numeric lock always on, also before login screen, why not default?

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ElStellino
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numeric lock always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by ElStellino » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:17 pm

Why the numeric lock can’t always be enabled by default (before the login) out of the box, and one has to look for solutions to disable it instead, in the über rare event they need it disabled?
This always puzzles me when I install a new system, and Mint 18 isn’t exempt either.

Yes, I know the solution, and I also know that it’s easy enough (not for a newbie though)…

Yet I don’t comprehend why the BIOS settings get overridden by the OS.

Any insight, please?
Last edited by ElStellino on Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: numeric pad always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by Distro-Don » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:06 pm

I agree, they SHOULD always be on. I don't know why anyone would want it off but if they did, itr would be simple to opt-out.

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Re: numeric pad always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by Cosmo. » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:54 pm

There exist 3 simple reasons for not having it on by default:

1. Users without a separate numeric keyboard on the right site would be really unlucky, if the would have to turn if off every time, to get full access to the alphanumeric keyboard at all.

2. Numeric keys do also exist on the alphanumeric keyboard. There is no urgent need for the numeric keyboard. Especially if you use a good password and not something like 1 2 3.

3. For systems with multiple accounts it is very easy to switch users with the default login theme by pressing the up / down keys - without having num lock set to on.

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Re: numeric pad always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by ElStellino » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:53 pm

Thanks Cosmo,

But…
I honestly don’t understand reason number 1, seriously. As I see it, for example Bluetooth can be enabled by default, but it doesn’t change absolutely anything to me as I don’t have a Bluetooth connection anyway, if you understand what I mean… Am I wrong?
I set in fact in my old laptop the numeric pad on (in the BIOS, and under Windows 7) and everything works anyway.

Number 2 is debatable, too: in darkness you find better numbers on the numeric pad and that’s the very precise reason the numeric pad exists.
My password isn’t 1234 but it does contain also numbers, and I just find them there with ease. I bet I am not alone in this.

Finally, number 3… don’t all the keyboards have up-down-lef-right keys anyway? Why having them double?

But this question remains and probably it’s the core of the issue: if the BIOS says “numeric pad on”, why the OS has to change it?
Couldn’t it be numeric pad = “as set on BIOS”?
Then, if one has necessity to have it off for some odd reason, it leaves it off from the BIOS where it isn’t difficult to do it.
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Re: numeric pad always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by Cosmo. » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:44 pm

See this picture as an example. (Yes, it is an ancient model, but it is the best picture I found to show the point we are talking about.) Look at the keys U I O J K L and will see, what I mean. Suppose num lock would be on by default and password would contain any of those letter (and also O Ü Ä Ö, in the sum 10 out of the 26 letters of the alphabet, that is more than one third), what then? Owner of laptops with such or similar keyboards would have to disable num lock at every log on.

Regarding point 2: How do you find in the dark the alphanumerical keys? If you really do not have such a "password", which only contains numbers, you have to use them anyway.
The reason for a numeric keyboard IMO are cases, where you have to enter numerous numbers; e.g. if you use the calculator or you enter numbers in a Calc-spreadsheet. Nothing, what can be done on the login screen.

Point 3: Some more and some less comfortable reachable.

You ask, why does Mint not honor the BIOS setting. I ask, why shouldn't this be done by the OS? The usual user does not regularly go into the BIOS settings and there are some of them, who feel very uncomfortable to enter them. In ancient days those old OS did not have a function to switch num lock by software, so the BIOS way was the only option. In my eyes this BIOS setting is a remnant out of this time, nothing more.
BTW: My BIOS has not such a setting, but it enables num lock automatically. I am indeed very unhappy, that out of this reason I cannot use the cursor keys on my keypad (yes, I have one) without the need to press num lock at first to disable it.

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Re: numeric pad always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by Distro-Don » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:43 am

Could someone please set something up where all interested parties could vote for their preference, num-lock on or off?

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Re: numeric pad always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by ElStellino » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:53 am

Cosmo. wrote:
Thanks, I wasn’t aware of such kind of keyboard.

My keyboard(s) have the keys F and J with a little raised line, and being translator and typing (words) all day long I don’t need to look at the keyboard, almost. Numbers is a different story, because I don’t type them that much and having them in line is the best way to mistype them (without looking, for instance) And I am used typing them with my right hand on the numeric pad section of the full keyboard.

Point 3: it obviously depends on the keyboard, it would be nice to have a sort of survey in which people would have their say, to see which is the most common kind of keyboard, and preference—like Distro-Don suggested.
I think that if numlockx was already installed in the system, it would be far less complicated to switch it off for the odd (because I seriously suspect that whoever wants their numeric lock off is in minority) occasion that someone needs it off (even if somebody is totally new to Linux), than for a newbie to start looking for a program, to learn how to set it up (because it doesn’t have a GUI), and to succeed.

Ultimately, it would be the user-friendliness of the system gaining, in both cases.

Distro-Don wrote:Could someone please set something up where all interested parties could vote for their preference, num-lock on or off?
+1, I agree 110%
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Re: numeric lock always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by InkKnife » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:02 pm

There used to be a setting in MDM to have num lock on but it was removed and that removal is very, very annoying.
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Re: numeric lock always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by Pjotr » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:30 pm

InkKnife wrote:There used to be a setting in MDM to have num lock on but it was removed and that removal is very, very annoying.
Solution: sudo apt-get install numlockx :mrgreen:
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Re: numeric lock always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by Cosmo. » Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:20 pm

InkKnife wrote:There used to be a setting in MDM to have num lock on but it was removed and that removal is very, very annoying.
It is grayed out (until you install the package named by Pjotr), but it is also in LM 18 still there.

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Re: numeric lock always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by InkKnife » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:20 pm

Pjotr wrote:
InkKnife wrote:There used to be a setting in MDM to have num lock on but it was removed and that removal is very, very annoying.
Solution: sudo apt-get install numlockx :mrgreen:
Thank you very much! :D
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Re: numeric pad always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by ostracized » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:39 am

ElStellino wrote: I think that if numlockx was already installed in the system, it would be far less complicated...
The suggestion was posted on the mate 18 beta page so the devs have at least already read the suggestion. In regards to unlocking sda_crypt, I believe there is still no solution to know if the numlock indicator has been toggled or not.

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Re: numeric lock always on, also before login screen, why not default?

Post by ElStellino » Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:05 am

ostracized wrote: The suggestion was posted on the mate 18 beta page so the devs have at least already read the suggestion. In regards to unlocking sda_crypt, I believe there is still no solution to know if the numlock indicator has been toggled or not.
Thanks ostracized, having at least numlockx pre-installed in the system would be a grand enough solution for everybody, and nobody would complain.
Then, even if the numeric lock was off by default but there was a GUI choice in the settings, it would be fairly simple to set it on for any user, newbie or not.

I didn’t understand the encryption bit, though.
On an encrypted Home foder the Num Lock LED wouldn’t lit? I seriously don’t understand, sorry.

20170303 edit: Adding this because next time I don’t want to waste time looking for it.
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