ewhac asks: "Recently, I was charged with the mission of obtaining a particular small external USB keyboard, for use on a Win2K laptop. However, when the USB version proved unavailable, I obtained the equivalent PS/2 version and an inexpensive PS/2-to-USB adapter. Should have been cake... Except that it didn't work. Win2K failed to see the keyboard, claiming instead to see an unknown USB device. A different USB adapter didn't help. A different keyboard didn't help. Trying on a different computer didn't help. Googling my eyes out for several hours looking for answers didn't help (although I found a few people with the same question). So I thought I'd beseech the Slashdot crowd and ask how many people have had success using legacy input devices with small, inexpensive PS/2-to-USB adapters?""Here's the keyboard in question. Here's the first adapter we tested, and here's the second (ignore the picture; it's wrong). Several things about this experience have left me very confused. Keyboards and mice are simple manifestations of the USB HID (Human Input Device) class, and Win2K ships with a fairly complete set of HID drivers -- plugging in a keyboard should (and often does) Just Work. Hence, these adapters are sold without drivers. Further, the PS/2 electrical and logical specifications are older than dirt, and well understood. USB is also very well specified. So building an adapter should be a very straightforward effort, with little room for surprise or failure.
And yet, the damn thing refused to work. All PS/2 keyboards tested worked fine when connected to native PS/2 ports. All computers tested recognized all other USB devices when plugged in. But no matter what we did, we couldn't get any system to recognize any PS/2 keyboard plugged into these PS/2-to-USB adapters.
As the evening wore on, I started to wonder just how many other people had experienced this perplexing situation, and how they resolved it. The makers of these adapters wouldn't knowingly sell non-functional merchandise, so I assume that somehow these things can be made to work. What I'm wondering is what special conditions, if any, are required to get them to work."