Keyboard and Mouse

Advance Technical Repair of Laptops Motherboard

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AT and Baby AT motherboards typically came with a large 5-pin DIN connector for the keyboard. More recent motherboards use a smaller mini-DIN connector for this purpose. The two types of connectors are electrically compatible, so if you have one keyboard type and the wrong connector on the motherboard, you can obtain an inexpensive adapter. Figure 2.12 >

depicts an older keyboard connector and an adapter with the newer mini-DIN end visible. S

Keyboard handling is quite standardized, so you need no special drivers in Linux for the keyboard.

Figure 2.12

The large DIN connector on the left can be attached to a right.

Figure 2.12

The large DIN connector on the left can be attached to a right.

motherboard by using an adapter like the one on the

Two exceptions to the uniform nature of keyboard handling exist. First, pre-AT computers used a different type of keyboard electronics. If you've got a very old keyboard from a PC XT or similar computer, therefore, you won't be able to use it with a modern computer. Some keyboards from that era have a switch to let you use the keyboard with either type of computer. Set the switch to AT and you should be able to use it with a modern computer. Second, USB keyboards have recently begun to appear, and a few systems now ship with USB keyboards. Linux can use USB keyboards, but you may need to compile a kernel with USB support. In early 2000, most Linux distributions didn't ship with this support enabled. Until this support ships with Linux distributions, I recommend avoiding USB keyboards.

Several types of mice exist for x86 hardware. (I use the word mouse to refer to both conventional mice and alternative pointing devices, such as trackballs and touch pads.) The two most popular mouse interfaces are serial and PS/2, with PS/2 mice being the more popular type on recent hardware. Linux supports both mouse types, and most Linux installers auto-detect and auto-configure your mouse. Most modern motherboards include a PS/2 mouse port on the back panel (refer to Figure 2.7). If you don't use a PS/2 mouse, some motherboards' BIOS utilities allow you to disable the mouse port, which frees up an IRQ for use by another device.

As with keyboards, USB mice have been gaining in popularity recently, but you need Linux support in the kernel to use USB mice, and this support is not yet a standard part of most distributions.

Chapter 15, "Keyboards and Mice," includes more information on keyboards and mice.

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