And so it begins:
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I had just ordered a Mac mini to be the first component in what will ultimately be my new multimedia entertainment system, plus a wireless Apple mouse and keyboard. I ordered the keyboard mouse despite some misgivings about the quality of the keyboard versus the price, but the old school techie in me still thinks that you can’t have an IBM keyboard touch a Mac device (the Mac would be dirtied). I *know* better, but sometimes emotions will cloud the judgment of even the most die-hard spec-comparing-component-configuring- geek. Who am I kidding – geeks are just as ruled by emotion as anyone else. I wanted a “pure” Apple system, and by Jobs, I was going to have one!
Sure enough, as the order acknowledgment warned, my keyboard and mouse showed up this last week, a good week before my Mac mini (base model, with 1GB RAM upgrade for you scccg’s out there).
Now, you have to understand where this next part comes from. I’ve always liked Apple computers. The first computer I ever used was a black Apple ][. When I was young I wanted an Apple ][, //, //e, //c; I was really close to buying one until my Dad offered to pay for 1/2 a computer because he needed one to help run his business. You can guess what we ended up with. When I grew up and had to use computers for a living, I always wanted to buy an Apple computer, but could never justify the extra cost of a Mac, especially for something that wasn’t mainstream for the kind of computing I was doing – games, spreadsheets, and databases. Now, finally, I have both a reason and enough spare income to justify this little extravagance – I mean, it’s going to be mostly to watch bitto- I mean legally downloaded videos and streaming stuff off of the ‘net upstairs away from my “work” computer.
So, I’m just a little bit like a kid opening a Christmas present, my first Apple component of my very own. First the box it came in was *light*. We are talking so light I was wondering if Apple just shipped me an empty box to fuck with my mind. I open the box. Inside are two iWhite smaller boxes, that also feel like empty boxes that Apple shipped to me to fuck with my mind. I start with what would be the mouse. Lo – a mouse is inside! Part of the reason it’s so light is that it comes with Lithium AA’s – should last a long time, and feel like they’d float away compared to regular AA’s. The mouse iWhite, with that understated design that just looks like something organic. It feels pretty good to click, the whole mouse actually pivots forward when you click, so I have no idea how it picks up left vs. right click. I’ll need to use it to actually see how good it is.
There actually was a keyboard in the box that looked like it might hold a keyboard. I wasn’t sure at the time because the box was so darn small, and you guessed it, so is the keyboard. It was one of those times where shopping online just doesn’t prepare you for what you are getting. Yes, I saw a picture of it from the top and poo-pooed the chicklet looking keyboard, saw the side profile and went, oh it’s kind of thin, but I didn’t actually look at the dimensions. My first reaction was ‘holy crap – it’s small!!!” Oh, and if you didn’t guess, it’s light too. It’s a solid little sucker, being made of actual anodized aluminum frame, and iWhite chicklet keys. I’m not expecting to actually have to type more that www.blahblahblah.com on this thing, so I wasn’t too worried about the feel, but it’s actually pretty good, not the full travel of a real keyboard, but pretty good feed back, an actually a bit clicky versus mushy. Also none of this binding you get with some cheap keyboards if you don’t hit the keys right on the center. Oh, when I say it’s small, the keys are not small, it just doesn’t take up any more space that it has to for a query set of keys and a set of function keys on the top plus the option / modifier keys on the bottom. I opened up the battery component and was again impressed with the solidness of the components. Apple started with a solid piece of round steel bolt for the battery cover, then machined out the grooves and the tensioned ball bearings that keep the cover in place. I showed the thing to my Dad, and even he said, “oh yah, dat is very nice”. So if an old German thinks it’s solid, it’s *solid* let me tell you. It’s very pretty too, the shiny anodized aluminum with the white keys looks very stylish. But I’m a sucker for solid simple design too.
So after having played with this thing for about ten minutes, I got to the next stage: lets fire this wireless puppy up and connect it to the iMac… Drat. I want to play with this thing – it’s not just a tool that sometimes gets in the way of getting stuff done – this actually might be *fun* to use, something I haven’t really felt for some time with computers now.
I can feel my Mac weenie growing already.