Our PeeCees run WindowsNT 4.0 (Service Pack 5). The boxes themselves are Dells of somewhat recent vintage; they have USB ports in their rears and one of your hardware geeks says the card is an Intel USB card (FWIW).

I would like to plug a USB-to-ADB adaptor into one of those suckers and run the other end into my ADB switchbox, so I can access my NT box with the same mouse & keyboard that I use to access my Macs instead of reaching over to a shelf, grabbing the PC keyboard, shoving the Mac keyboard forward out of the way, and plunking the PC keyboard down in front of me (then returning the damn thing when I’m done). I should mention in passing that the USB-to-ADB doohickey is specifically advertised as working with PCs (and if it doesn’t they will take it back).

The hitch seems to be USB on NT. The word on the IT floor here is that NT is not friendly towards USB–that one would have to upgrade to Win2K.

I can’t accept that at face value. Hey, this is a mainstream and almost-modern OS! I could believe that maybe I have to download a more recent driver or some such thing, but how could be true that NT can’t use USB? One guy thinks it can, but he is really hedging his bets (whole buncha ifs and perhapses ending with ‘it is a lot easier on Windows2000’).

We aren’t officially supposed to be using W2K here yet, which ==> I can’t just borrow the W2K installation/upgrade CD and pop it in; nor do I feel like shelling out for a copy thereof myself if you know what I mean. Aside from which if I did that I’d have to support it myself since we “don’t use it yet” and I’m a Mac person and have no interest in running a nonstandard PC OS w/o support.

Well, OK, I suppose it was probably one of ours. Whatever.

NT 4.0 may seem nifty and new, but it was released in 1995. It’s not a new OS, and it doesn’t play well with USB.

I’m sorry, but your folks are right: convert to Win 2000.

  • Rick

{nitpick] Actually, NT4 hit the shelves in 1996. [/nitpick]

Rick is right otherwise. NT4 was designed with minimal support for plug-n-play hardware and USB is about as PnP as it gets. Win2k is the only dependable solution for most USB peripherals.

That said, your keyboard might work anyway. Many PC BIOS support USB keyboards in hardware. How well this cooperates with NT4 is a matter for experimentation. You are on your own.

This USB to ADB device most likely has drivers. If there are no drivers for NT 4.0 it will not work. There are some third party products that are USB and come with custom drivers for NT 4.0 It’s not hat NT 4.0 doesn’t support USB it’s that there are no drivers for it.

USB does not work for NT.

I’ve used USB KBs and mice with Win98 if that helps.