AlBook Keyboard Question!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Phil Of Mac, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Location:
    Washington State University
    #1
    Here's a question about the keyboard lighting system and the new AlBooks:

    Can you remove the keys and rearrange them physically?

    Signed,
    The Cult of Dvorak
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Prospect, KY
    #2
    What?

    I don't quite understand what you mean? Do you mean can you remove the A and S letters and swap positions? Please clarify.

    Also, why would you want to do this?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Location:
    Washington State University
    #3
    That's exactly what I mean.

    My keyboard layout on my iMac right now is set to Dvorak. In Dvorak, the keys are arranged differently and, in fact, more efficiently. For example, the home row keys are, in order: aoeuidhtns-

    I pried out and rearranged the keys on my Apple USB Extended Keyboard-O-Doom, but I don't know if the lighting system would interefere with this on the AlBooks.

    Also, removing the keys is important for good keyboard cleaning and maintainance!
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Prospect, KY
    #4
    I seriuosly doubt you will be able to do this. Because keyboards on laptops are so thin, they are attached in a much different manner. My friend attempted to rearrange his iBook's keyboard. The result: a new keyboard had to be purchased. Like I said, I'm 99% sure that it's not going to be possible.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Northeast U.S.
    #5
    my experience

    My iBook's keyboard (white 500mhz) comes apart (aka individual buttons pop off) real easy.
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #6
  7. macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Prospect, KY
    #7
    Re: my experience

    hmmm...I also have a white 500 iBook and so does the person I mentioned in my above post. When he took off his keys, the only way he could get them back on was with super glue. Of course, it's always possible that he was removing them in an incorrect manner. Pardon my ignorance.
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #8
    Re: Re: my experience

    every laptop since the wallstreet (and perhaps before i dont know) has had the ability to have the keys removed and replaced/rearranged. if your friend had to glue them then he must have done something stupid and broken the keys.

    the keys are designed to be removed easily. they simply snap back in place.

    as far as the new 17" powerbook, i have no idea as i have not seen one, however i woudl hope the keys coudl be removed.
     
  9. macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #9
    it is quite easy to remove the keys from a laptop keyboard. i did this to my TiBook a couple of months ago...

    there used to be section at the DigitalHipps website (manufacturer of KeyBorg) that told you exactly how to pull the keys off... but it looks like DigitalHipps has gone down.

    there is a special way to remove the keys, you either lift from the top or bottom... but i can't remember which way.
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Entirely TOO FLAT Ann Arbor, MI
    #10
    Blech. Just learn how to touch type dvorak, and you won't need to switch keycaps. While it's very easy to do it on both desktops and laptops alike, it's also terribly easy to break them accidentally. (I broke the n key on my palm keyboard that way) In fact, I prefer the physical layout in plain qwerty cos it has them ridges where your index fingers should be. :D

    If you decide to anyways, the trick is to use a thin slot-screwdriver to gently pry off the keys from the bottom... But with the 17 inch, I wouldn't gamble on taking them off. Might break the fibre optic connections or sommit.

    Long Live Dvorak!
     
  11. macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #11
    the fiber optics are well below the key, i doubt you will ruin anything if you do it. if the new keyboards are like the old just put finger under there and your thumb on top and and put pressure on them until they pop off. even if you do switch them around, dont you have to have software to change they keyboard to dvorak.

    iJon
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    kylos

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #12
    I was just going to ask about the software as well, but I checked the Int'l prefs, and sure enough, under the input menu tab, you can set your keyboard layout. Dvorak is listed along with many international sets.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Location:
    Washington State University
    #13
    Sweet deal, thanks.

    And yes, I can touch type Dvorak (isn't that the point? :) ) but when I see a QWERTY keyboard, I switch into QWERTY mode. It's instinctive. I can type both.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #14
    you're a legend!

    i've been trying to remember how to do that for ages!! you sure you lift from the bottom? anyway, i'll have to try that when i get home.:)
     
  15. macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #15
    i found out some more stuff about the 17" PowerBook keyboard. i just checked powerpage.org and they happened to have a 'first impressions' article about the 17". some interesting points are that the keyboard is actually spot welded to the palm rests/case of the PB. this would mean that you can't even take out the keyboard like you can in the 15" TiBooks. i'm not sure about the 12" PB, i'll have to check that out...

    another thing that i didn't realise is that the 17" PB's keys are aluminium, and judging from the fact that the keyboard is spot welded to the case (presumably to keep the circuitry for the keyboard lighting in place) it doesn't look like you can take the keys off like you once could. but if anyone wants to find out then i'm sure there will be alot of us that will be interested to hear your results. ;) :D
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    Entirely TOO FLAT Ann Arbor, MI
    #16
    I'm jealous. I suck at typing qwerty now that I've switched completely. It's terrible. I'm now one of those two-finger typists... :rolleyes: I get maybe a max of 10-20 wpm when I used to get 30+. Now on Dvorak... :D

    And, I'm 99% sure that the keys on the 17 inch are NOT aluminum. I've played it for about an hour, and am due to pick mine up by the end of the week. I'm a happy boy :)
     
  17. macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #17
    from Powerpage.org:

    "The fit and finish of the 17" PowerBook is tight. The aluminum key tops give the keyboard a firm and crisp feel and the speaker grills are nicely done."

    that description sounds like the 17" has aluminium keys, as well as the fact the Apple says that the keys on the 17" are laser-etched. you can't laser-etch plastic, can you?:confused:
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    Sweden
    #18
    Keys on my 17 powerbook are plastic, I'm almost sure about that. You can feel if it's metal or plastic when the laptop has been unused for a while, metal feels cold you know. The keys never feel cold.

    / filipp
     
  19. macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #19
    just for clarification of which way you lift the keys to remove them from the keyboard, you do not lift them from the bottom, at least on the TiBooks.

    i tried this last night and lifting from the top is the correct method to remove the keys.
     
  20. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #20
    Ah you've found one of the wonderful technologies of Star Trek in a powerbook...

    Transparent Aluminum :p

    When you wake up you'll find the keys have reverted to a plastic that works with the fiber optics and all your dreams of wealth will have to wait for the next lottery.

    [edit - forgot the :eek: :D ;) ]
     
  21. macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #21
    when they say the keys are aluminium topped, they mean color, not metal. confusing yes... and you can certainly laser etch plastic...

    i would also think that the fiber optics would be well below the keys, and that the keys are detachable... i'd bet they're the same scissor-type keys that apple developed a few years ago. they put a lot of work into them, i doubt they'd abandon the type just because the keyboard is wielded on...

    pnw
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    Sweden
    #22
    Yes, the keys are in fact detachable. I noticed once that my "6"-key was not placed as it should, it was somewhat above all other keys. Then I thought that the glue (which I thoght) went off and that I would need to glue the key back myself. When I pressed the key back down, it sounded CLICK and it just went back on its right place. I'm happy I did not have to do anything about it.

    So, my answer is, yes, they are detachable and they are jammed with some plastic sqare-formed mechanism.

    / filipp
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #23
    Here's a site which talks about re-arranging a PowerBook G4 keyboard to the dvorak layout. May be of interest since it sounds exactly like what you're talking about.
     

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