I built a ruby wrapper for the linux evdev interface. evdev is an interface that lets you work with various linux input devices – touchscreens and mouses and joysticks and keyboards.
So what can you do with this?
- Well, you can map the interesting (yet unused) buttons on your keyboards and mice to ruby functions. Even those crazy buttons like volume up and down are fair game
- If you are the sort of person who can never have too many buttons, you could even attach an additional usb keyboard and have 100+ additional ruby programmable keys to play with (this would require just a tiny bit of xorg.conf playing…but ask me an I’ll explain it).
- You can control your keyboard LEDs and have them flash when interesting events occur (like mail, or when you’re missing a meeting)
I’ve written one sample app. It takes data on STDIN and outputs to your scroll lock LED in morse code. Just like in Cryptonomicon!
Note that because this has a c extension in it, you’ll have to recompile it on your linux system. It’s super easy. Go to the root and type “ruby extconf.rb”…this will generate a Makefile. Then type “make” and you should be good to go.