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Keyboard Compatibility

Laura

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I've had a lot of problems trying to run the old Sierra adventure games that I bought (Kings Quest and Space Quest) on my computer. Finally, to get rid of the problem, I got down my dad's old Pentium 486 from the attic and plan to use it for all my old games. However, I'm having some problems with the hardware.

I know very little about old computers. I had an extra PS/2 keyboard, and the computer already had a 9-Pin to PS/2 adapter on it. It doesn't work for the keyboard, so I assume this was for the mouse. However, I can't figure out where the keyboard connects. There is a 25-Pin plug, but I haven't been able to find any 25-Pin D-type to PS/2 adapters. Do I need to use a 25-Pin to 9-Pin adapter and then plug a 9-Pin to PS/2 adapter into that?
 

Erik

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The 486 probably didn't have a PS/2 style mouse port so the 9 pin you're referring to must be a D type (2 rows of pins, on shorter then the other) versus a round connector.

If so, then it is the mouse.

If it's a large round to a PS/2 then it's the keyboard.

A picture of the back of the machine might help in locating the keyboard connector, but look for either a PS/2 or a larger round connection.

Erik
 

Laura

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Yes, the mouse port is a D-type. However, there are no round ports on the computer; only D-types.

There is:
1 male 9-pin port (this is the one for the mouse, I assume)
1 male 25-pin port
1 female 15-pin port
1 female 25-pin port

There is also the moniter input port, and that's it. No speaker ports, because there is no sound card. So, I know the 9-pin is for the mouse, but what are the other 3 for?
 

Terry Yager

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Laura said:
Yes, the mouse port is a D-type. However, there are no round ports on the computer; only D-types.

There is:
1 male 9-pin port (this is the one for the mouse, I assume)
1 male 25-pin port
1 female 15-pin port
1 female 25-pin port

There is also the moniter input port, and that's it. No speaker ports, because there is no sound card. So, I know the 9-pin is for the mouse, but what are the other 3 for?

What kind of computer is it (brand name)? It might have a proprietary keyboard interface of some kind. Some old computers do (Hewlett-Packard comes to mind for one).

Is the female 15-pin port a three-row connector, like the VGA?

The male 25-pin connector is almost certainly another serial port, for connecting an external modem, f'rinstance.
The female 25-pin could be a SCSI host adaptor (a few of the PC ones used them).
That leaves you with an unidentified 15-pin female, which could well be for a keyboard, but if that is the case, then don't count on getting it to work unless you can find the original keyboard to go with it. (Hint: Look waaaaayyy back in the bottom of the closet).

Other brands with weird keyboard connectors include:
HP (8088, 286, 386, etc.)
Wyse (up through thier 286 at least, dunno if any later models)
AT&T 6300/Olivetti 8088 (used a 25-pin female)
Probably others I can't think of right now

--T
 

CP/M User

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Re: Keyboard Compatibility

"Laura" wrote:

> I've had a lot of problems trying to run the
> old Sierra adventure games that I bought
> (Kings Quest and Space Quest) on my
> computer. Finally, to get rid of the problem,
> I got down my dad's old Pentium 486 from
> the attic and plan to use it for all my old
> games. However, I'm having some
> problems with the hardware.

I'm more curious about this Pentium 486!

In regards to the old adventure games, have
you tried running moslo?

If not then perhaps try this Windows emulator:
http://www.emu8086.com/
which makes it act more like a 8086, so
you maybe able to run your ol' games on your
new computer. Unfortunately, I haven't used
it so I can't say how it works (except I found
it while poking around)!

> I know very little about old computers. I
> had an extra PS/2 keyboard, and the
> computer already had a 9-Pin to PS/2
> adapter on it. It doesn't work for the
> keyboard, so I assume this was for the
> mouse. However, I can't figure out where
> the keyboard connects. There is a 25-Pin
> plug, but I haven't been able to find any
> 25-Pin D-type to PS/2 adapters. Do I need
> to use a 25-Pin to 9-Pin adapter and then
> plug a 9-Pin to PS/2 adapter into that?

I wouldn't be suprised if it was the hardware
in the newer computers which are causing
this problem. It's not the first time, I heard
of a case where someone wants to run the
good ol' stuff on their brand new 5.xxGhz
computer! ;-) I'd suggest trying that emulator
& maybe it will give you more freedom of an
older computer & make the software perform
the way it should.

Cheers,
CP/M User.
 

carlsson

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Both the 9 pin and 25 pin male connectors are serial ports, of which the 9 pin typically is used for a serial mouse.

The 25 pin is of course a parallel port, but it could be an external SCSI connector too. I would bet my money on parallel port.

If the 15 pin connector is two rows, it probably is a game port, where you can connect a joystick/gamepad, on newer computers also MIDI cable as the game port often is associated with a sound card (which you don't have).

As Erik said, there should be a 5-pin large DIN somewhere, probably close to the power supply. Otherwise, maybe it takes a serial terminal on the 25-pin serial port, but it sounds very un-home computer like.

