HDMI introduces a decent amount of processing. The TV itself also had a bunch of filters for smoothing. Even the length of the HDMI cable introduced a bit of lag. Switched out the laptop for a newer model (faster hdmi encoder chip). Turned off each tv smoothing mode and made the cable shorter (10ft to 3ft). The lag is mostly gone but still there.

          I can play most games on it now. My wife however is unable to finish the second board on pacman because of it. Yet she can usually get to the keys level on her laptop.

    • (Score: 1) by WizardFusion on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:25PM

      by WizardFusion (498) on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:25PM (#11903) Journal

      Not sure why parent was modded down, maybe because you were posting as AC. It does seem like a reasonable question, one I would like an answer too as well.

  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by WizardFusion on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:29PM

    by WizardFusion (498) on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:29PM (#11908) Journal

    250.40ms not bad

    (http://cognitivefun.net/stat/1)

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by scruffybeard on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:38PM

    by scruffybeard (533) on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:38PM (#11915)

    I am not a big gamer, so I cannot talk specifically to keyboards, but I wonder if your looking for a product that does not exist at a price you are willing to pay. Given the specificity of your question, you are likely in a niche market of high performance equipment. There is possibly no budget version. The best example I can think of is when I purchased GPU cards for a server at work a few years ago. I discovered that the prices for "ordinary" cards ranged from $50 to $800, while the high performance cards started around $1500. There were few offerings in that middle area, and none met the higher performance criteria we were looking for.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:23PM (#12026)
      Although graphic card technology frequently changes, keyboards have been a staple of the computer industry since day one. Have you considered looking for a good used keyboard?

      In the Seattle area there's a store called RE*PC [repc.com] that collects used equipment, refurbishes it, and sells it. They also sell some of their inventory online.
      • (Score: 1) by scruffybeard on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:24PM

        by scruffybeard (533) on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:24PM (#12093)

        Almost all the 2nd hand PC shops in my area have closed up. Almost all are online now. This might be a good option. Some older keyboards are almost indestructible.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Kilo110 on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:47PM

    by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @01:47PM (#11919)

    I must say, I have heard of display lag, and of course network lag, but this is the first time I've ever heard of keyboard lag.

    I'm doubtful you're even noticing this one or two frame lag, let alone be able to trace it back to the keyboard. I think you're just imagining it.

    But it sounds like no reasoning can convince you otherwise, so why don't you just use a ps/2 keyboard? They work by interrupts and I'm not sure you can't reduce any more lag then sending an interrupt to the cpu.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:35PM (#11990)

      Computers very rarely have ps/2 ports now. I cannot think of a computer from the last 6 years aside from a server that has had ps/2 ports.

      • (Score: 1) by Kilo110 on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:15PM

        by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:15PM (#12017)

        These days computers pre made from the major manufacturers don't have them. But computers built from parts such as from Asus or MSI mostly have ps2 ports.

        Then there's also the option of adding ps/2 ports through a PCI Express card

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:46PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:46PM (#12042)

        that sounds scary. I haven't bought any new computer for many years now, but some rainy day in the future I probably have to - do you mean it can problematic to find a new one with as basic requirements as ps/2 mouse&keyboard connectors today?

        Well, when saying "buying computer" I really mean buying a new motherboard, new cpu, new memory etc... is the same problem for that? Maybe I should go look for motherboard now already before it is too late, even though my current one still works fine (and hopefully some more years) and is fast enough for my current needs, so I have it later when I need it?

        my requirements
        * ps/2 for mouse and keyboard
        * printer port
        * somewhere pins on the motherboard to connect serial port
        * floppy connector
        * at least one PATA
        * at least two PCI
        * no UEFI

        • (Score: 1) by Kilo110 on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:23PM

          by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:23PM (#12255)

          If your workload really requires all of that, and you cannot use addon cards or usb versions, then it might be a good idea to buy a motherboard now.

      • (Score: 1) by tibman on Friday March 07 2014, @02:52AM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 07 2014, @02:52AM (#12436)

        Maybe on pre-built machines (bleh). It's rare to find a mobo that doesn't have PS/2 though. If you do it's because the mobo is probably really tiny and they cut it to save space.
        http://www.newegg.com/Motherboards/Category/ID-20 [newegg.com]
        http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/g uidedSearch.asp?CatId=13 [tigerdirect.com]

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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08 2014, @02:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 08 2014, @02:49PM (#13192)

          a bit worrying trend is that some of the motherboards there have only one ps/2 connector so you can only have either a mouse or a keyboard, not both without having to buy a splitter.

