Wireless keyboard for G4 Mini?
April 24, 2009 5:44 AM   Subscribe

Trying to find a keybaord / mouse combo for a G4 Mac Mini (no IR, no bluetooth) that will work in a living room PC without costing me an arm and a leg. Recommendations?

Short story: Wife will be having the baby in the near future (due on three weeks!). Computer is downstairs in the basement. I'm in the process of refurbishing a 1st-generation G4 Mac Mini which I plan to connect to our LCD TV for her to use as a computer, for web / email access, to keep her from having to drag the kid up and down the stairs just to get online.

Mini was a freebie, needed a new HD (done). Leopard installed, runs fine, TV has an RGB input for use as a monitor, and I've already dropped a Cat5 cable into our living room so the thing will be wired into our home network.

Basically my little Mother's Day present is all set except for the input devices - I need a keyboard and mouse combo that will work in our living room. She'll likely be sitting about 8-9 feet from the Mini.

I'm leaning towards the Microsoft Laser Wireless for Mac keyboard. Had also considered the Kensington Ci70.

Both are about in the price range I'd be happy with, and I do prefer Microsoft's mouse shapes over Kensington, but (a) the MS setup has some poor reviews for range and connectivity from some people, and (b) the Kensington layout is PC-specific with an Apple key tacked on in the bottom corner. I'd prefer a native Apple layout.

Searching for keyboards online has given me hundreds of PC keyboard combos that work on a Mac but aren't native layout, and every time I find something that might work it turns out to want Bluetooth. (Yes, I could get a BT dongle, and I might eventually, but for now I just want something that works out of the box!)

Any help? I'm trying to keep this a surprise...
posted by caution live frogs to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Best answer: I would not let the bluetooth dongle hold you back. They are cheap and, as far as I can tell, Just Work. You plug it in and your Mac recognizes it has Bluetooth. You go into System Preferences to set it up just as if it were built in. I used one for years with my previous Mac.

I also wouldn't get too hung up on the Windows keyboard layout. I am typing this on a Mac with a Windows keyboard right now. You would want to install DoubleCommand to remap the Windows and Alt keys to correspond to the Command and Option keys where they should be, and there's that weird Menu key that doesn't belong and doesn't do anything (AFAICT).
posted by adamrice at 7:09 AM on April 24, 2009

Best answer: I admit I haven't had personal experience, but bluetooth dongles cost sfa...
posted by pompomtom at 7:24 AM on April 24, 2009

Response by poster: Keyboard layout is more an issue for my wife than for me - she's normally a Windows user and I don't want her to have to remember to remap keys mentally (that is, remember Windows key = Cmd, etc.) just to make things work.

pompomtom, those are freakin' dirt cheap... hard to pass that up, isn't it?

OK thanks, that actually helps quite a bit. I would have preferred Bluetooth, but the Apple-blessed BT adapter was pricing out as much as the keyboard combos I'd looked at. At the prices listed I'm buying two of the damn things!
posted by caution live frogs at 9:42 AM on April 24, 2009

I'm using a Microsoft wireless keyboard. It works very well and has its own rfc-receiver that goes into the USB-port. The keyboard is relatively programmable, so it should not be too big a problem getting used to.
posted by KimG at 12:40 PM on April 25, 2009

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