This laptop originally ran Windows XP, with support for five proprietary one-touch keys, and modifier key keystrokes (using the "Windows", "Applications" and "fn" modifier keys) to launch applications instantly and/or change common hardware settings such as screen brightness and sound levels. I reloaded the laptop with Linux Mint Nadia XFCE, which works great - except that only a couple of the one-touch keys actually worked out of the box - specifically, the "mail" key, which launches Thunderbird, and the "Applications" key, which invokes the context menu of the current application. I changed the Menu->Settings->Keyboard->Layout Tab to various keyboards without any improvement. Using a console, I ran showkey -s and showkey -k to retrieve the scancodes and keycodes of the special keys, and this is what I came up with:
"mail" - E0 6C (down) E0 EC (release), keycode 155
"find" - no codes
"internet" - E0 32 (down) E0 B2 (release), keycode 172
"quick lock" - no codes
"help" - no codes
Special Modifier / Modified keys that return codes
"Application" - E0 5D (down) E0 DD (release), keycode 127
"Windows" ("Super") - E0 5B (down) E0 DB (release), keycode 125
fn-QuickLock 46 (down) C6 (release), keycode 70
fn-PageUp (Volume Up) E0 30 (down) E0 B0 (release), keycode 115
fn-PageDn (Volume Dn) E0 2E (down) E0 AE (release), keycode 114
fn-BackSpace (Mute) E0 20 (down) E0 A0 (release), keycode 113
The keyboard is recognized as an "AT translated set 2 keyboard", with 101/102 keys supported. Using the Keytouch and Keytouch Editor, I checked the event channels for other key combinations - no luck. dmesg does not complain about any unrecognized keys.
A bit of googling (ex: http://lwn.net/Articles/284113/) seems to indicate that many compaq / hp laptops require the hp-specific kernel drivers acpi_hp and hp-wmi to be loaded to enable certain acpi events and special keys to be recognized. However, I I am enough of a newbie to Debian-based Linuxes that have not been able to find the necessary drivers, and I don't know how to load them at kernel startup. Would more experienced users please give me any pointers on how to solve my keyboard issues?