The State of My Mac

The last week has found me making subtle additions and deletions to my Mac-world. I think it’s starting to settle out a bit.

Last Monday, I added a set of Altec Lansing 2.1 Speakers. It was a tough choice, as the 5.1 speakers are really cool, and offer some fantastic capabilities. Add to that the optical out from the iMac, and the combination seems pretty sweet. However, I use my iMac for photoediting, and listening to music whilst I do it. A surround-sound system doesn’t buy me much for my usage habits, so I didn’t go down that path. The Altec’s are great, and really have some big ol’ punch to them.

I’m a bit of a keyboard snob, and for better or worse, harken back to the old days of a clicky IBM keyboard. It’s the touch I like best, and the Apple keyboard supplied with iMac just didn’t cut it. I bought a Kensington wireless keyboard and mouse combo last Monday, and finally decided that it just wasn’t quit the feel I was looking for. It also seemed to drop a character every now and then, perhaps due to my touch-typing style or possibly the keyboard had a problem. Either way, after a few days of using it, I elected to bounce it back to Best Buy.

So, from CompUSA came another Kensington keyboard, and this one has a great feel to it! A short stroke, good click and very Apple-centric. The only complaint I would have is that it doesn’t have USB ports on the back of it like the Apple keyboard does. No biggie, as I found a solution for the USB ports quickly dwindling on the back of the iMac.

Wanting to spread my cash around, I travelled to Circuit City to pick up a USB hub, again from Kensington. This is a seven-port hub, shaped like a little dome, designed correctly with the ports and connections on the back, status lights on the front. The best part of the design is the weight added to the innards. This thing is stout, and stays right where you put it, despite a gob of cables dangling off the back of it. To sweeten the deal, it also came with a little “flylight” — a USB light that you can plug into a USB port on top of the dome. The light’s neat looking, but offers little real use. It’s too blue (too my colorblind eyes), too weak, and is more cutesy than functional. Free is free though.

With the demise of the wireless mouse, I moved the Logitech gaming mouse over the iMac. However, my mousepad from NRAO was starting to show wear from all the mousing over the last year. So lastly, I bought a mousepad from Allsop. This thing is a beauty, and built like a tank. The frame and base are heavy metal, with a nice charcoal surface, and a non-skid backing to keep it in place. Someone did their homework on designing this thing, and have come up with the perfect mousepad for me. Very cool, and looks good on the desk.

Some function, some fluff, but all cool add-ons for my digital makeover. Now if I can just find a Dasani dispensing machine for my office, I’ll be in great shape! 🙂