Is anyone using an Apple Extended II keyboard with Tiger or Leopard?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by vultureparade, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. vultureparade macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    #1
    If so, how'd you go about it?

    I was looking at the Griffin Imate ADB to USB adapter, but rumor has it that it only works under OS 10.3.9 or earlier.

    I'd really like to give one of these keyboards a whirl, but I'm unsure about how to go about using one with Tiger and eventually Leopard.

    Advice and personal stories are much appreciated.
     
  2. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Dec 17, 2003
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
    I was just doing research on this. What I found is that the iMate seems to work just fine with the keyboard in Tiger and Leopard. The iMate is listed as supporting up to 10.3 only, but that seems to be for other ADB peripherals (tablets, etc.) You also don't have to install any drivers, it should be plug and play.

    I was lucky to snag an iMate for $10, and am now looking around for an Apple Extended Keyboard on EBay.

    I used to have a Kensington Studioboard which I really liked (great feel, similar mechanical switches as the Apple keyboard), but couldn't really get used to the L-shaped enter key. I guess it's almost the same as the Matias keyboard, which is too expensive for me.

    If the iMate wasn't going to work, then I was considering getting an old IBM Model M and a PS2/USB adapter. The problem there is you don't have enough modifier keys, and I would need to map 'caps lock' to the option key or something like that (I want the command key next to the space bar.)

    Outside of these, I really like the alu PowerBook keyboards (I guess the MBP should be the same.) It doesn't click, but it actually has some tactile feedback/resistance when you press down.
     
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #3
    I recently had an ancient iMate with an Extended II hooked up to 10.4, and it worked ok (the only annoyance was that hitting a key wouldn't wake the Mac), so that's a confirming data point.
     
  4. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Dec 17, 2003
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    Thanks for the info. The other thing I had read is that the computer wouldn't get the first keypress, so maybe that's related too.

    Since this is mainly to supplement my MacBook, it should be no problem.
     
  5. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Now that I've received it, the Griffin iMate works great with my Apple Extended Keyboard in Leopard, with no software drivers necessary.

    It works great in Windows too (which is how I'm actually currently using it.)

    An iMate + used Apple Extended Keyboard from EBay is a wonderful combo. Cheap, and much better IMO than the current alternatives. The Apple Extended Keyboard is the best.
     
  6. forrestmc4 macrumors regular

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    Sep 20, 2007
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    Washington, DC
    #6
    Can I pop in and ask a question? Why would you use such an old keyboard?
     
  7. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Dec 17, 2003
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    Some of these older keyboards have totally different key mechanisms and feel totally different to type on than 99% of modern keyboards.

    The old IBM Model M keyboard and Apple Extended Keyboard are 2 of the most reknowned of these. Most people don't care, which is why most keyboards use cheaper rubber domes for the keys. The old Apple Keyboard actually cost $200 back in the day.

    http://lowendmac.com/thomas/06/1013.html

    But it can make a big difference if you are a fast touch typer. I can get up to 80+ WPM, and I like typing on a good mechanical keyboard. They are typically louder but I like the sound.

    These days, some companies make mechanical keyboards (like the Tactile Pro for the Mac). But I like the Apple Extended Keyboard the best, and you can find them for a song on EBay (as long as you get an iMate adapter too.)
     
  8. bryanus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    #8
    Thought I'd revive this old thread and see how you were getting along with the iMate/Apple Ext. kybrd combo since you last posted.

    Still working great? No issues?

    What i miss about the old Apple Ext Kybrd is the function key overlay area. I use Photoshop alot and find it useful to print out my actions and put them over the function keys.

    how come no one makes keyboards for that purpose anymore? I doubt people's memories got any better!
     
  9. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    #9
    I have been using Extended Keyboards with both my Mac and PC with no problems since my older posts. The Mac is at 10.5.3 now, no problems through all the updates.

    Yeah, the overlay area is definitely handy. I guess you can buy those silicon overlays that cover the actual keys, that's not a bad option either if you have an newer Apple keyboard.
     
  10. bryanus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    #10
    Thanks, Max. By silicon overlay do you mean those keyboard protectors that cover the entire keyboard? Or is it something that can fill in for the lack of space for a function key overlay area?

