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Who Wants IRQ 1?

Reserved for the keyboard, but...
  [vote for,

A lot of computers these days are using USB keyboards, that do not attach to the dedicated keyboard (PS/2 type) connector on the computer. This means that the way the BIOS and Operating System treat IRQ1, normally dedicated for exclusive use with the keyboard connector, could and should allow re-directing for some other purpose. I have no doubt that such purposes can be found (see link for more details).

(Added a few minutes later)
I just discovered the computer I use at work has IRQs numbered from 0-23. I dunno when 8 more got added, but for a long time (like when I posted the other Idea), IRQs only went from 0-15. Even so, they all seem to be getting used!

Vernon, Aug 21 2008

Who Wants IRQ 6? Who_20Wants_20IRQ_206_3f
An old Idea that more fully explains the rationale behind reassigning IRQs. [Vernon, Aug 21 2008]

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       You're awfully fascinated with your computer's resources! Are you running that close to empty? I envision this motherboard with two expansion cards in each slot...
phoenix, Aug 21 2008

       I have to disagree, i'm afraid. It's important to use hardware for as long as possible for ecological reasons. If you start using the interrupt vectors for other purposes, it will break compatibility and legacy hardware will become useless. The keyboard i'm typing on now is one i fished out of a bin outside a pharmacy, my speakers are from an early 'eighties hi-fi, the printer is plugged into the Centronics interface and so forth. I also use a twenty year old laptop with a defunct hard drive, which i boot using a new-fangled Sony-style floppy drive. I couldn't've used this stuff if this sort of thing happened, and the chances are all this stuff would have been "recycled" somewhere in the poor parts of the world and its waste would be causing birth defects, cancer or something. That is really not good. On the other hand, if it means using less power, it could be worthwhile, provided the embodied energy of the hardware is outweighed by the energy saved. However, this tends not to happen.   

       Isn't there an interrupt for a punch card? Also, whatever happened to the original IBM PC cassette interface?
nineteenthly, Aug 21 2008

       [nineteenthly], you seem to be missing the point that this is a FEATURE, not a requirement. It would be optional whether or not to re-assign the keyboard IRQ. It is not an option at this time. Why shouldn't it be an option? "Just because it's always been done that way" is not an excuse when compatibitility isn't actually broken outright by this Idea.
Vernon, Aug 21 2008

       OK, that's better, sorry. Would there not be compatibility problems? Would it be a BIOS option? I sometimes run a version of Forth which boots off a floppy and bypasses the O/S. What about that? I suppose it would be up to Forth itself to do that then.   

       Changing my vote to neutral. However, i'm still concerned because it would discourage backwards compatibility.
nineteenthly, Aug 21 2008

       I too am confused about what problem this idea solves. I haven't had to deal with IRQ numbers for at least five years. You might get lower latency in some situations by freeing up an IRQ line, but when is this actually a problem?
Srimech, Aug 21 2008

       //when is this actually a problem?//   

       When professional sound hardware is needed.
Spacecoyote, Aug 21 2008

       In a way, what should be done is for compatibility to be either abandoned or dealt with through emulation, and then everyone could start with a clean slate, but here we are using QWERTY (ooh, odd experience that) keyboards decades after jamming ceased to be a problem, so what can you do?
nineteenthly, Aug 21 2008


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