I have several really nice big old clicky spring return Dell keyboards (these go back to the Pentium 2 era, if anyone's wondering how I managed to get "Dell keyboard" and "nice" into the same sentence).

My main machine these days has a DX58SO motherboard. But that motherboard has no PS/2 keyboard port; it's USB only. I'd hoped there would be a simple solution in the form of a "Startech Value USB to PS/2 Adapter"; it basically works, but frequently has terrible problems with the control-key: it seems to think it's stuck down and the only way to convince the system that it isn't down seems to be to press all the other "meta" keys on the keyboard (right-shift or caps lock or an alt key or something like that) and one of them will clear the problem. Since I'm a hardcore emacs user (where doing just about anything useful involves hitting ctrl) this is seriously annoying!

NB it's definitely not the keyboard that's the problem: it's fine in other machines (with PS/2 ports), and I've tried other PS/2 keyboards with the adapter and they all exhibit the same problem.

My question is:

  • Are there any PS/2 - USB keyboard adapters which actually work reliably ? Or is there some fundamental incompatibility which means there will always be annoyances like this ?
  • Failing that, does anyone make quality (spring return, "clicky") USB keyboards with a UK layout ? I'm well aware of clickykeyboards and unicomp but they don't carry anything with a UK layout.

Application is entirely text/code editing; not gaming.


After trying another two PS/2-USB converters (one of which didn't work at all, the other of which seemed to often miss CTRL going down which at least was less annoying than it missing it going up), I bought a Filco Majestouch USB keyboard with "Cherry Blue Keys" (the clicky ones). It's not quite as nice as the old PS/2 keyboard but I think I'll get used to it. "Das Keyboard" (same cherry blue key switches) would have been the alternative but noone seems to have UK layout in stock.

(If I don't, I have also acquired a PCI card which claims to add a PS/2 keyboard and mouse - and 2 USB ports - to a machine, but for now it remains untried).

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