If it ain’t broke…

What happened to me today as I was messing around on my system is a perfect example of the wisdom of the old saying. For example…

I had a nostalgic feel for my Unicomp Model M keyboard, so I thought I’d re-purpose my Corsair Vengeance K65 Gaming Keyboard to my laptop. Keep in mind, however, that I had a perfectly working bluetooth setup, and that, along with my keyboard and mouse, worked through USB. My Unicomp, however, has a legacy PS/2 connector. Which, in theory, shouldn’t have been a problem. Just substitute the Unicomp for the Corsair. Right? WRONG!! Using a legacy connector turned out to introduce all sorts of lag to my system, which has communication layers like this: Audio–>PulseAudio–>Bluetooth.

In order for this system to work flawlessly, the same bus (USB) has to be used; legacy connections are a NO-NO. This has to do with the way Linux routes communications from the system peripherals. From what I’ve been able to gather, the PS/2 connector introduces major amounts of lag; I’ve not measured, but if I start a song via VLC, and then press stop, it will take 1-3 seconds for the sound to actually stop. Not an acceptable solution.

I only discovered this by logical reasoning, after messing around with certain system files, files which previously had worked without issue. When I met with failure time and time again, I sat back and thought about it. Then it made perfect sense.

Only after re-swapping the Corsair for the Unicomp, did my system return to its previously perfect working order. This was a humiliating lesson for me, one which I, in retrospect, should have known was going to happen, but frequently as happens with us humans, doesn’t become painfully clear until after the lesson has been taught.

Moral of the story: Don’t mess with your system, even if you think you have good reason to do so, unless first you assess why your system works the way it does, and then make the adjustment only if you’re sure the adjustment will not bork your system’s performance.