Apple Ergonimic Keyboard that doesn't suck?

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
I've spent the last 13 years on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard, as pictured below. The exact keyboard you see below. My hands, arms, brain are 100% adapted to that keyboard. I have never found another keyboard that comes close.

That being said, here I am typing on this Apple Wireless keyboard, which I love, but it hurts like hell on my hands and forearms. As elite as i want to be using all apple stuff, I am not sure I can go another number of years like this.

So, are there any good ergonomic keyboards for the Apple system? I've seen a few, but nothing that really stands out. No one really does the split keyboard anymore :(

OR, is there any way to use a PS2 keyboard on a Mac Pro? like an adapter or something? And would I be able to map the keys from an old PS2 to the control, option, command keys of apple?

Any ideas?
 

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Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
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I'm not sure, I've never even heard of a PS2 to USB connector until now. I suppose it might work, but how does one go about mapping the keys that OSX needs in a keyboard, like eject, volume up/down/mute, apple/command, and all those?
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,080
287
Indianapolis
I'm not sure, I've never even heard of a PS2 to USB connector until now. I suppose it might work, but how does one go about mapping the keys that OSX needs in a keyboard, like eject, volume up/down/mute, apple/command, and all those?
Eject and the volume will be a tough one.

Windows Key -> Command

Alt -> Option

Ever plugged in a "Windows" keyboard into a Mac?
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
Ever plugged in a "Windows" keyboard into a Mac?
No. But especially not a Ps2 keyboard. I am not sure what sort of identification or firmware a PS2 keyboard from 1994 has on it, if the Mac will recognize it at all. I guess I might just have to try.

any thoughts on ergonomic keyboards for the mac though, at any rate?
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,080
287
Indianapolis
No. But especially not a Ps2 keyboard. I am not sure what sort of identification or firmware a PS2 keyboard from 1994 has on it, if the Mac will recognize it at all. I guess I might just have to try.

any thoughts on ergonomic keyboards for the mac though, at any rate?
There are plenty of PS/2 to USB adapters that I've seen. There isn't any magical firmware on that keyboard. It's just like every other PS/2 keyboard.
 

FoxyKaye

macrumors 68000
Have you seen the Goldtouch for Mac? Don't let the two-star rating on Amazon fool you (one of the comments is made by an obvious idiot), it has garnered good reviews. The only downside is that the keypad isn't included with the keyboard proper:

http://www.amazon.com/Goldtouch-Apple-Compatible-Keyboard-ergonomic/dp/B000GUN2Y0/ref=pd_bxgy_e_text_b/103-9462696-5170253

Also Cirque/Adesso has a (mostly) compatible touchpad:

http://www.amazon.com/Smartcat-Cirque-Glidepoint-Technology-Touchpad/dp/B000FVIHY0/ref=sr_1_6/103-9462696-5170253?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1185814007&sr=8-6

Hope this helps.
 

LeviG

macrumors 65816
Nov 6, 2006
1,277
2
Norfolk, UK
ms natural keyboard 4000
linky

As I've used just about all the natural keyboards from ms (started with natural like the one you have) the new 4000 is much better in my view and it will keep a familiar layout too.

Theres a wireless set with the natural 6000 laser mouse too.
linky
I've got the mouse too and after the initial getting used to is a lovely thing to use.

As to keys, ms do intellikey for mac iirc. I only use the keyboard on a pc though so can't vouch for it fully under mac os-x but I wouldn't expect any major issues.
 

TheSilencer

macrumors regular
May 27, 2007
111
0
Hm, Apple had a "ergonomic keyboard" in history. Anyone remember this adjustable keyboard? :D



Too bad that they not offering such a type of keyboard anymore.
 

Peva

macrumors newbie
Jul 30, 2007
4
0
Apple Ergonimic Keyboard that doesn't suck?

Google "ergonomic keyboard" (include quotes) or without quotes you get some different links.

Interesting links:
http://www.datavisionergonomics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=dtv&Category_Code=dtv_021

A few Apple Adjustable Keyboard look alikes and a PS/2 keyboard to USB.

and:
http://www.safetype.com/

A real 'cool' nerd keyboard for the "not so faint of heart" professional typers:
"Cornell University conducted extensive testing of the Safetype Keyboard™, and found that it greatly reduces the risk of Repetitive Motion Injury (carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.) Please watch the 3.5 minute streaming video; just click on the video camera to the right."

Hope this helps.
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,395
8
San Francisco
Using a PS2/USB adapter usually leaves most keys mapped correctly. The volume keys should work using any volume keys on that MS keyboard as well as F12 for Eject. Any other function keys will have to be done from the System Prefs (like brightness).

Its worth a shot, or just go with any old PC ergonomic. 90% of the time they work just fine.
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
After using the wireless apple keyboard, the aluminum apple keyboard, and that microsoft 4000 ergonomic keyboard, I am back to the original old microsoft keyboard in the original post.