(btw, I believe the computer can't be both Pentium and 486 at the same time unless it is equipped with one of these 83 MHz OverDrive power-up processors)
 

CP/M User

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"carlsson" wrote:

> (btw, I believe the computer can't
> be both Pentium and 486 at the
> same time unless it is equipped
> with one of these 83 MHz
> OverDrive power-up
> processors)

I never did find out what the
difference was with a 586/686 &
a Pentium computer. Of course
they ran faster than a 486, so
obviously they ran along that
same course in terms the names
(wouldn't it be?! - 386/486/586/
686?). The Pentium I think was
made in 1994, if not, then I
must be thinking about the year
the Pentium Computers I first
used were made. They were
60Mhz Pentium computers. In
terms of what they did, they
felt like a 486, but obviously
didn't have a 486 - yet the
specifications would have been
the same as a 486. The 486s
I also played around with, using
Win95 were DX2-50Mhz I believe
& were pretty much like the
Pentium 60Mhz I'd used a couple
of years back! ;-)

Cheers,
CP/M User.
 

barryp

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CP/M User said:
I never did find out what the difference was with a 586/686 & a Pentium computer.

IIRC (again, without Googling it)

Intel discovered that a number (186, 286, 386, 486, etc) cannot be copyrighted, only words/phrases. Intel went to Pentium rather than 586 but other companies such as AMD and Cyrix used 586, then 686. I don't remember ever seeing a reference to 786 though.
 

Terry Yager

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carlsson said:
Both the 9 pin and 25 pin male connectors are serial ports, of which the 9 pin typically is used for a serial mouse.

The 25 pin is of course a parallel port, but it could be an external SCSI connector too. I would bet my money on parallel port.

You'll forgive me if I decline that bet--I'd prob'ly lose. (Of course it is a parallel port, it's my brain that's SCSI).
If the 15 pin connector is two rows, it probably is a game port, where you can connect a joystick/gamepad, on newer computers also MIDI cable as the game port often is associated with a sound card (which you don't have).
Ummmn, yeah, that's pretty much along the same lines I was thinking.
As Erik said, there should be a 5-pin large DIN somewhere, probably close to the power supply. Otherwise, maybe it takes a serial terminal on the 25-pin serial port, but it sounds very un-home computer like.
The kbd connector could be in the front, too--or even on the side. I've seen 'em where they were well hidden (under an overhang, or whatever).
(btw, I believe the computer can't be both Pentium and 486 at the same time unless it is equipped with one of these 83 MHz OverDrive power-up processors)
Aaawwwww...don't spoil it for her...

--T
 

Terry Yager

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barryp said:
CP/M User said:
I never did find out what the difference was with a 586/686 & a Pentium computer.

IIRC (again, without Googling it)

Intel discovered that a number (186, 286, 386, 486, etc) cannot be copyrighted, only words/phrases. Intel went to Pentium rather than 586 but other companies such as AMD and Cyrix used 586, then 686. I don't remember ever seeing a reference to 786 though.

Altos made machines in the mid-late 80s that went by the model numbers 586 (8086) and 686 (80286). Mebbe Intel just wanted to come up with something original...

--T
 

Laura

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Messages
13
When I opened up the case, I would have sworn that the processor said "Pentium 486x" or something like that, but it's probably just me being scatterbrained and clueless.

I'm not really interested in an emulator since I have the real thing right here. Nostalgia is fun!

No, it's not a home computer; it was an office computer that was used for word processing.

And, finally, :oops: I managed to find the port for the keyboard. It was hidden quite well, methinks--sunk about an inch into the back of the computer. I went back up to the attic and found the original keyboard, and it seems to be working fine now. Thanks for your help; I'll be sure to come here again if I have anymore problems with the old thing. :D
 

Laura

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Messages
13
Oh, whoever asked about brand names:
It's marked "KDI systems 486 SX/DX Upgradeable"

All the connectors are two-row d-type. That still leaves a couple unidentified connectors on the back. I guess I won't find out about them unless I take it apart, which I'm scared to do.

Hope that helps!
 

Terry Yager

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Laura said:
And, finally, :oops: I managed to find the port for the keyboard. It was hidden quite well, methinks--sunk about an inch into the back of the computer. I went back up to the attic and found the original keyboard, and it seems to be working fine now. Thanks for your help; I'll be sure to come here again if I have anymore problems with the old thing. :D

Excelent! Glad to see another vintage machine back on-the-job again rather than just taking up space somewhere. Good luck with it, and enjoy your games.

--T
 

CP/M User

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"barryp" wrote:

>> I never did find out what the
>> difference was with a 586/686
>> & a Pentium computer.

> IIRC (again, without Googling it)

> Intel discovered that a number
> (186, 286, 386, 486, etc) cannot
> be copyrighted, only words/
> phrases. Intel went to Pentium
> rather than 586 but other
> companies such as AMD and
> Cyrix used 586, then 686. I don't
> remember ever seeing a
> reference to 786 though.

Yes, you could be right about that.
But IMO Intel is perhaps one
company which are more pig
headed than Microsoft, because they
get into the issues of copyright &
are afraid that someone's going to
take their presious 486 number.