          On the other hand I have always thought it would be nice to connect the mouse to the keyboard instead of all the way down to the computer too, Anyone know ps/2 keyboards that have a ps/2 connector on the side or the back where you can connect the mouse? Perhaps it is not too hard to modify a keyboard, stealing an connector from an old broken motherboard... but I guess the keyboard cable don't have all the six wires in them? :-(

          Only problem is that the mouse cable is too damn long then I guess

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by quitte on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:10PM

      by quitte (306) on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:10PM (#12014) Journal

      Most of the lag is most likely introduced by the debouncing. Debouncing is surprisingly hard to get right. Ever felt like a keypress was registered too often or you pressed a key and it didn't register? or you let go of a key and it registered as another keypress? I can easily believe that keyboards and mice are a major issue for gamers because of some experiments with debouncing.

      • (Score: 1) by Kilo110 on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:19PM

        by Kilo110 (2853) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:19PM (#12022)

        In my multiple decades of using a computer and gaming on a PC no I have never experienced that

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @10:09PM (#12247)

        The keyboard controller used by one of Alienware's ODMs (Clevo, I think) is notorious for poor debouncing. Basically, it samples the keyswitch matrix at a relatively low rate to reduce power consumption, and its debounce algorithm has two meaningful delay values... the default one is a little bit longer than optimal (causing occasional dropped keystrokes), and the one you can hack it to use is a little bit shorter than optimal (causing occasional phantom double keystrokes). Both problems occur mainly if the user either types faster than 100wpm, or is a gamer who needs low-latency key input.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by moondrake on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:12PM

    by moondrake (2658) on Thursday March 06 2014, @02:12PM (#11934)

    Most people score >200 ms on those test simply because the human reaction to visual stimuli is about 200 ms (well, 190 ms on average for college-age individuals[1]). Added to that that the test results on the linked site is prone to bias (you will get better at it after trying several times), the average will be a bit over 200 ms.

    Keyboard latency is hardly a factor here, it should be far less than 10 ms [2]. But simply the travel for the click to register (which is why a mouse could be slightly faster) also plays a role. And the OS and application can also add several 10s of ms. Linux has gotten better over the years, but you still have spikes or some broken drivers. Windows is often much worse (a possible advantage of SteamOS!). I leave finding a good ref for this to the reader, but a quick google for input latency turns up several interesting hits.

    On the whole, I do not believe it makes much sense to worry about, unless you got a particular bad keyboard or driver.

    Also, slashdot covered something similar before [3].

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_chronometry [wikipedia.org]
    [2] http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=39705 13&cid=44277775 [slashdot.org] check the parent posts as well!
    [3] http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/13/07/13/133123 5/ask-slashdot-low-latency-ps2usb-gaming-keyboards [slashdot.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @07:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06 2014, @07:22PM (#12141)

      I score 160-180 using gaming gear. I score 200+ on non gaming gear(e.g. crappy PS/2 keyboard (some are fast, some are slow) or slow IPS screen or worse touchpad). So gear does make a significant difference. 50ms is a big difference for many games (FPS, fighting games, even some MMOs).

      Maybe the real reason for all those 200+ms scores is most people aren't using low latency gear for their tests? It's not so simple to get latency tests right, and many of the old tests might have been done more for comparison (male-female, old-young) and not to get the "correct" figures. Say in the old days you use an incandescent bulbs for telling a test subject to press a button so how long does it take a cold bulb to glow bright enough? This claims 30ms for incandescent lights: http://www.techtransfer.berkeley.edu/newsletter/03 -2/bus-pics.php [berkeley.edu]
      This claims 200ms for incandescent and 20ms for LEDs (go figure): http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/12/13/fsummit.cli mate.lightbulb/ [cnn.com]
      Granted some might be rather "big" bulbs, but it shows there are many factors. If they didn't use bulbs, what did researchers use back then? Mechanical stuff? It's not so simple...

      Sometimes a simple switch is not so simple either. And modern day keyboards are worse - even if a keyboard is connected via a fast interface the keyboard's internal key scanning system itself might have latencies. Not all of it is obvious look at the submission's other links for examples - keyboards and mice with the same interfaces can have very different latencies.

