I’ve gone ahead and done the unthinkable, installing only non-apple peripherals to my mac mini. The crazy idea started a few weeks ago when I noticed that after extended periods at my desktop, my right elbow started to hurt a little bit. However, when using the Macbook at work, I never had that problem. At both locations I have equally un-ergonomic desks and use really poor posture. The only real difference is the size of the keyboard. The full sized mac keyboard is w i d e. The mouse was just too far off to the right.
Subbing out my mouse for the old trackball I had seemed to help a bit, but not all the way. I pulled out the old keyboard that I had before I got the mini, but I’ve always hated the action on that thing. As wide as it is, the mac keyboard is pretty nice to type on. The keys are placed sensibly and it responds really well. The best alternative was to bite the bullet and cough up the money for a Happy Hacking Lite 2.
I got the keyboard on Monday and after using it for the last few days, I have to say that this keyboard is awesome. My biggest beef with most keyboards available is they keys all respond differently. Some just feel slower than others. Every key on this keyboard responds well and quickly. Of course, I love the form factor. I barely have to move my right arm to get to the trackball. I also adore the few modifications to the standard key placements, such as moving control back to it’s rightful place and shifting delete down next to ‘]’. The lack of a lot of keys means that a good chunk of the keyboard is overloaded with different commands that can be activated through the use of the function key, just like a laptop keyboard. However, unlike most laptops, the keyboard has function keys on both sides.
It’s definitely not cheap, but I’ve probably spent a lot more on multiple crappy keyboards. It made sense to try and get one that I might actually like. So far it’s been working out.
Unfortunately, once you make one computer related purchase, you have to make another. To make up for the fact that I bought the happy hacker lite, and not the pro, I also got a 20” sceptre widescreen lcd. This thing is so big, I can barely look at the whole of it at once. Re-wiring a good amount of my desk also got me to clean up the growing rats nest of ethernet and usb cables. I’ve finally got a really good home development environment. Now if I could only develop something….
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