Marcos has already responded to some of this, but I will as well.

>> Bret's USB keyboard driver worked perfectly for my two notebooks
>> (Compaq and IBM, both year 1999) and one desktop (Pentium 166).

> It is unusual that the BIOS did not already do the keyboard for you.

I'm not surprised at all by this, considering the ages of Marcos' hardware.  
BIOS's only support some subset of USB keyboards, mice, and mass storage 
devices (flash drives, CD-ROM's, etc.).  Even modern BIOS's do not necessarily 
support all of these, and even if they do, the support is not always "complete" 
(they may not boot from USB disks, may not support hot-plugging, etc.).  In the 
early days, especially with laptops, the BIOS's many times didn't support USB 
keyboards at all (since laptops always have a built-in keyboard).  Even modern 
BIOS's still don't (and probably never will) support USB printers, joysticks, 
audio, video, serial, Ethernet, etc.

>> There is an incompatibility with FDAPM. I forgot the details,
>> but if FDAPM is loaded, the USB keyboard does not work properly.

> Did you try FDAPM ADV:REG instead of FDAPM APMDOS? That makes the
> power saving a bit less heavy and might reduce some side effects.

In my experiments, the ADV:REG option didn't make any difference.  On my 
computer, loading FDAPM after USBKEYB seemed to fix the problem, but apparently 
that didn't work for Marcos.  I will investigate this further and hopefully 
figure out exactly what the problem is before I release the next version of 
USBKEYB (still several months down the road, I'm afraid).

>> - MS-DOS keyb.com should be used instead of FreeDOS keyb.exe.

> Of course we cannot do that because we have no license for that.
> Can you be more specific? Are there any particular problems with
> FreeDOS KEYB? Are you using the current version? I myself like
> MKEYB by Tom Ehlert - fewer layouts and features but very small.

The problem is that none of the KEYB "replicas" are fully functional 
replacements for MS KEYB.  MS KEYB actually does two things.  The first is to 
provide alternative keyboard layouts (e.g., the Brazilian layout that Marcos 
uses and the German layout that Eric uses).  All of the KEYB replicas that I'm 
aware of do this.

The other thing that MS KEYB does is replace the hardware/firmware keyboard 
BIOS with a new software keyboard BIOS.  NONE of the KEYB replicas (at least 
none that I'm aware of) do this.

I actually have several programs that simulate keystrokes (MOUSKEYS, JOYKEYS, 
SCANCODE, and USBKEYB).  However, in order to simulate keystrokes properly, the 
BIOS must be "compatible" with the keyboard simulation as provided by the 
programs.  Some hardware/firmware BIOS's are compatible, while others aren't.  
If you don't ever use these programs, or if your BIOS is compatible, MS KEYB is 
not needed.  However, if you use any of these programs, and your BIOS is 
incompatible, you need to replace the keyboard BIOS with a new one that is 
compatible.  MS KEYB does this, and is the only program I'm aware of that does.

> USB driver by Bret would also work there, I think. However MS DOS
> has not had any updates for ca 15 years, many parts are outdated.

That may be true, but there are some parts of MS-DOS that still have not been 
replicated by FreeDOS or any other alternative DOS.  Two significant and 
critical ones (at least concerning USB) that I'm aware of are the KEYB issue 
discussed above, and the I/O Virtualization API provided by MS EMM386.  FWIW, 
I/O Virtualization is essential for USB emulation of things like joysticks, 
serial ports, and audio.


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