    • (Score: 1) by bugamn on Friday March 07 2014, @02:40AM

      by bugamn (1017) on Friday March 07 2014, @02:40AM (#12420)

      Funny how that Slashdot thread has a comment about how much has Slashdot sunk based on that topic.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @06:19AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @06:19AM (#12515)
        That that question was asked shows you how far slashdot has sunk from the days where more slashdotters actually knew how their hardware worked and the _actual_ specs and characteristics because they were nerds/geeks who were interested in how things worked (and often even had/built the equipment to test it).

        Slashdotters nowadays are a bunch who prefer stories with more politics, bitcoin and "ask slashdot how to do my job" than actual technical stuff.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by middlemen on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:00PM

    by middlemen (504) on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:00PM (#11968) Homepage

    Problem: You need a keyboard to play games which will use a subset of keys from the real 108+ key keyboard.

    Solution: using a microcontroller or a cheap CPLD, you can build a pseudo-keyboard that can remap keys to the expected values and send them at the same rate if not faster to the PS/2 or USB port that your keyboard is attached to. Reprogramming allows you to make nuanced optimizations that generic keyboards do not have. You can then have a keyboard with some 10-12 keys to handle everything.

    Yes, these things are called joysticks too !

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by mrider on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:33PM

    by mrider (3252) on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:33PM (#11988)

    http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keybo ard-guide/ [overclock.net]

    This does not answer your question. However, you will most likely find this worthwhile reading. One thing - if you are going to be gaming, you'll definitely want a PS/2 keyboard, not USB. USB is sufficiently fast, but has a lower limit on the number of simultaneously-pressed keys it can detect than PS/2.

    --

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    Me: "Only when my bluetooth is charged."

  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by mmcmonster on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:35PM

    by mmcmonster (401) on Thursday March 06 2014, @03:35PM (#11991)

    I was wondering why backlit USB keyboards aren't popular.

    Only a couple reasons I could think of:
    1 - The LED backlighting and ambient light sensors must be more expensive than would support a commodity product
    2 - A driver would be necessary for the OS to turn the backlight off when the screensaver was on

    Any other thoughts? Or do they exist and just outside my price range?

    • (Score: 1) by Urlax on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:12PM

      by Urlax (3027) on Thursday March 06 2014, @04:12PM (#12016)

      why would you ask the PC?

      just turn of the leds if there was no input for 10 minutes. that happens to be the default timeout for screensavers, so that the majority of people won't notice.

      (not that screensavers have any use with LCD's, as long as you don't have a static image for 2 weeks straight)

      but anyways, i don't see much cheak backlit keyboards, so maybe they only have high-end stuff

    • (Score: 1) by Dachannien on Thursday March 06 2014, @05:41PM

      by Dachannien (2494) on Thursday March 06 2014, @05:41PM (#12071)

      I had a backlit USB keyboard for a while, and I hated it (the backlight, anyway). When it was in my peripheral vision, I could actually just barely detect the flash rate. It had multiple brightness settings, and apparently, it used PWM to adjust the brightness, at a rate that was just a little bit too slow.

    • (Score: 1) by Aiwendil on Thursday March 06 2014, @11:40PM

      by Aiwendil (531) on Thursday March 06 2014, @11:40PM (#12311) Journal

      I would guess on that they are unpopular because one really doesn't want a lightsource in the periphial vision.. also very few (ie: none) backlight keyboards I've seen allow for low enough light to avoid being blinding.

      Or another theory of why backlit keyboards are unpopular: Because many of us fail to see the point of it? (seriously, can someone explain why? or is it just bling?)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @04:10AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @04:10AM (#12477)

      from my experience, the correct answer would be 1.

      a mechanical keyboard with LED backlit keys will cost at least twice the non-backlit version (even if they're using the same switch).

      the price scaling is insane.

  • (Score: 2) by Marand on Thursday March 06 2014, @11:23PM

    by Marand (1081) on Thursday March 06 2014, @11:23PM (#12299) Journal

    This might be bordering being off-topic, because I have no idea about the latency, but I started using a Roccat [roccat.org] keyboard and mouse a couple months ago, and they're both excellent. I have the Isku and Kone+, which are priced decently for "gaming" hardware, but they also have a higher-cost mechanical keyboard that uses Cherry switches, and lets you choose which type of switches you want to use.

    I mention it because they have good Linux support: all the features work, including the keyboard/mouse cross-communication stuff that I never expected to be usable. They made an effort to work with a Linux dev to get things supported better, and it shows.

    I found out about them because the Kone+ mouse has a similar size and feel to the mouse I replaced, the discontinued Logitech MX518. I looked into Logitech's updated version of it, but it had flaky Linux support so I went hunting alternatives and ended up replacing the keyboard as well in the process.