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Classic example of a braindead error message. The engineers were either expecting a F1 key not on a keyboard or spend too much time smoking crack. Of course, it could just all be someone's sick joke.

I can turn this message off in the BIOS, but I still need a keyboard to set the option. Oh well.
Or, of course, this computer needs a keyboard to operate, so until you find a keyboard, plug it in and press F1, you cannot continue.

The really idiotic thing about the message is that it is not needed, and indeed harmful. I can think of many situations where you do not need a keyboard (e.g. a server locked away in some cupboard, or any MS-DOS computer with an AUTOEXEC.BAT file, or (probably) even a Windows "computer" with some not-too-difficult configuration). Why not leave it to the operating system to decide if it refuses to continue without a keyboard?

The BIOS (which issues this message) simply doesn't have enough information to make a call on this matter! If you don't have enough information to decide, the logical thing is to pass the buck!

The BIOS know perfectly if the computer needs a keyboard or not - If you've told it it needs a keyboard, it pops up the error; If you've told it it doesn't, then it doesn't. It only does what you tell it to, and if it's misinformed, it's not its fault. The assumption is that the user knows more about the role of the computer than the BIOS or operating system put together.

The operating system, at least as far as the BIOS is concerned, can't even be relied upon to exist, let alone deal with missing bits of hardware. If the machine is also missing a reset switch, and the keyboard error is something more serious than it not being plugged in, there may not be a way to reboot the machine cleanly. Much better to halt it before the OS gets a chance to mess things up.

Also, it's a great way to test if the keyboard error has gone away yet...

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