[NTLK] newt keyboard USB adapter

Andrei Chichak newton at chichak.ca
Thu Sep 13 11:28:02 EDT 2012

On 2012-September-13, at 8:43 AM, joe kallo wrote:

> So the serial to USB conversion is something that requires software to
> accomplish?

Okay, I lied, you need "firmware", which is like software but burnt into processor chips.

> i.e. if I take a newton keyboard, plug it into a keyspan
> adapter and then into a computer, it won't work without some software on
> the machine?

The keyspan adapters take the serial data and present it to the host as a serial communications endpoint. Windows no longer has native support for serial ports, so a driver has to be loaded to support the conversion from USB serial endpoints and convince windows to create the COM devices. 

If you were to connect it all up and plug it into a PC, it would present as a serial port, then software could be written to take the serial data and force feed it into the windows event queue.

 iPads don't understand USB serial, so that wouldn't work. Apple probably won't tell you what you need to know to get at the USB stack to add a new device type. At the higher level, Apple would have to tell you how to inject your data into their keyboard event queue as well.

iPads have a serial port in the 30 pin connector, but Apple won't tell you about the protocol or sell you the protocol conversion chips unless you sign an NDA and have legal vet your project. They loved the idea of our iPod vacuum tube amp, but threatened us if we smashed their universal docks so we could use their IR receivers.


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