They just keep on acommin with the
new hardware (which is pointless)
except for the purpose of making
money. And then they bring out
hybrids of the Pentium, like Celeron,
Centeno. Absolute crap IMO! ;-)

Oh dear! :-(
CP/M User.
 

CP/M User

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"Terry Yager"

> Altos made machines in the mid-late 80s
> that went by the model numbers 586
> (8086) and 686 (80286). Mebbe Intel
> just wanted to come up with something
> original...

Could be, although I liked Barry's
explaination. The only problem with Barry's
statement, is I thought that Intel did bring
out a 586 & then AMD released a 686
processor. Cause I could be wrong & AMD
might have brought out both. The 486
processor was still going strong when the
Pentium came out though. The earliest
Pentium based I used was from 1994 I
believe (before Win95!) - in 1995. So it
could be that Windows 95 came out for
that reason. Win 3.11 came out a year
earlier! ;-) (which was just an update with
hardware from Win 3.1 setup! ;-)

Cheers.
CP/M User.
 

CP/M User

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"Laura" wrote:

> When I opened up the case, I would have
> sworn that the processor said "Pentium
> 486x" or something like that, but it's
> probably just me being scatterbrained
> and clueless.

That'd be interesting if it said that. Cause I'd
bet there wouldn't be many machines out
there which would say that (if there is). I
have a couple of 486 DX2-66Mhz processors
& I'm sure that they don't have anything like
that (or at least I've never noticed!).

Only other thing I can think of is that perhaps
it's a Pentium Based Mainboard, which has a
486 processor in it. That being the case, it
would seem that the Mainboard could have a
Pentium based processor installed, perhaps
something like a Pentium 60Mhz, 75Mhz or
maybe 90Mhz!

Do you know how fast that 486 processor is
(50Mhz?, 66Mhz?, 100Mhz?, or perhaps
some other) cause that could determine
what sort of Pentium processor it might
support. But then if the 486 is fine in it, I'd
leave it the way it is! :)

> I'm not really interested in an emulator
> since I have the real thing right here.
> Nostalgia is fun!

True, but Emulators are also a great source
to getting older things working on a
computer, particularly when they are quite
new. Personally, I'm not into new stuff &
my fastest machine is a Pentium 166Mhz,
but it's still great for looking a some
emulators.

> No, it's not a home computer; it was an
> office computer that was used for word
> processing.

The 486?

> And, finally, :oops: I managed to find
> the port for the keyboard. It was hidden
> quite well, methinks--sunk about an inch
> into the back of the computer. I went
> back up to the attic and found the
> original keyboard, and it seems to be
> working fine now. Thanks for your help;
> I'll be sure to come here again if I have
> anymore problems with the old thing.
> :D

Sounds like that Keyboard you had needs
to go into the Bin! ;-)

Cheers,
CP/M User.
 

carlsson

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That could be one of those OverDrive processors I mentioned, but then the processor should clearly state something like Intel OverDrive or Pentium OverDrive. The machine from the beginning probably was fitted with a 486 like SX-25, SX-33 or DX-33. My dad once got an all-in-one Compaq which was equipped with an AMD 486SX/2-66, which I had never seen before.

Glad that you got it to work. Sometimes it might be easier to look on the motherboard and see where connectors are going out than looking from the outside and see where connectors are going in. :)

Btw, AFAIK, the 486 goes in a Socket 3, the early Pentium 60 in a Socket 5 and the later first generation Pentium in a Socket 7. I don't know if there were Socket 5-based 486 systems and/or converters, but it is of more academic interest.
 

Terry Yager

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carlsson said:
Terry Yager said:
(Of course it is a parallel port, it's my brain that's SCSI).
Is it narrow or wide, and will it support some of the faster transfer speeds? Maybe even it is UltraSCSI? :lol:

No, it's old, and slow, and dumb, with buggy microcode. Only handles one channel at a time... (Hmmmnn...mebbe it's not even SCSI after all...could be SASI).

--T
 

Terry Yager

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CP/M User said:
"Terry Yager"

> Altos made machines in the mid-late 80s
> that went by the model numbers 586
> (8086) and 686 (80286). Mebbe Intel
> just wanted to come up with something
> original...

Could be, although I liked Barry's
explaination.

Yeah, Barry's probably right.
The only problem with Barry's
statement, is I thought that Intel did bring
out a 586 & then AMD released a 686
processor. Cause I could be wrong & AMD
might have brought out both. The 486
processor was still going strong when the
Pentium came out though. The earliest
Pentium based I used was from 1994 I
believe (before Win95!) - in 1995. So it
could be that Windows 95 came out for
that reason. Win 3.11 came out a year
earlier! ;-) (which was just an update with
hardware from Win 3.1 setup! ;-)

Cheers.
CP/M User.

I remember when the first Pentiums came out, (AMD?) was selling a chip called the 5x86/133 which was advertised as being 7% faster than a Pentium @ 66MHz. (We sold a lot of them based on that very claim). Later Pentium-compatable chips were called PR-xxx, which means "Performance Rated", to compare thier performance with Intel chips. (Most AMD and IBM/Cyrus chips performed "faster" at the same clock speed as the Pentium chips).

--T
 
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