Control key problem information

Discuss peripherals for the XO and power management.

Control key problem information

Postby intrader » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:59 pm

I have an G1G1 XO that is exhibiting the "Control Key" problem.
I started to have this problem when I updated unsuccessfully to 691 and reverted back to 656; during this restore process I saw message stating that the firmware was being updated.

I have followed this problem in various forums and I now conclude that IN MY CASE IT IS NOT A HARDWARE PROBLEM. I have experienced the problem with an external keyboard!

The reason I conclude that this is not a hardware problem is that I connected an external keyboard and this keyboard exhibits the "Control Key" problem ---> for example if I type the letter 'o', it opens the journal activity, typing letter 'h' backspaces, etc. etc. Obviously not the keyboard on the XO!

What seems to be happening is that there is some state in the keyboard handler that gets set by some action and remains so until I reboot.

I hope the moderator pays attention to this 'problem' that is plaguing so many XOs. Most think it is a hardware problem with the keyboard and have disassembled and cleaned. The problem may go away on account of rebooting or rewriting the firmware.
Thanks
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby alanpater » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:13 pm

An external keyboard does not disable the internal keyboard.

Have you run the hardware test by holding down left < when booting?
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby intrader » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:42 pm

I am aware that the usb keyboard does not disable the laptop's keyboard. BUT, since I observe that without touching the XO, while using the USB keyboard, I get the "Control key" problem, I concluded that this is a problem with the handler software on the XO's fedora that gets into the problem via some action on the usb keyboard;
.
I have not run diagnostics. I will try now, but I am not certain, you are mentioning the < (what key is that? the home key?) or the '<' key.

Rebooting with the home key does nothing
Rebooting with the < key does nothing
Rebooting with with the Shift < key does nothing

I will wait for help on tthis
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby alanpater » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:30 pm

Sorry, I did not know what it was called. It is the rocker on the left lower side of the screen. Press the left side (<). You should then be prompted to release the key, at which point the diagnostic tests should start.
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby intrader » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:43 pm

I have run the tests
The CTRL key sticks in the pressed position. I can make it blink momentarily by hitting on it, but it stays on.
Is this conclusive as to the keyboard?.

I will run the tests with the usb keyboard now. The test program does not listen to that keyboard. Test can't be run.
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby kelru2000 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:45 pm

You've got the sticky keys!

If it is within the 30 days, you can send it back for repair. If it is older than that, you can take it apart yourself. If the key will unstick for long enough, you follow the workaround here:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Sticky_Keys

This should allow you to use your usb keyboard without a problem.

Good luck!

Karl
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby intrader » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:14 pm

Thanks for your recommendation.

It is probably not what I observed with the USB keyboard (I may have touched the OLPC keyboard).

What puzzles me is that I use the CTRL key only in rare occasions. So why does it turn CTRL on when I have not touched the key?

Thanks
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby tsdguy » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:21 pm

Because the either the spacers in between the conductive sheets are weak or their is some sort of contamination in there and so the sheets don't break the connection after one presses the key.

Until OLPC gets our replacement keyboards, some folks have temporarily resolved this issue by taking apart the keyboard and cleaning the contacts between the surfaces. I have also recommended adding some rubber sheeting (like from clean gloves) around the CTRL key to help the spacers rebound the conductive surfaces.

NOTE that taking apart the keyboard is not recommended and I already have spoken to someone that has broken a circuit trace and wiped out a whole section.
Foes: kentsin, InterNetZoo
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby intrader » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:34 pm

How sad that OLPC is not owning up to the problem. Can you imagine the 240000 machines going to Peru having this problem?
This got to be handled

Thanks for the help, and for now I am using the OLPC as a clock with the clock activity
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby alanpater » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:05 am

You can disable the stuck ctrl key. As you are using a USB keyboard, that should be all you need.

You can also remap the ctrl to the left hand key. Instructions are on wiki.laptop.org/go/Stuck_keys.
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby intrader » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:24 am

Thanks for the info.

Is there something that the OLPC organization can do about the problem. This is serious in my opinion.
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby alanpater » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:27 am

Can't speak for them, but from what I read on the wiki and support pages, they are very aware of the issue and are working with their suppliers to fix the issue.
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby mattd » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:41 pm

I've just started having the sticky keyboard issue (after having my XO for a little better than a month, of course).

I took it apart and cleaned the keyboard, but it still happens. I've even pulled the rubber cover up so it is not even touching the ctl key. Still happens. Rub the contacts it with cover up. Still happens.

So it looks like it's a problem with the actual contacts getting stuck, not neccessarily the glue they used to keep the keyboard down.

At any rate, I've got a mini-usb keyboard on the way so I'll soon be rid of the problem altogether. And with a friendlier keyboard to boot.
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby intrader » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:09 am

what is the mini usb keyboard you are getting?
I also have the mouse problem from time to time.
How can these machines be shipping in quantity?
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Re: Control key problem information

Postby davewa » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:59 am

My first XO was RMA'd for a stuck Alt key (after about 30 hours of use). My second XO just failed with a stuck Ctrl key (after 100 hours of use).

IMO, OLPC has made a machine which is good for about two months of serious classroom use. They'd better ramp up a second production line at Quanta just for making spare keyboards.
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