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Arabic MSX Keyboard


http://www.passionmsx.org/modules/xcgal/index.php?cat=28

The Arabic MSX keyboard is used in the generic MSX Arabic and MSX2 Arabic machines.

Here's the list of the concerned specific machines (* = this machine is without numeric keypad) :

- MSX machines : Al-Alamiah AX-170 (*)

-
MSX2 machines : Al Alamiah AX-350 (*) / Al Alamiah AX-370

The MSX keyboard is very similar to a standard PC keyboard. The typewrite keys are almost the same as well as the numeric keypad. The Caps key toggles bigger sized alphabet characters in normal mode.

You can use this keyboard as a "normal" European MSX keyboard by pressing LeftCTRL when booting.

The MSX keyboard has five physical function keys. To access function key 6 to 10, you need to hold down the SHIFT key and press one of the keys F1 to F5.

As some MSX keys don't exist on a PC keyboard, the emulator makes also some adjustements to support the complete MSX keyboard :
- the PC key before the "1" key is used for emulate the extrem right MSX key on the third row
- the extrem right PC key on the third row is used to emulate the extrem right MSX key on the first row

Specific MSX keys are mapped to the following PC keyboard keys :

MSX key   PC key    
         
Select   End   Used in some games and applications (it's also the case of the Esc key).
Stop   Page Up   Allows to pause and resume a task in the MSX-BASIC or MSX-DOS environment. When you press this key while holding the Ctrl key, the current task will be abruptly broken.
Clr Home   Home   Allows to move the cursor to the top left of the screen. If you press Shift + Clr Home, the screen will be cleared.
Graph   Left Alt   - Arabic keyboard mode : when pressing it with some normal characters, you have directly access to MSX-BASIC commands, just exactly as it is the case with the function keys. Can be combined with Shift.

- European keyboard mode : gives graphical characters by pressing it with a normal character. Can be combined with Shift.

Code   Right Alt   - Arabic keyboard mode : toggles between Arabic and normal mode (if you don't have pressed LeftCTRL when booting). As each pressing on Return (Enter) leads back to normal mode, you need to use this toggle many times when entering texts.

There are actually 2 Arabic modes : it's better to select the mode (F2 for mode 1 - F7 = Shift + F2 for mode 0) and enter the BASIC command _arb1 or _arb0 before pressing the Code key.

You can also go back to normal mode by using the function key F8 (= Shift + F3) , then pressing on Return (Enter) to enter the BASIC command _engl

- European keyboard mode : gives special or accented characters by pressing it with a normal character. Can be combined with Shift.

Comma on numpad   Page Down    
Accent Mark   Right Ctrl   Allows to put an accent mark on a vowel. You need to press it, alone or with control key(s), then to press on the vowel key

* Arabic keyboard mode :

- Accent Mark then the vowel key : accent circumflex (^). Example : .
- Code + Accent Mark
then the vowel key : umlaut / accent diresis (). Example :

* European keyboard mode :

- Accent Mark then the vowel key : accent grave (`). Example : .
- Shift + Accent Mark
then the vowel key : accent acute (). Example : .
- Code
+ Accent Mark then the vowel key : accent circumflex (^). Example : .
- Shift + Code + Accent Mark
then the vowel key : umlaut / accent diresis (). Example :


The tables underneath show you how to generate special characters with key-combinations of your PC keyboard :

Normal mode   Normal mode + Shift
 
Arabic mode 0   Arabic mode 0 + Shift
 
Arabic mode 1   Arabic mode 1 + Shift
 
Code (European mode)   Code + Shift (European mode)
 
Graph (European mode)   Graph + Shift (European mode)
 

The extrem right character of the fourth row is the Accent Mark.


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