Caution

Adapters like the one shown in Figure 15.2 have a tendency to fall out of their sockets in the computer, particularly when the computer is oriented as a tower. A better design uses a short cable between the full-size DIN connector and the mini-DIN connector. Unfortunately, this better design is rarer, so you might have to look harder to find it.

Part IV

Figure 15.2

Older keyboards can be used with new motherboards by employing an adapter like the one shown on the right.

Figure 15.2

Older keyboards can be used with new motherboards by employing an adapter like the one shown on the right.

Although all modern keyboards that use the standard keyboard interface follow the same electrical and electronic characteristics, some very old keyboards are not compatible with today's designs. The earliest IBM PC and PC/XT computers, and many clones of these models, used a slightly different keyboard than did the subsequent IBM PC AT computer and its clones and descendants. Today's keyboards are therefore referred to as AT keyboards, whereas the older models are XT keyboards. You can't use an XT keyboard in a modern computer. A few models manufactured when both the XT and AT computers were available are compatible with both standards. These keyboards have a switch on the back or bottom to set compatibility with either standard. You can use these keyboards with modern computers; just be sure the switch is set correctly.

Linux includes support for standard keyboard ports, and you don't have to include any special kernel options to get this support.

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