So one of the nicer partners here was lamenting about his daughter’s computer. Something’s wrong with it but it’s out of warranty. Being the nice gal that I am I offer to take a look at it.
He brings it in and I attempt to plug in the keyboard, mouse and monitor. I turn the machine every which way just to make sure I’m not going insane. Nope, I’m not. There are no PS/2 connections! Grrrr. There are five, count 'em, five USB connections but no PS/2 connections for the mouse and keyboard! I have USB mice. I have no USB keyboards. Even the USB mice come with USB-to-PS/2 converters! Who the fark buys USB keyboards? (Owners of Gateway machines, it seems.)
No, I’m not behind the times. I’m sure there are reasons to have USB keyboards. I can’t think of any at the moment but I’m sure there are valid reasons. (My wireless keyboard/mouse plugs into the PS/2 connections so USB isn’t necessary for wireless input devices.) Why not have PS/2 connections on the machine? Even the latest Dell machines we purchased have PS/2 connections! Oy!
I don’t have any PS/2-to-USB converters. He’s out of town so I guess this will have to wait until he’s back sometime next week…
sorry to hear that. btw- how’s your telegraph service doing?
the waffling between USB and PS/2 bugs me on occasion, as well (though for me it’s usb joysticks vs. serial) …though i think that they’ve gone to USB for keyboards is because more keyboards have those new functions (shortcuts, whatever)…i know that my new gateway has them. there’s also something to be said about minimzing the types of connections you’re using.
It’s clear that users cannot be trusted to plug the keyboard into the keyboard PS2 port and the mouse into the mouse PS2 ports. USB allows them to plug the keyboard and mouse into whatever connector they feel like without it mattering one iota.
either that, or they didn’t include PS2 ports for space reasons.
I think it’s just a matter of budget motherboard manufacturers wanting to simplify things as much as possible. It probably costs a few cents more per mobo to put in PS/2 ports in addition to USB, and USB is used by more peripherals than PS/2 - so that’s probably the logic there. Personally, I think it stinks simply because compgeeks used to sell (maybe they still do, I haven’t looked) these little ps/2 power supplies. Plug them into a PS/2 port, use them to power a little motor/flashlight/piezo speaker/whatever. Lots of toy potential.
I bought an HP Visualize B1000 workstation. (It’s got a nifty keen HPPA 300Mhz chip… but you don’t care). I knew the video connector would be odd, but I, master of the digital realm that I am, accounted for this. I didn’t account for it arriving, like that Gateway, sans PS2 ports, with only two USB ports. Even worse, they’re apparently only good for “HID” stuff (Human Interface Devices).
Take a look at the box, I’ll bet it your machine claims to be “legacy-free”, which is code for “We removed the serial and parallel ports, 'cause USB is the shizznit dontcha know?”
I dunno, I’ve had a Gateway for 5 years now and I haven’t had any significant problems. And I don’t have USB ports for my keyboard or mouse. Nothing’s failed, and it’s taken a lot of abuse from me. I popped in some more RAM a year ago just to bring it almost up to standards of two years ago and it still has a Celeron processor from back then. But all in all it does everything I need it to do with no complaints.
The sooner everything goes USB the better. Less complication, less cost and more flexibility overall. Almost all the keyboards I’ve bought in the last two years have been USB only. I’m pretty surprised you don’t have at least one USB keyboard lying around. Many of the HPs and Compaq desktops now come with USB mice and keyboards.
Out of curiousity, does a PS/2 connection take up more or less processing power than a USB connection? I’ve always assumed USB took up a little more resources. (I realize that a keyboard or mouse using either type of connection probably isn’t going to be putting much strain on a cpu)
Starbury, both USB and PS2 devices use an interrupt (IRQ). PS2 mice use IRQ12. USB often uses IRQ11 (but is not limited to this interrupt). If you use USB and PS2 together, then you’re using two interrupts when you could potentially use USB alone, using only one interrupt.
They would use the same processing power in the context of both using an interrupt to attract the CPU’s attention. How much extra system resources they use, I couldn’t tell you.
PS2 is essentially an ISA device, which means it can’t tolerate IRQ sharing and other such usefull modern features. We’ve been finally moving away from ISA devices to native PCI, and eliminating parallel buses for much faster serial ones (see the replacement of IDE with Serial ATA). There are going to be growing pains while we adapt to new interconnect schemes, but life really WILL be a lot better when ALL of your external devices use USB, and all of your drives are native SATA. Not to mention that hot-swappability is nifty.
Thanks for the info about the interrupts, maxxxie and alereon.
In my personal experience, I’ve actually found PS/2 devices to be more easily hot-swappable than USB devices. I’m running Win98, and while I’ve never had my computer lock up after switching out a keyboard or mouse through PS/2, some USB devices (like my cable modem) while lock up if I unplug them. I only have one USB port on my laptop, so this can be a pain.
RE the hot swapability of PS2 components, mice are generally fairly safe, but you can potentially blow (esp older) MB components by hot swapping PS2 keyboards, so some older geeks (including myself) are somewhat hinky about doing this although it will work most of the time. See PS2 Keyboard/Mouse Question
My computer (a three-year old VAIO) has two USB ports, and the requisite PS/2 ports. My mouse can go either way, but I have it in the PS/2 port because, even with a 4-port USB hub, I have too many USB devices for my ports without worrying about the mouse.
If my next computer lacks PS/2 ports, I’m going to be peeved.
Having been in the computer tech field for quite some years now, I can say without a doubt that Dell computers give users the least amount of flak. Dell’s are low-cost, and perform great. I have less problems with them than even larger makers like Compaq.
If you people really must buy a major-maker machine, buy a Dell…PLEASE! Makes my job much easier