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I have a MacBook Pro - but I don't use the keyboard, I use a (more ergonomic) plugin keyboard.

I have an x-keys (programmable keypad). I'm thinking of getting another one, but it just struck me as ridicilous that I have this whole chunk of hardware on my desk with 91 keys at my fingertips going to waste.

Is there any way way that my laptop keyboard could be recognised as a completely separate set of keys (to my standalone keyboard) so that all the keys (only on my laptop keyboard) could be remapped to a bunch of hotkeys/shortcuts/macros?

Any hotkey apps, Keyboard Maestro, for example just recognise both keyboards as the exact same input. Is there any software that goes a bit deeper and recognises that they're not the same keyboard?

My gut feeling is no. And what I'm looking for probably requires some serious hardware hacking, but... definitely worth asking I think.

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There are several ways to do this. I remember that you could remap very few keys under 10.4. Back then I always had to launch an instance of X11 in order to remap my keys... (What nonsense...)

Luckily the situation has changed and there are two tools that do the trick:

  1. KeyRemap4MacBook - In my opinion the best AND it is Opensource. :-)
  2. Then there is DoubleCommand which is also Opensource. I've never tried it, but a friend remapped his Esc key and is really happy with it.
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But does it make a difference between internal and external keyboard? – slhck Mar 16 '12 at 11:01
That I don't know. Maybe you'll have to create your own Keyboard Layout, – Sebastian Stumpf Mar 16 '12 at 11:14

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