I bought a Dynex PS/2 to USB adapter and it works for the most part. I was able to remap the function keys with the apple software. The Intellitype software I downloaded doesn't seem to recognize the ps/2 keyboard though, when I try to map some of the F keys to control the volume in OSX, it still does nothing.

So am I just out of luck with the volume controls? F12 does do eject, and also the dashboard. Expose is still F9-F11 also. I just wish there was some way to do volume on the keyboard, since there's really no other way to do it.

Anyone know a way around this?
 

powz

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2007
198
0
Does anyone else have opinions about the M$ 6000 desktop set? I was really considering it but then read some reviews that were so-so.
 

DaveF

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2007
732
2
NoVA
I'm also looking for a good Apple Keyboard.

I tried the MS Laser 6000 for Mac and returned it because the wireless mouse didn't work well in my house. It lost mouse clicks. The keyboard also always had a low signal level, though it worked fine. This keyboard and mouse are exactly what I want, except the wireless system doesn't work well enough for my environment. If you're not in a "crowded" wireless area, it's worth a try.

I'm about to return my second try, the MS Natural 4000. The space bar is poorly done, supported only by a center post so pressing from the side gives a jerky, klunky keystroke. Far inferior to the original MS Natural. The keys are also mushier than the Natural. It's close to what I want, but the space bar is just too annoying. Back it goes.

I could continue with my Natural Elite via PS/2 to USB converter, but I can't switch the Alt and Windows keys; the Windows driver software does this for the Natural 4000, but it doesn't work on the older Elite.

There is the Adesso Keyboard. I'm also going to give the new Apple keyboard another go.
 

powz

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2007
198
0
I tried the MS Laser 6000 for Mac and returned it because the wireless mouse didn't work well in my house. It lost mouse clicks. The keyboard also always had a low signal level, though it worked fine. This keyboard and mouse are exactly what I want, except the wireless system doesn't work well enough for my environment. If you're not in a "crowded" wireless area, it's worth a try
Alright, thanks. I'll give it a try. Do you know if the Mac version is v. 1 or v. 2?

Please keep us posted on your other results.
 

powz

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2007
198
0
Just as an update, I tried the MS Desktop 6000 (v. 2). I like the keyboard -- nice ergonomic curve and cushy palm rests. However, the mouse feels cheap and clunky and I too had issues with bad wireless connections, eventhough the RF receiver was max. 2 feet away from the mouse/kb! :( I had no connection issues with a similar setup with the Logitech S530, but of course the S530 doesn't have the ergonomic kb shape.
 

DaveF

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2007
732
2
NoVA
I returned the MS 4000 -- clunky spacebar and mushy keys. I bought the Comfort Curve 2000 for $15. It's the baseline curved (non-split ergo) keyboard from MS. With the MS keyboard drivers installed, I was able to get the keys configured sensible, with the eject button mapped to the "Menu" button.

The MS Natural Elite with PS/2 to USB converter does not have a sensible way to swap Alt and Win keys. The utility I found to do this also remaps the Mac keyboard, in my MacBook Pro, which is then confusing when I "undock".

I tried again the new Apple keyboard at CompUSA, but it's not curved and that's just not a good solution for me.

Maybe MS will revise their Laser Keyboard to a more robust wireless solution or, better yet, make a wired version. But that's just wishful thinking.

So, it's a Comfort Curve 2000 for the time being.
 

odinsride

macrumors 65816
Apr 11, 2007
1,145
0
I used to use the MS Natural Keyboards but I switched to regular keyboards after realizing anywhere I went, any computer I used, will never have a natural keyboard like I was used to typing on, making it very difficult to adjust. So I figured if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. It took me about a month to fully get used to using a normal keyboard again. Try it!
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
I used to use the MS Natural Keyboards but I switched to regular keyboards after realizing anywhere I went, any computer I used, will never have a natural keyboard like I was used to typing on, making it very difficult to adjust. So I figured if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. It took me about a month to fully get used to using a normal keyboard again. Try it!
I used the Apple keyboard for about 7 weeks, ended up spraining both Brachioradialis muscles in my arms, had to ice them every night to get the inflammation to go down.

I'm just using the old PS2 keyboard I originally posted, using a PS2 to USB adapter. I keep the aluminum apple keyboard up under my monitors though, so I can still hit the itunes and volume controls.

Oh well, I guess apple doesn't care about my Brachioradialis.
 

BillyBobBongo

macrumors 68020
Jun 21, 2007
2,487
979
On The Interweb Thingy!
ms natural keyboard 4000
linky

As I've used just about all the natural keyboards from ms (started with natural like the one you have) the new 4000 is much better in my view and it will keep a familiar layout too.
I too got hooked and moved to the 400 after spilling beer over my original one in a late night WoW raiding session. The squishy hand rest is a nice touch! I really love this keyboard!