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Hi, I have a very old desktop computer (80286 architecture) and was wondering if there is a way to connect my notebook to the PC through its PS/2 connectors and ...
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  1. #1
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    Using notebook as an external keyboard/mouse


    Hi,
    I have a very old desktop computer (80286 architecture) and was wondering if there is a way to connect my notebook to the PC through its PS/2 connectors and use it as a keyboard and a mouse instead of connecting real peripherals.

    I don't know if there is a Linux version that could be run on the old CPU so I suppose it will be running some kind of DOS/whatever and I will need some kind of USB->PS/2 adapter plus a SW run on the notebook side (Ubuntu Linux) that would send all input to the adapter.

    Is anyone aware of a way of doing this or, at least, converting a laptop to a USB (instead of PS/2) keyboard/mouse through a USB adapter?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    The easiest way would be to run the openvnc server software on the desktop computer and a vnc client on the laptop, connecting the two via the network. Also, ssh with the -X (x-windows passthru) option set, works well for me to remotely access systems from my laptop. In any case, I don't think you can get the PS/2 interfaces working like you want. The keyboard and mouse interfaces are quite different as far as I understand them.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Well, that is the way I already control my another PC (an 8 years old workstation) and is of course the best solution for such use.

    The problem is, however, that the computer I am talking about dates sometime from middle 80s or 90s and doesn't even have a network card - apart from the fact that I am not aware of the possibility of installing Linux on the old architecture (or even any kind of VNC server).

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    So what OS does this dinosaur run? I used to run QNX on those machines since it could run in protected mode and handle more than 640k RAM without paging. Since the ssh source is open, if QNX didn't support it, you could make it do so... I think that QNX 4 supported the 286 architecture, and had a full X-Windows implementation. It worked well for me. We had to write our own TCP/IP stack for QNX 2... Did that in the 1990-1992 time frame. In any case, I still have 386 systems running QNX 4.

    So, if I understand you correctly, you want to use this old system to act as a keyboard/mouse for your laptop? Do you also want to use its monitor for output from the laptop?
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  6. #5
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    Well, exactly the opposite I want to use my laptop as a keyboard or mouse for the old PC (and potentially other ones in the future) making the laptop a (smart) controller. Of course, bringing the VGA output out of the computer to the laptop would be very helpful - it is quite another work though.

    The computer was originally running DOS 6.22 and I guess it does so up until now - if not, I will have to install an OS manually from floppy disks.

    I haven't ever heard about QNX, thanks. Still the computer isn't equipped with a network card/ethernet which I could pass the data through.

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