Search the blog
I wrote this over ten years ago before I used Macs but I've kept it up anyway!

I was recently after a sleek keyboard to replace my ugly Microsoft one. I searched high and low for something affordable yet aesthetically pleasing but couldn’t find anything that really took my fancy. I was surprised to find out from some forum crawling that to a certain extent most Mac peripherals will work on PC. I’m fairly neutral on the *NIX / Windows / PC ground so it didn’t bother me if I used Mac hardware or not. A common admission of even the most hardcore anti-Mac users is “I don’t like them but their stuff looks good” and I’d certainly agree with this. However, I have always thought that Mac hardware can be a little overpriced so I was delighted when I found out you could buy a white Mac keyboard directly from the Apple UK Store for £19.99 plus VAT – that’s even cheaper than the tacky Microsoft one I was about to throw out.

I ordered the keyboard through Apple’s easy-to-use website (another thing you have to give them credit for) and the keyboard arrived a few working days later.

I was, and still am, delighted with the product. The information I’d received from the Internet proved trustworthy: the keyboard would indeed work on non-PC hardware. What’s even better is that the keyboard has two built-in USB ports which came in handy for my mouse and graphics tablet. So not only is it a great keyboard, I now have two extra free USB ports!

When I plugged the keyboard into my Windows XP machine it recognised the Apple keyboard and promptly installed the appropriate drivers. The only (very slight) two issues I had was that the keyboard layout was American and I had to change it to a UK layout manually; the second is that the keyboard remained inactive until the login screen. This isn’t really a problem – it just means using my PS2 different keyboard if I ever need to do anything with the BIOS (which is very rare).

My Linux (Kubuntu) box faired even better. It worked instantly and automatically changed the keyboard layout to UK and unlike my XP machine the keyboard works from boot up.

As well as working well the keyboard feels sturdy and looks fantastic. I cannot think of a better value keyboard and whether you’re pro Mac or not I recommend it as a good all-round keyboard.

After looking at my new keyboard it made me realise how awful my Genius mouse looked. I went back to the Apple website to see if they had anything that would match my mouse. They did: the Mighty Mouse.

The Mighty Mouse looks just as well-designed as the keyboard. Apple dub it as “the mouse that reinvented the wheel. The scroll wheel, that is”. It has an attractive slim design: the scroll wheel is a sensitive, petite grey circle and the left, middle and right buttons are hidden from view (it looks like a single button – you click on the left-hand side of the mouse for the left button, the right-hand side for the right button, et cetera). With my mouth watering as I looked at the picture I promptly ordered myself one. It set me back £34.99 plus VAT but I was so impressed with the keyboard I reasoned it was a price worth paying. Again, the item came quickly. I opened it up and I have to say the Apple Mighty Mouse is worth every penny. The design is superb and it is a delight to use (the hidden buttons work really well). It is very small though and may not be suitable for the large-handed.

All-in-all I’ve very pleased with my purchases – my desk has never looked so good!

Tim Bennett is a freelance web designer from Leeds. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.