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Old 10-26-2005, 02:11 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2005
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PS2 port programming.

Hello, I recently tried to breathe new life into an older computer. I installed RH9 2.4.20-8 kernel etc. All went well with the install the on board 3Com 56k winmodem was as you'd imagine not detected and I couldn't get a peep out of it with Minicom or even detect it with scanModem. Not a big problem as I had a decent external 56k modem which was working fine with Linux. The problem arose because I needed the one serial port on the computer for my serial mouse but the modem was more important as the computer is being used as a linux gateway, firewall, web server for my internal lan.
As the machine is capable of more than just text only Linux I purchased a ps2 to 9 pin serial converter to use my serial mouse with the machine. I had convinced myself this was all I needed to use the serial mouse with the machine. Not the case. The serial mouse is a dedicated Logitech serial mouse. It is not ment to work with ps2 ports but as I have more time than money I am reluctant to admit defeat. I found a small program written by Johan Myreen:

Microsoft serial mouse emulator for PS/2 mouse using a named pipe.
* This program reads packets from a PS/2 mouse, transforms them
* into the corresponding Microsoft serial mouse packets and writes
* them to a named pipe (fifo). Application programs not supporting
* the PS/2 mouse protocol (e.g. X11) can then read the packets from
* the fifo, which to them looks like a serial port with a Microsoft
* mouse on it.

I know this is not nearly what I want but it did give me some hope for making the serial mouse work over the ps2 port. My problem is that pc manufacturers are phasing out all the old serial ports, presumably in an attempt to sell a whole clatter of new peripherals. I have checked out the mother board but the only serial port on the whole board is inside a plastic housing and there are no other pins which will support a serial connection.

So finally my questions; Is it worth attempting to get the serial mouse to work over the ps2 port? Are there any resources on the internet for ps2 programming?
An alternative solution would be to attempt to write a driver for the 3 Com winmodem which would free up the serial port but I would imagine getting the serial mouse working over the ps2 port (if it can be done) would be easier. So anyone who has experience with winmodem reverse engineering or ps2 programming please let me know what you think. Thanks for any and all input.



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