Apple keyboards are very finicky. I’ve just purchased my fourth one. The first two met untimely ends because of cat vomit. I have forgiven Apple this because of the obvious fact that cats are here to wreak havoc. But last week the third one died suddenly and unexpectedly while I was away from the computer. I have no idea why it stopped working (there were no liquids within a 12-foot radius), but the <esc> key and <F1> through <F7> stopped working. Because I use these very frequently, I was not able to keep using Solidworks with the Cupertino keyboard and was forced to use my backup keyboard, a black behemoth that shipped with my Dell. After only a few days, my left hand began to cramp up. Not only is the Dell keyboard way too high for my comfort, but the F-keys are placed too far away from the rest of the keyboard. So I headed over to my local big box store and bought myself a Magic Keyboard with Extended Keypad. In a way It seems foolish to purchase the same item over and over again, but the layout of the Apple keyboards is perfect for what I do. I like the layout of the new keyboard over my previous USB Apple Extended Keyboards – the <esc> key is bigger, and the F-keys are not smaller than the rest of the buttons. (I cannot over-stress how useful this is). The apple keyboard also has more of the F-keys than any other keyboard I’ve seen, from <F1> through <F19>. This means more keys to use with custom keyboard layouts for my Solidworks workflow. I am looking around at some of the custom keypads made for gamers, but haven’t decided to get one yet.
So I’m happy again with my keyboard, Until it breaks again. This time though I purchased some insurance from the big box store so this time I don’t feel as foolish.
* For those wondering how I can use the apple keyboard effectively with a PC – I re-map my control keys using a shareware app called “Sharpkeys.” (I do this with my Dell keyboard as well – because who in their right mind put the control key so far away from the space bar?)