VOGONS


First post, by AlessandroB

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what's the practical difference in retrogaming? ps2 not require driver in dos? is more precise? are the same?
why choose one instead the other one.
tnks

Reply 1 of 19, by Joseph_Joestar

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In pure DOS, you will need to load a mouse driver whether your mouse is PS2 or serial. The main difference is that you can get an optical PS2 mouse while serial mice are usually mechanical (they use a roller ball).

Mechanical mice get dirty and need to be cleaned frequently which gets annoying. They are also less precise than optical mice.

Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
OPL3 vs. CQM vs. SBLive emulated FM synth
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 6 of 19, by maxtherabbit

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AlessandroB wrote on 2020-06-19, 23:23:

so there is no difference using serial or ps/2 in term of connection? i do not care about optical or mechanical mouse, i like retro feeling of rolling sphere.

in my experience PS/2 mice have a higher sampling rate than serial, making a PS/2 ball mouse more desirable than a serial ball mouse

IOW what the duck said

Reply 7 of 19, by Pierre32

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I'm happy with my Microsoft Serial Mouse (ball) on my 386 & 486, where the use is slower paced - point & click games, that sort of thing. On my Pentium where I play early FPS stuff, it has to be a PS/2 mouse for better precision and reliability.

A bamboo chopping board from the supermarket is my favourite "mouse pad" for the ball mouse. For the PS/2 I just use a regular gaming mat.

Reply 8 of 19, by nali

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I don't have a retro machine for now.
My oldest is a P2 333 ...
Which is quite "new", seeing the standards on this forum.

Maybe a PS/2 is more cpu dependant ?
No idea.
So for old games, a serial may be enough.
You won't play Unreal Tournament on a 386 😀
And use the great Mouserate to tweek to 100 Hz ...

I think there's no easy answer.
Try both, and decide.

Reply 9 of 19, by Jo22

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PS/2 mice are inferior sometimes, but that's because of the PS/2 ports and the odd data format.
In RS-232 mode, attached to a COM port, they should be fine.

Jumpy PS/2 mouse in Enhanced mode Windows 3.x
http://www.os2museum.com/wp/jumpy-ps2-mouse-i … de-windows-3-x/

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 11 of 19, by nali

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The slowest machine I used with a PS/2 mouse was a Pentium 75 / 64 Mo ram.
It was a dedicated gateway/firewall when I was sysadmin in 1999/2002, of course Debian.
Never had any problem with PS/2.
Here we are speaking about archeology 😀

Reply 12 of 19, by yawetaG

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nali wrote on 2020-06-19, 22:18:

There are adapters Ps/2 -> Serial.
This may help to use an optical mouse.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_H84iGJeDo

In the case of passive adapters, the mouse in question must also support serial ports.

Just like mouses must support both USB and PS/2 if you're going to use a passive USB -> PS/2 adapter...

Reply 13 of 19, by _UV_

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One thing many may be missing - IRQs, PS/2 mouse need IRQ 12, which can be used for some PCI devices such as USB/Ethernet/SCSI/etc. Serial mice need IRQ too, but idk about bad consequences of enabling COM1 interface for using with mice.

Reply 14 of 19, by darry

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_UV_ wrote on 2020-06-20, 19:09:

One thing many may be missing - IRQs, PS/2 mouse need IRQ 12, which can be used for some PCI devices such as USB/Ethernet/SCSI/etc. Serial mice need IRQ too, but idk about bad consequences of enabling COM1 interface for using with mice.

COM ports take IRQs too . On a at least one Pentium 1 board I have had, IRQ12 was used for PS/2 port whether PS/2 mouse was connected or not . There was no way to disable it and re-use IRQ 12 for anything else . Since then, I have just used the PS/2 port whenever available .

Reply 15 of 19, by Jo22

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darry wrote on 2020-06-20, 19:29:

COM ports take IRQs too .

COM ports *could* technically share IRQs, though, so *if* you had two COM ports installed, a third or fourth wouldn't take up any extra IRQ. 😁
A popular configuration was like this: COM1/COM3= IRQ 4, COM2/COM4= IRQ3
https://www.brainbell.com/tutors/A+/Hardware/ … M_and_Ports.htm

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 16 of 19, by darry

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-06-21, 04:13:
COM ports *could* technically share IRQs, though, so *if* you had two COM ports installed, a third or fourth wouldn't take up an […]
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darry wrote on 2020-06-20, 19:29:

COM ports take IRQs too .

COM ports *could* technically share IRQs, though, so *if* you had two COM ports installed, a third or fourth wouldn't take up any extra IRQ. 😁
A popular configuration was like this: COM1/COM3= IRQ 4, COM2/COM4= IRQ3
https://www.brainbell.com/tutors/A+/Hardware/ … M_and_Ports.htm

In my experience, that usually did work that well, especially with dial-up modems .

Besides, even the article linked goes on to say"The first rule for setting IRQs is to ensure that two devices never share the same IRQ. The only exception is that two (or more) devices can share an IRQ if they never "talk" at the same time! Common IRQ conflicts occur between a serial mouse, sound card, modem, and/or serial printer."

The usefulness of the shared IRQ between COM ports was limited at the time and, IMHO, is even more limited today, considering that there are very few situation where you would want to forsake the use of a serial mouse while using some other serial device . Actually, off the top of my head and in the context of retro gaming, the only practical uses I see for a serial port, other than a mouse, are serial MIDI and serial networking (for 1-on-1 gaming), all of which are uses not conducive to IRQ sharing .

That said, in the BBS days, there existed specialized multi-serial-port, IRQ sharing, ISA cards that allowed simultaneous use of multiple dial-up modems by a single PC . They were often accessed through a protocol known as FOSSIL (http://www.byterunner.com/shareint.html and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOSSIL) .

Reply 17 of 19, by Deksor

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I prefer ps/2 mice because they can have a better rate which can't be tweaked with serial mice.

With that software http://m.majorgeeks.com/files/details/ps2rate.html you can change the rate from 40Hz to 200Hz in windows 9x !

This is the very reason why the mouse cursor in Windows 9x looks laggier than on modern PCs : it's refreshed at only 40Hz. This wouldn't be an inconvenient if that didn't affect games too.
What happens when your mouse is refreshed at 40Hz and you turn the view in a FPS game ? Well it looks 40Hz too !
So you have to use a ps/2 mouse + ps/2 rate to avoid this inconvenient.

Reply 18 of 19, by Pierre32

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Deksor wrote on 2020-06-21, 07:52:
I prefer ps/2 mice because they can have a better rate which can't be tweaked with serial mice. […]
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I prefer ps/2 mice because they can have a better rate which can't be tweaked with serial mice.

With that software http://m.majorgeeks.com/files/details/ps2rate.html you can change the rate from 40Hz to 200Hz in windows 9x !

This is the very reason why the mouse cursor in Windows 9x looks laggier than on modern PCs : it's refreshed at only 40Hz. This wouldn't be an inconvenient if that didn't affect games too.
What happens when your mouse is refreshed at 40Hz and you turn the view in a FPS game ? Well it looks 40Hz too !
So you have to use a ps/2 mouse + ps/2 rate to avoid this inconvenient.

Man, I had no idea about this. I'll try that software next time I fire up the Win98 box. Cheers!

Reply 19 of 19, by chinny22

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I'd add availability is a consideration.
Serial comparability is all but gone in modern mice and even PS2 is no longer a given.