Making the GigaWare 2600460 Keyboard Work With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

By | November 18, 2020

There was a time when RadioShack was cool and when it had some great cheap products. The GigaWare 2600460 keyboard was one such product. This is sometimes listed as 26-460 and sometimes just called the GigaWare Multimedia keyboard.

It has a pleasant and unusual feel when typing. Some of the modern keyboards are like banging your fingers onto the table top with each stroke. Other membrane keyboards have a bad habit of starting out great but after half a million keystrokes they get so soft your fingers hurt all the way back past the middle knuckle after a few short minutes of typing. The GigaWare 2600460 keyboard doesn’t seem to suffer from that.

Before you stutter and stammer about the half a million keystrokes, you need to consider the life many of us lead today. Between writing software and writing books I’m always cycling through keyboards. Someone counted at one of my client sites with some kind of source analysis tool back when I was thirty something and I had over half a million lines of code in production. I’m north of fifty now and haven’t really slowed down. If anything, the book writing and blog posting has me typing more so today than in my youth. I used to take time out to actually date then.

For some people a keyboard is just what they have to use and for others finding the best one for the job is a personal thing. I write about keyboards often. I’ve even written about RadioShack before. I was a child at a time when RadioShack was cool. I’ve even encouraged other writers to have many different types and styles of keyboards because changing them out and re-learning where the critical keys are can really jar loose the brain.

Audio Keys

Audio control buttons

Normally I only “bud out” when at a client site. I dip into my stash of “space music” and drowned out the distractions around me. I my own office I rarely listen because I want to hear if someone drives up. The remote thing had me missing my space music lately. The volume up/down worked, but the other audio controls did not. Most annoying.

Step 1

Step 1 – click the down arrowhead in the upper right corner (assuming standard desktop and layout) of your screen, then choose settings.

Step 2

Step 2 – Choose Keyboard Shortcuts on the settings menu.

Step 3

Step 3 – click the magnifying glass to open the search window and begin typing “audio” until you see the above shortcuts. You then click on one to see the following.

Step 4

Step 4 – press the key you want to use and save. Repeat for all of the audio controls. Yes, I found it odd the volume up/down didn’t have any shortcuts assigned yet actually worked.

Browser Navigation Keys

Browser keys

I did not find any browser navigation shortcut keys in that menu. Mozilla Firefox seems to recognize the three keys on the far left as backward, forward, and reload. Good enough.

Email Home and Search

Right side of keyboard

Might as well make them all work at this point.

Email client shortcut
Home shortcut

I could never see myself wanting this key to be the home folder shortcut when you have the file navigation thing on the menu so I mapped it to the browser home page. You can map (or not) as you see fit.

Search

Now all of the “special” keys do something and the keyboard still types nice.

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About seasoned_geek

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc. A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born. Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy: Infinite Exposure Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.