Making the GigaWare 2600460 Keyboard Work With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

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.