Since the appearance of the original IBM PC, keyboards have used 5-pin DIN connectors. On AT-style motherboards (described in Chapter 2, "Motherboards"), the motherboard contains a connector for the 5-pin DIN keyboard plug. Some designs, however, have used a smaller mini-DIN connector, and this design has become standard with ATX and related motherboards. Because it was used on the IBM PS/2 computer, the mini-DIN design is sometimes referred to as a PS/2 keyboard port. Figure 15.2 shows both an older full-size 5-pin DIN connector (on the left) and an adapter that can be used to connect a full-size 5-pin DIN device into a newer mini-DIN motherboard.
Despite their physical differences, keyboards that use the old full-size 5-pin DIN connectors and those that use the newer mini-DIN connectors are electrically compatible. An adapter like the one shown in Figure 15.2 is very simple in design; it merely links connectors of differing sizes. You should therefore not be too concerned with the type of connector on a keyboard. In fact, many keyboards sold today come with appropriate adapters, and can be used with either type of motherboard out of the box.
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