The Parrot Keyboard

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The Software

Like most hardware, without the appropriate software I would have an interesting dust collector to put in the basement.

Software "About"  form

I developed an operating infrastructure (all right, a computer program) that receives and acts on the key codes received from the bird keyboard.

The program:

Mapping keys to codes

  1. Provides a way to map the 5 characters generated from the hardware (which for a specific salvaged PC keyboard circuit board, might be just any 5 printing characters) to keys numbered 1 to 5
  2. Provides several modes of operation - things like
    • Any key produces the same sound and picture
    • Each key produces a different sound and picture
    • Each key produces a musical note
    • Each key produces a different geometric shape and the plays the name of the shape as a sound
    • Each key shows a different fruit and plays the name of the fruit as a sound
    • And so forth
  3. The ability to auto-start in the current mode

    "ini" file for files of sounds and images

  4. A configuration file that preserved the program settings, options, modes, location and names of the image and sound files from execution to execution

    Data in CSV format

  5. Logging of all information about the use of the keyboard, either as comma separated values (CSV) or as tagged data in an extensible markup language format (XML)

    Data in XML format


The software provides logging of program execution details and errors into a separate logging file. The level of detail provided in the logging file is controlled by a value in the configuration file.

The Visual Basic-based program is provided in an installation package with sample image and sound files along with a default configuration.

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