    I'd personally like to try the new slim apple keyboard, but there's about 1/8" of space between the tops of the function keys and the edge of the keyboard; hardly enough room for my makeshift printed overlay!

    EDIT: I think I found what you're talking about. Pre-printed silicon covers with Photoshop shortcuts printed all over the place. Interesting. But I only want it on the function keys, and I also want to have them say what _I_ want! haha, ok, I guess I'll start lurking for an iMate on ebay...
     
  11. bryanus macrumors member

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    Jul 19, 2005
    #11
  12. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Thanks for that link! I like how he even matched up the right font...

    Griffin iMates run about $20 or so on EBay, occasionally you will get lucky and find a Buy-It-Now listing for less. But the total for an Extended Keyboard + iMate is still much less than other 'premium' keyboards.
     
  13. Jake-1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #13
    Don't get a Tactile Pro 2

    The Tactile Pro 2s are probably worse than an old Extended II keyboard, and I describe many of the problems here. Although not made from the same design as the Extended II, the Model M gave a similar feel, and you can read more about the modern version here, including how to change keys.
     
  14. dowsmith macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    #14
    imate happy with tiger...

    I've been happily using the iMate with an ancient Datadesk Mac 101 keyboard.

    The only difficulty I had: if trying to start up from a CD or DVD, holding down the 'C' key had no effect. Holding down the Option key however usually DID work, and would bring up the choice of startup disks.

    (I've recently upgraded to Leopard, and I'm getting occas freezes - though no idea if these are related to the imate).
     
  15. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    #15
    happily using an Apple Extended Keyboard II with an iMate under 10.6.2 Snow Leopard on a MacBook 5,2 (2.13 C2D, 9400, 4GB) with no issues.

    Apple Extended Keyboard II is the definition of "OverBuilt" and it will most likely last forever. The actual ADB cable might be the weakest link...
     
  16. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    #16
    And if that ever does go, you can use a regular s-video cable...
     
  17. Creative One macrumors 6502

    Creative One

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  18. fhturner macrumors regular

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    Nov 7, 2007
    #18
    10.6.2...that's awesome, dude! I am coming to you live from an Extended II via iMate myself. :D For years (gotta be 6 now!), I had thought that my iMate had died when I moved...wrong! Cleaning out the closet tonight, I happened upon it and decided to give it another try. Was a bit finicky at first, but now going strong connected to (get this chain of connections):

    - Apple Cinema Display 22" (ADC), rear USB port
    - via Apple DVI-to-ADC adapter
    - into a Power Mac G5/2.5GHz DP running 10.5.8

    I'm reacquainting myself w/ the feel of the keys-- I have to press a little harder than I'd gotten used to, but that tactile feedback is second to none. Apple Extended Keyboard II: THE best keyboard ever made!

    Now, if I could just remember if there's a trick to get my Kensington Orbit trackball recognized by the MouseWorks software...

    Cheers,
    Fred
     
  19. mjmunoz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #19
    Apple Extended keyboard II on my PC?

    Can I use an Apple Extended keyboard II on my PC? If anyone knows how to do this I'd sure appreciate learning how to do it. I have a bluetooth for my MacMini but would love to use this old, wonderful keyboard on my Dell. Thanks!
     
  20. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Dec 17, 2003
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    You can use it with a PC, you need the same Griffin iMate to convert the ADB plug on the keyboard to USB.
     
  21. magilla macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    #21

    Fred, just saw your post from the past - just picked up an old pre-Intel iMac G5 and was wondering if you used your iMate to connect your old Kensington trackball? I have a (yee gods!) PM8600 with an aftermarket G4 processor card installed and still do a lot of PhotoShop processing on it (plus it's old serial interface drives a wet film processor in my studio darkroom) and have Kensington's old Turbo Mouse that I'd like to use with the G5 (running 10.5.8).

    Also, EVERYONE is spot on about the old Apple Extended Keyboards. The ones shipping with new equipment feel like little "chicklet" keys to me with my old, fat, arthritic fingers. I still like the Extended keyboards much better than the newer ones. This G5 came with one of Apple's clear housing USB, high relief keyboards which is close to the AEK but not quite the same.

    Old Still Rocks! :D

    Bill

    A computer allows you to make more mistakes faster than any other invention with the possible exception of Tequilla and handguns.
     

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