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This code is meant to show how the hardware interrupt generated when you press a key can be handled by replacing the seg:offset specified in the IVT (interrupt vector table). This normally points to a BIOS routine. To find the entry in the IVT, multiply the interrupt number by 4 (which is the size of each entry).

This key handler just displays the scan code without conversion to ASCII, buffering, or handling extended keys. The reason for doing this is to not muddle up the basic idea, which is to provide input, as well as output, in its most simple form.

I will not go into the hows and whys of reading the ports involved in a key press. Suffice it to say that you are communicating with actual chips (or parts of chips), not some software intermediary. I personally feel it is good to remember that, no matter what level of abstraction you work at, you are ultimately telling hardware what to do.

I will point out the turning the keyboard on/off through port 0x61 is given in its complete form, some of which might not be needed, depending on the system.

; nasmw boot.asm -f bin -o boot.bin
; partcopy boot.bin 0 200 -f0
[ORG 0x7c00]      ; add to offsets
   jmp start
   %include ""
start:   xor ax, ax   ; make it zero
   mov ds, ax   ; DS=0
   mov ss, ax   ; stack starts at 0
   mov sp, 0x9c00   ; 200h past code start
   mov ax, 0xb800   ; text video memory
   mov es, ax
   cli      ;no interruptions
   mov bx, 0x09   ;hardware interrupt #
   shl bx, 2   ;multiply by 4
   xor ax, ax
   mov gs, ax   ;start of memory
   mov [gs:bx], word keyhandler
   mov [gs:bx+2], ds ; segment
   jmp $      ; loop forever
   in al, 0x60   ; get key data
   mov bl, al   ; save it
   mov byte [port60], al
   in al, 0x61   ; keybrd control
   mov ah, al
   or al, 0x80   ; disable bit 7
   out 0x61, al   ; send it back
   xchg ah, al   ; get original
   out 0x61, al   ; send that back
   mov al, 0x20   ; End of Interrupt
   out 0x20, al   ;
   and bl, 0x80   ; key released
   jnz done   ; don't repeat
   mov ax, [port60]
   mov  word [reg16], ax
   call printreg16
port60   dw 0
   times 510-($-$$) db 0  ; fill sector w/ 0's
   dw 0xAA55        ; req'd by some BIOSes

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