Key-toggle problem ISC 386/ix 2.0.2 with VP/ix

John G. De Armond jgd at rsiatl.UUCP
Tue Nov 28 15:52:08 AEST 1989

In article <294 at minnie.UUCP> walp at hdchq.UUCP (David E. Walp) writes:
>I am the "CEO" in question (actually 2nd in command) and need to set
>some of this straight.  We are using/trying to use 386/ix and VP/ix
>to do real work and to develop sufficient expertise to market ourselves
>to those who would entertain migration to UNIX platforms but who still
>need/want their familiar DOS tools.  

>Other than the vexation with VP/ix, our experience with the 386/ix
>product has been very positive.  UNIX itself is very good and fast.
>X windows is solid, and we expect to be in the ISC camp for a long
>time.  I just need relief for the interim period.


I can sure sympathize with your problem.  As another CEO, I can
tell you that my fondest wish is to have a functioning, user maintainable,
and reliable Unix and Dos-under-Unix platform to migrate to from DOS.
Since much of our work involves serial communications, I have an
especially bad taste in my mouth right now with the interactive asy
driver problems.  

More to the point.  This may sound obvious but have you tried swapping
keyboard brands?  The reason I ask this is we've had a bunch of problems
trying to replace Compaq keyboards with third party old AT-style keyboards
with the function keys on the left.  Most  of our customers prefer these.
After much investigation, what we've found is that the clock frequency 
in the 8041 keyboard controller varies enough between brands and even
between lots of a given brand that keyboard handlers frequently get
confused.  Especially BIOSs like Compaq's that try to figure out if you
are using an XT-type keyboard and adopt accordingly.  I've even had that
problem on this machine, a no-name clone with a phoenix bios.  I select-fitted
this keyboard to get it to work.

Then I've traced other keyboard lockups to feline causes.  Specifically, 
one of the cats that inhabit my offices that just LOVES to sleep on
keyboards.  I think he likes the noise because he also likes sleeping
in styrofoam worms :-)  I use the keyboard lock to stop spurrious keystrokes
but apparently the static in his fur zaps the keyboard controller.  Simply
unplugging and replugging solves this problem every time.

Anyway, if the interactive keyboard driver bypasses the BIOS (likely) and/or
reprograms the keyboard controller (almost certain since the typematic action
is much faster) it could get very confused by marginal keyboards.  

73 John

John De Armond, WD4OQC                     | Manual? ... What manual ?!? 
Radiation Systems, Inc.     Atlanta, GA    | This is Unix, My son, You 
emory!rsiatl!jgd          **I am the NRA** | just GOTTA Know!!! 

More information about the Comp.unix.i386 mailing list