Sorting it all Out Michael Kaplan's random stuff of dubious value Be sure to read the disclaimer here first!
I was shown this picture the other day, from this site:
What he wanted to know was simple enough:
Is it real, Michael?
And, if it is real, can I get it for Windows? In Windows 8?
Well, it is on a site called 9gag.com, so I don't think it's real.
But in theory, it's possible to plug it in and such.
Now obviously the GetKeyboardState function is limited to 256 key state values. So regular keyboard state info can't handle a keyboard that has so many keys.
But if you create a custom hardware driver, you can cause it to look like some of these keys are alternate shift states of each other that share the same scan code!
These are the kinds of tricks laptops use to enable their Fn keys; it is how Apple can make CTRL+ALT+BACKSP act like CTRL+ALT+DEL in Boot Camp (if they didn't, you would have to type CRTL+ALT+SHIFT+BACKSP!).
This would be a fun project to work on, wouldn't it? :-)
But like I said, I don't think it's real....
In the 1980s I worked on IBM S/34, S/36, S/38 and AS/400 minicomputers. I came across a Chinese keyboard in one of the technical manuals. It looked very much like the top photo on www.businessinsider.com/chinese-keyboards-2011-9 I have a vague memory that it also had twelve shift keys.
I can't read all the keys clearly, but aren't the keys there arranged in Changjei sequence?
There's very little point to make a Chinese keyboard with characters line up in Changjei (it would be faster to just use Changjei IME) except for a good laugh... :P
So agreed it's not likely to be real... except maybe for memory tight DOS programs that don't use overlay so has tight memory requirement, therefore Chinese language support TSRs won't fit.
This was a Google April fool's joke a couple of years back. It's just one part of a "Japanese hardware keyboard".
...which can be found here: googlejapan.blogspot.cz/.../google.html. Worth checking! :)