Another reason to dislike wireless keyboards

Last week I was asked to diagnose a sick Windows PC. I booted a DOS-based diagnostic utility program from a CD-ROM. (For diagnosing hardware at its lowest level, a single-tasking operating system ensures that a virtual memory manager isn’t writing to the disk that you’re trying to diagnose.) The program performed sluggishly. Reason? A USB-based wireless keyboard. Once I’d replaced the keyboard with a plain-Jane keyboard wired with a mini-DIN connector (first seen on IBM PS/2s), all was fine.

I’m surprised that the DOS-based program worked at all with the wireless keyboard. I guess that this Dell Dimension had a BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) that worked with a wireless keyboard and the DOS-based program used the BIOS for its keyboard input.

I’ve never understood why users choose wireless keyboards and mice. If you could see the additional layers of error detection and correction that are added, you’d wonder, also. Computers are flaky enough without needlessly degrading their reliability with wireless peripherals.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695


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