do I need a USB keyboard driver?

Posted on 2005-03-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26

I need to connect both a USB keyboard and a PS/2 KB, and reconfigure it so that my USB KB is my primary, and the secondary produces a data stream, usable by my application, but not to control the desktop.

Do I need a new USB driver so that I can access the PS/2 data stream?

If your answer is yes, what language are these written in.  Can I write it using C#?  Is it possible to download a USB KB driver as a sample?

Question by:ba272
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 13639053
i think you can only use one keyboard at the time, but correct me if i'm wrong on this one...

Author Comment

ID: 13639309
Actually, I just installed a USB and it works fine, in parallel with the PS/2 KB.  They both have complete control of Windows and any program I open at the same time.  It's like Windows does not know the difference.  But I want to limit the access of the PS/2 KB and NOT give it the ability to control the desktop, etc.  I simply want the PS/2 to appear as a harmless data stream which my application will access, nothing more.

Any ideas?
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Expert Comment

ID: 13639478
no ideas, sorry...

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LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 13639805
You can't do that with 2 keyboards on the single PC. For your task you need 2 PC's and second will have restricted terminal access to the first one!

Author Comment

ID: 13639847
The seconds PC is an option.  But someone suggested looking into the ioctl() function to modify the device driver, rather than writing a new USB keyboard driver, which is an option. I gotta beleive this is possible through software.  

A data stream is a data stream, and I can't believe the designer of Windows and/or the PC were so short sighted as to think that they were the only ones who needed to have access to the keyboard input stream.

Any ideas of where I could post this on EE to elicit answer from low-level software developers?  I'm not going to revert to my final option (a second PC) before I exhaust every possibility.

LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 13642120
try the posting it in the  programming section, or ask a mod to move it.
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Accepted Solution

rid earned 1500 total points
ID: 13654509
The legacy KB systems (AT and PS/2) use a KB buffer that can be polled by a program that can access the hardware. It is a simple FIFO buffer and is used for holding keystrokes that couldn't be handled immediately. The question here is whether a USB KB uses this same buffer or another one... If it uses the same buffer, it could be a bit tricky to discern PS/2 generated keystrokes from USB-generated. Some intimate knowledge about the hardware in question is needed here I'd say.

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