A Substitute for the Extended II Keyboard

On Friday, I had a bit of a computing crisis.

My Apple Extended II at work crapped out.

Well, I thought it did. It started when hitting the space bar wouldn’t wake my MacBook Pro up while it was in clamshell mode.

The Magic Mouse woke the machine up, but then I noticed it. I could only type in caps.[1. CHOCKLOCK, if you will.]

Toggling the Caps Lock key on and off made no difference. Neither did unplugging and replugging the iMate didn’t work. Rebooting didn’t work.

I was quite sad. I use an Extended II at home and at work for a reason — the feel is great, the key travel is just right and the noise[2. Granted, the accountant whose desk is a few feet from mine my not love it.] is simply amazing.

I took the keyboard and the iMate home, to test it with my Extended II and iMate I use with my personal 27" iMac. After some component swapping, it came to light that my iMate had kicked the bucket.

After pulling the trigger on an iMate on eBay, I realized I was cursed to use one of the aluminum keyboards we have floating around the office.

Then I remembered I had a Apple 109-Key USB keyboard in the hall closet. I haven’t used this keyboard in forever.

The keys are far more firm than those on the 108-key Apple Pro keyboard. While I much prefer the black keycaps — since the white ones look gross overtime — I need something with more backbone than a Pro keyboard.

Since this keyboard isn’t as tall as my Extended II, I’ve noticed a little pain in my wrists, but I’m sure I’ll get adjusted after a few hours of typing.

This keyboard had a Bluetooth-based version, but I’ve never understood why people would use a Bluetooth keyboard on a system that doesn’t ever move — like my desk rig.

So, while I’m eager to return to my Extended II, I’m glad I had a decent, modern backup to use when the day comes that I can’t bang away on my beige keyboard anymore.