Re: [NTLK] NEEDED: cables

From: James Fraser <>
Date: Thu Feb 05 2009 - 12:15:35 EST


--- On Thu, 2/5/09, Dennis B. Swaney <> wrote:

> Which is WHY I SAID the PC cable had a different pin-out
> than the Mac cable.

Yes, you did, in a previous message, not the one that I replied to. Unfortunately, I didn't see your previous message until just now.

>Reilly said that he never saw a PC with a mini-DIN port/cable.

What he said was "I've never seen a pc use use a mini din for /serial/."

>The "PS/2" ports ARE miniDIN ports. And they use a SERIAL data signal.

I agree, but nomenclaturally speaking, they are different from serial ports.

> The PS/2 nomenclature is because they were first used on
> the IBM Personal System 2 computer.

Yes, and the reason why PS/2 ports were used is because, IIRC, at one point in time, mice were commonly plugged into serial ports. But since modems *also* used serial ports, configuration conflicts sometimes arose when each tried to share the same IRQ or memory address.

PS/2 ports came about in an effort to solve that problem. PS/2 ports (and the mice designed to use those ports) worked independently of the serial ports and avoided such conflicts.

So while I agree with you fully that a PS/2 port uses a miniDIN connector and uses a serial data signal, nomenclaturally speaking, a PS/2 port and a serial port are two different things, hence the two different names.

> BTW, the Mac cable is a mini-DIN 8 and my Keyspan USA-28X
> has 8 pins, not 9 (unless you are counting the metal shield as the 9th
> pin?)

Yes, I agree, and I sent a follow-up mail correcting that mistake.


James Fraser

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Received on Thu Feb 5 12:15:37 2009

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