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ADB Manager

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The ADB Manager is the part of the Macintosh Operating System that allows you to get information about and communicate with hardware devices attached to the Apple Desktop Bus. Most applications never need to interact with the ADB Manager, but can instead call the appropriate Event Manager routines for information about user actions on ADB devices such as keyboards or mouse devices. Also note that the ADB Manager does not interact with the Device Manager, but handles all ADB devices and ADB device handlers itself.

The ADB Manager handles three main tasks. First, at system startup, the ADB Manager builds the ADB device table , which contains the default ADB device address, device handler ID, and other identifying information for each ADB device. Whenever the ADB is reinitialized, the ADB Manager reinitializes the ADB device table. Second, if two or more ADB devices share the same default ADB device address when the ADB is building the ADB device table or when the ADB is reinitialized, the ADB Manager assigns each device a new ADB device address until no address conflict exists. This process is known as address resolution. Third, the ADB Manager retrieves new data from the ADB devices and sends it to the appropriate device handler.

In general, ADB devices communicate with the Operating System only through the ADB Manager. The ADB Manager, in turn, calls a device handler to process data from the device. The device handler interprets data transmitted by the ADB device, and in some cases, passes this information to the Event Manager. A single device handler can manage more than one device of the same type (for example, the device handler for the Apple Extended keyboard can manage several keyboards). A single device handler can also manage more than one device type if the different device type emulates the device type associated with the particular device handler (for example, a mouse device handler can manage both a mouse and a graphics tablet emulating a mouse).

A device handler receives all data from its associated ADB device through the ADB Manager. The ADB Manager continually checks to see if ADB devices have new data to send. When the ADB Manager receives new data from an ADB device, it sends the data to the appropriate device handler. The device handler interprets the data and, if appropriate, places an event into the event queue using the PostEvent function. (For more information on PostEvent, see Inside Macintosh: Macintosh Toolbox Essentials.) For example, if the user types a key on the keyboard, the ADB Manager retrieves this data and sends the data to the device handler for the keyboard, which in turn places an event into the event queue.

The ADB Manager retrieves data from an ADB device as a result of its normal polling process. The ADB Manager polls a device by sending it a command requesting it to return the contents of one of its registers. (Note that an ADB device should respond to the specific ADB command, Talk Register 0, only if the device has new data to send. See the next section, “ADB Commands,” for more information.)

In general, the ADB Manager repeatedly polls the last ADB device that sent new data except under two circumstances: when it receives a service request signal, and when it builds the ADB device table. In these cases, the ADB Manager also polls other ADB devices. When responding to a service request signal, the ADB Manager polls all known addresses containing an ADB device until all pending data is transmitted and no device asserts a service request signal. When building the ADB device table, the ADB Manager polls each ADB device connected to the bus.

In general, only device handlers use the ADB Manager to communicate with devices. The normal polling of ADB devices performed by the ADB Manager retrieves data for the device handlers; your application should call the appropriate Event Manager routines for information about the user’s input on ADB devices. If necessary, however, you can directly communicate with an ADB device using the ADBOp routine. You should use the ADBOp routine only for special purposes where you need to directly communicate with an ADB device (for example, to set the LED lights on an Apple Extended Keyboard). Remember that in most circumstances, you do not need to call ADBOp.

ADB Commands

An ADB command is a 1-byte value that specifies the ADB device address of a device and encodes the desired action the target device should perform. In some cases, additional data may follow an ADB command. For example, the ADB Manager may transmit data to the device or the device may respond to a command by transmitting one or more bytes of data back to the ADB Manager. It’s important to realize, however, that ADB devices never issue commands to the ADB Manager. At most, the device can assert a service request signal to request that the ADB Manager poll the bus for any devices wishing to transmit data.

The ADB Manager can send any of four bus commands to an ADB device. Three of these commands, Talk, Listen, and Flush, are addressed to specific registers on a specific device.

  • Talk. The ADB Manager sends a Talk command to a device to fetch user input (or other data) from the device. The Talk command requests that a specified device send the contents of a specified device register across the bus. After the device sends the data from the specified register, the ADB Manager places the data into a buffer in RAM, which the ADB Manager makes available for use by device handlers or (in rare cases) applications. In the case of a Talk Register 0 command, the ADB device should respond to the ADB Manager only if it has new data to send.
  • Listen. The ADB Manager sends a Listen command to a device to instruct it to prepare to receive additional data. The Listen command indicates which data register is to receive the data. After sending a Listen command, the ADB Manager then transfers data from a buffer in RAM to the device. The device must overwrite the existing contents of the specified register with the new data.
  • Flush. The ADB Manager sends a Flush command to a device to force it to flush any existing user-input data from a specified device register. The device should prepare itself to receive any further input from the user.
  • SendReset. The ADB Manager uses a SendReset command to force all devices on the bus to reset themselves to their startup states. Each device should clear any of its pending device actions and prepare to accept new ADB commands and user input data immediately. Note that the ADB device does not actually receive the SendReset command but recognizes that it should reset itself when the bus is driven low by the 3 millisecond reset pulse. Your application should never send the SendReset command.

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