Your computer uses output devices such as your monitor to send data to the computer user. This same user must also use input devices to send data to the computer. Enter the keyboard. But how well do you know your keyboard?
Even though it’s not often that you’ll need to open your keyboard to make any repairs other than to unstick a stuck key or replace a broken retainer, it’s still a good idea to study every part of your keyboard. If you have an extra keyboard, take the time to open the case and study each component in detail.
If you do open your keyboard, be sure to use the right tool, usually a screwdriver to open the case and study the components inside. You will not replace these components but it will boost your understanding of computers when you know every part of every device in your computer.
Keyboard Features and Layouts
Many now-standard keyboards come with an option to go cordless. Users are increasingly choosing these as they allow more flexibility and freedom of movement and placement of the keyboard on the desk or writing surface.
The keyboard come in layouts which refer to how to keys are arranged. The Alphanumeric Key layout includes the letters, numbers, and symbols. This is the most commonly used type the keyboard layout. The QWERTY Layout is the most popular Alphanumeric layout.
The keyboard must have power to operate and it get this power from the motherboard. The operation of LED indicators lets you know the keyboard is receiving power.
The Keyboard Case
Keep in mind that your DiverseNet team is here to help you even with the most menial of repairs–including your keyboard! There is nothing more frustrating than a missing “e” or a sticky “p.”
Here are some of the basics about your keyboard case:
- The keyboard case is almost always plastic.
- The case holds the keycaps, the internal controller and other chips.
- Keyboard LED Indicators will have a set of three LED indicators. They are used to display the current operation of the keyboard. NUM LOCK, CAPS LOCK, and SCROLL LOCK are the three standard LED indications found on most keyboards.
- The most popular keys such as the Enter Key and the Space Bar will get used often. These keys may be the ones that will need to be replaced. The springs or clips underneath may give in to wear and tear over time.
Inside the Keyboard:
As the CPU is the brains of your computer, the brains of your keyboard are the circuitry inside. These circuits and chips process the operation of every keystroke.
The keyboard has its own Microprocessor and ROM or Read Only Memory that the microprocessor use to transfer data.
Some keyboards are programmable and uses the EEPROM or Electrically Erasable Programmable Memory, which holds data, acting like a very small hard drive.
Cables and Connections
Wired keyboards will have a cable that connects to the rear of the computer through a serial connector. There are two types of keyboard connectors. The large 5-DIN connector or Deutsche Industrie Norm was used on the first systems up to the mid 1990s.
The smaller 6-DIN was made by IBM for the PS/2 and later model computers. Each pin provides a special function to transfer data to the computer.
Installing the Keyboard
Unless you’ve invested in a specialized keyboard which requires the installation of software, you simply connect the keyboard to the rear of your computer.
When the system is booted up, the new keyboard will be recognized and you’re on your way. Notice the LED indicator lights to verify the keyboard is receiving power.
The functions of the keyboard can even be replaced if you have Windows XP or higher. Special features help you should your keyboard decide it want to quit.
Gather as much information and data about your system now, while it is still running smoothly! Prepare for any type of computer breakdown, even if it’s just a missing key– before it happens!