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Technological Irony

August 5, 2010
ST PADD

Apple is way ahead of Starfleet!

Maybe I mean “Technological Aluminology,” or something like that, because I’m writing this post on the Apple Wireless Aluminum Keyboard paired to my iPhone 4. I should be swallowed up in a geek hole about now.

I have a hard time with the on-screen iPhone keyboard, even rotated to landscape mode. I just can’t type on it. I find the iPad keyboard OK to type on – I’ll never be Lt. Commander Data with it, but the lack of tactile feedback doesn’t bother me much. I’m not that good a typist!

I have a case on the iPhone that was pretty much all I could find right away, and it has a raised edge all around the face, to protect the glass. This is a good idea, but it makes the P and Q keys and the delete key almost impossible to hit successfully on the first try.

I need a thinner case but I like the fact that this one is protecting the glass faceplate on the phone. Other than that, it’s one of those silicone cases and it’s a little loose. It also attracts pocket lint and transfers it to the glass screen quite handily.

Anyway, back to the the keyboard. Sometimes I have to go places where there is no wifi (horrors!) for my laptop and all I have for internet access is my phone. I have four email accounts I have to monitor and respond to – two are for businesses, and one is for the school where I teach. I find responding to emails at any length on the phone to be tedious at best.

iOS 4.0 has support for bluetooth keyboards. I had forgotten that. I bought this keyboard when I had some Apple store credit, sort of by accident. I didn’t read the information closely enough and was kind of upset when I discovered it wasn’t just like the aluminum wired keyboard – no numeric keypad!

It was my own fault. Still, I wanted it becauseI work with Sibelius a lot and I need the numeric keypad to work with Sibelius efficiently.

So it’s been sitting there gathering dust. Now it has a use! It’s four times the footprint of the phone, but thats necessary because it has full-sized keys. I love the key feel of the Apple aluminum keyboards – in fact, I will have to buy another wired one because my wife just stole mine for her 13″ Macbook.

But this little puppy will make travel more efficient when the only internet access I have is my phone. I travel to a lot of rural places when I judge marching bands in the fall – places without 3G, perish the thought!

Update 8/12/2010: Here’s a story about how Star Trek imagined the iPad before the iPad. (Hat tip to Mark Whittington.) And I got another Apple Aluminum keyboard. This Mac Pro my son has loaned me is great, and I found a 1.5 TB Seagate drive at Micro Center for 90 bucks!

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