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Null Keyboard Plug

I don't need a keyboard.
  [vote for,

My secondary computer is an older machine running headless. Almost. There's a monitor over there, but it's off; a keyboard, unused; and a mouse. (I think. It has either fallen behind the couch or been liberated by [penguinman] for some other Linux box.)

I want to let it run *really* headless, and not have anything attached at all save the network. However, the BIOS insists that I must have a keyboard attached.

So all I need is a little plug, to plug into the keyboard port, to tell the BIOS just for one instant during boot up that the keyboard is not experiencing an error, and we can get on with life.

(I've googled and found the 'null keyboard driver', but it does me no good. It's a hardware problem.)

(P.S. In all seriousness, if someone gives me an [m-f-d] and a link to a seller, I would be more pleased than any amount of [+] votes.)

lurch, Oct 07 2007

PC Keyboard FAQ http://members.trip...F_Keyboard_FAQ.html
2.2) Booting PC without keyboard Verta Systems Corporation [csea, Oct 07 2007]

Keyboard fake http://www.ccs.neu..../keyboard_trick.txt
Just a resistor? Hmmm... [lurch, Oct 07 2007]

Keyboard and mouse ghost http://www.blackbox...7,1368,1369&mid=273
Bloomin' expensive though. [English Bob, Oct 08 2007]


       I had this same problem when devising a cheap PC platform to demonstrate barcoding for 35 mm film, circa 1989. I did find a solution, it just had a DIN connector, short cable, and a lump containing a keyboard chip. This proved workable, but pretty kludgey.   

       We ended up modifying the bios chip.   

       I'll look for a link, probably no longer made.
csea, Oct 07 2007

       Most KVM switches provide a dummy keyboard signal to the machines that are not currently using the real keyboard. However if it is PC hardware, all you need to do is get in to the BIOS settings and set 'ignore errors' so that it doesn't stop on a missing keyboard during boot. Neither windows nor linux cares if the keyboard is missing, it's just a BIOS check.
gtoal, Oct 07 2007

       //just a BIOS check.// Yeah, you would expect so. However, the machine is a Compaq. (There probably aren't any other BIOSes out there that lack the keyboard options, knowing my luck.)   

       I just found that resistor trick. <link> Don't anybody else try it until I can report whether I smoke the old Compaq doing it.
lurch, Oct 07 2007

       There must be settings or something. I run a cheapy generic as a media server without anything but power, ethernet, and sound cables.   

       Are you sure it isn't the OS that is insisting on a keyboard?
Galbinus_Caeli, Oct 07 2007

       This is the source of one of my favourite errors: "Keyboard error, press F1 to continue." (or is it "Keyboard not detected"?)
marklar, Oct 07 2007

       There's the Black Box keyboard and mouse Ghost [link] - not as cheap as a resistor, but more likely to work.
English Bob, Oct 08 2007

       "If this telephone is broken, please call 0800 661610"
marklar, Oct 08 2007

       Reminds me of a poster I saw (in Wal*Mart no less) for the Illiteracy Hotline.
Spacecoyote, Oct 08 2007

       [English Bob] - re: //keyboard and mouse ghost// - ouch! 119 bucks! I was trying to save the $20 cost of a keyboard!   

       (Oh, and I found out that I don't have a mouse anymore. [penguinman] got it, as I thought he might, for another computer he brought home; and I think he's got his sights on that 'unused' keyboard. I'd better hurry.)
lurch, Oct 08 2007

       I wonder if you could take a keyboard cable, plug it into the computer, cut it, tease out the wires, and tape them side by side onto a penny? Is a penny enough of a resistor?
bungston, Oct 08 2007

       The actual circuitry in a keyboard is no more than 80mm x 30mm, and doesn't require any of the keys to be connected. Hang that off the back of the base unit?
david_scothern, Oct 09 2007

       [david_scothern], I just did exactly that. I picked up a keyboard from a trash can - one of those "PC beige polyvinyl plus too much fluorescent light" yellow (approx #DDDE6C) things, stripped it down to the circuit board that plugs into the edge, coiled the wire around it, and voe-walluh! A Thing. Not much bigger than wifey's fist, and works a charm!
lurch, Apr 28 2008

       You really should glue two googly eyes on it.
bungston, Apr 29 2008

       If they have translucent backs, I will. Right over the numlock/capslock LEDs, which I'm checking for how to control from software.
lurch, Apr 29 2008


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