Are you curious about the Apple Desktop Bus (ADB)? It’s a low-speed serial port that was used to connect keyboards, mice, and other input devices to Apple IIgs and Mac computers. This proprietary technology was introduced in 1986 and was later replaced by USB in 1998 with the release of the iMac.
Designed by Steve Wozniak, the ADB was initially created to support affordable devices like keyboards and mice that could be daisy-chained without the need for hubs or additional equipment. It quickly gained popularity and was adopted by other manufacturers and used in different Macintosh models and NeXT computers.
However, like the PS/2 connector used in many PC computers, the ADB eventually became outdated with the rise of USB technology in the late 1990s. Apple phased out the ADB, and the last external ADB connector on an Apple product was in 1999. Although it remained an internal bus on some Mac models into the 2000s.
One of the unique features of ADB was its ability to allow up to 16 devices to be connected in series to the host computer. It was also a hot-swap interface on Macintosh computers, meaning that the operating system would periodically scan the bus for new devices during idle interrupts. However, Apple did not provide proper surge protection, making hot-swapping ADB devices a risk that could potentially damage the motherboard. As a result, hot-swapping is widely banned.
FAQs About Apple Desktop Bus (ADB)
1. When was the ADB introduced?
The Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) was introduced in 1986 with the release of the Apple IIGS.
2. What replaced the ADB?
In 1998, the ADB was replaced by USB technology.
3. How many devices could be connected to the ADB?
The ADB allowed up to 16 devices to be connected in series to the host computer.
4. Was hot-swapping ADB devices safe?
No, hot-swapping ADB devices could potentially damage the motherboard due to the lack of surge protection.
The Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) was a pioneering technology that revolutionized the way keyboards, mice, and other input devices connected to Apple computers. Although it was eventually replaced by USB, ADB played a significant role in the development of computer peripherals. Today, it remains a part of computer history.