PC Keyboards On Macs

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I'm using a cheapie PC USB keyboard on an iMac and I'm curious about a couple of things. I've figured out that the alt and windows keys can be used as the option and command keys, but I've yet to find an equivalent for the Mac's power key.

This particular PC keyboard has a power, sleep, and wake key, but none of them appear to provide any function while used with a Macintosh.

Does anyone else use a PC brand keyboard with their Macintosh? Are there any utilities available that will allow a Mac user to remap the key assignments of the PC keyboard?

Thanks.

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Every Apple keybboard since t

Every Apple keybboard since the original USB Pro Keyboard has lacked a power key. I don't even know if new Macs respond to the power keys on the old USB keyboards -- it took a bit of trickery for Apple to get it to work back then.

Even if you found an app to remap the keys, a PC keyboard won't power up a Mac because it lacks the special circuitry found in the original USB keyboards.

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Re: Every Apple keybboard since t

Dr. Webster wrote:

Every Apple keybboard since the original USB Pro Keyboard has lacked a power key. I don't even know if new Macs respond to the power keys on the old USB keyboards -- it took a bit of trickery for Apple to get it to work back then.

Even if you found an app to remap the keys, a PC keyboard won't power up a Mac because it lacks the special circuitry found in the original USB keyboards.

I guess what I'm looking for is a way to reboot the iMac without pulling the plug. There are times when this old Bondi Blue iMac will lock up and the only way to restart the thing is to pull the plug and plug it back in. This is very irritating.

On a plus note, the internal CDROM drive that was supposed to have been dead, is now working. Smile

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Re: Every Apple keybboard since t

managed resistance wrote:

I guess what I'm looking for is a way to reboot the iMac without pulling the plug.

If the iMac is locked up, a power button on the keyboard won't help...

...pushing the power button on the front for 5 seconds should power it off, though.

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Re: Every Apple keybboard since t

I'm not sure when exactly they stopped doing this, but I know that a friend can't use the power button on the keyboard to power-on/down his G5 SP 1.8.

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Funky cold iMac...

This iMac is just funky. I have tried four different boot CDs in this thing and every cotton-picking time, I get this crazy alert box telling me that the CD cannot be used with "this Macintosh." The alert box tells me to update the installer CD and try again.

Huh? How the heck do I update a CD?

Anyway, I've tried booting from an iMac Software Install CD and from an iMac Software Restore CD. I've tried booting from various Apple Service Source Software Recovery CDs and keep getting the same alert box.

The version of Mac OS that is currently installed on the iMac 9.2.1., and the most recent version of Mac OS that I have on CD is 9.0.4. Could it be that the iMac will not boot from a CD that has an older version of the Mac OS than is currently installed on the hard drive?

This really has me bewildered...

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I have a PS/2 keyboard plugge

I have a PS/2 keyboard plugged into my KVM switch which converts it to usb when I press the sleep button it asks me Do you want to shut down.. so yes it recognises the power button. But it doesnt recognisr the My computer button or the Cleculator button.

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I think the compatibility var

I think the compatibility varies from kb to kb. My reason?

Quote:

Standard Keys - Control Board - Standard output - Mac
Proprietary Keymap - Proprietary to standard conversion - PS/2 - USB

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Re: Funky cold iMac...

managed resistance wrote:

Anyway, I've tried booting from an iMac Software Install CD and from an iMac Software Restore CD. I've tried booting from various Apple Service Source Software Recovery CDs and keep getting the same alert box.

You keep trying to boot from recovery CDs intended for different computers. (Bet you a plug nickel your "iMac Software Install CD" is for a *different* iMac model.) You need a "Universal" installation CD from a retail OS box set. All the more recent (Last six years) machines have been shipped with recovery CDs which check machine signatures when booting up.

(A partial exception is the OS X-based recovery DVDs. I've found that you can install the OS proper on any machine using them, but the installers for the additional software are still locked. It's fairly easy to get around the lock and install the software anyway, but just double-clicking the installer will give you a "You can't use this on this Macintosh" error.)

--Peace

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Re: Funky cold iMac...

Eudimorphodon wrote:
managed resistance wrote:

Anyway, I've tried booting from an iMac Software Install CD and from an iMac Software Restore CD. I've tried booting from various Apple Service Source Software Recovery CDs and keep getting the same alert box.

You keep trying to boot from recovery CDs intended for different computers. (Bet you a plug nickel your "iMac Software Install CD" is for a *different* iMac model.) You need a "Universal" installation CD from a retail OS box set. All the more recent (Last six years) machines have been shipped with recovery CDs which check machine signatures when booting up.

(A partial exception is the OS X-based recovery DVDs. I've found that you can install the OS proper on any machine using them, but the installers for the additional software are still locked. It's fairly easy to get around the lock and install the software anyway, but just double-clicking the installer will give you a "You can't use this on this Macintosh" error.)

--Peace

That makes a lot of sense, Drew, and I think you're right. However, I can use the installer on the iMac if I boot from the System on the hard drive. The problem is that I can't format the internal hard drive if I boot from the hard drive, and that is the whole reason for wanting to boot from CD. Sad

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Get a Linux LiveCD...

Get a Linux LiveCD...

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Re: Funky cold iMac...

managed resistance wrote:

The problem is that I can't format the internal hard drive if I boot from the hard drive, and that is the whole reason for wanting to boot from CD. Sad

How recent is your iMac model? Some can boot from USB. If you've got a spare USB hard drive you could format that and put an OS on it. Then boot from it and format the internal.

A USB flash drive could even do this, if you can make a small enough system folder (say from the Disk Tools floppy image), or you have a fairly large flash.

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Re: Funky cold iMac...

DrBunsen wrote:
Managed Resistance wrote:

The problem is that I can't format the internal hard drive if I boot from the hard drive, and that is the whole reason for wanting to boot from CD. Sad

How recent is your iMac model? Some can boot from USB. If you've got a spare USB hard drive you could format that and put an OS on it. Then boot from it and format the internal.

A USB flash drive could even do this, if you can make a small enough system folder (say from the Disk Tools floppy image), or you have a fairly large flash.

A USB flash drive? Hmmm, never even considered that. That would be a really good idea. Smile

Is the revision 'a' bondi blue iMac able to boot from USB devices?

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Re: Get a Linux LiveCD...

fynch wrote:

Get a Linux LiveCD...

This would help.... how?

managed resistance wrote:

Is the revision 'a' bondi blue iMac able to boot from USB devices?

doubt it, the B&W G3 won't, similar era.

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DV's do

DV's are the first generation of imacs to boot from USB. It's a little slow though...

[note] Pismo's are the first PB's to boot from USB also. Not sure which the the powermacs were though. Also, the only machine that can boot from USB right now, are the PM G5's IIRC. They kinda made it a *Pro* option Sad. It sucks, as i wanted to use an old USB 2.0 3.5" Desktop HD to boot from. *sigh*, Ill never get to try out how fast it would be on USB 2.0[/note]

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ok?

DrBunsen wrote:
fynch wrote:

Get a Linux LiveCD...

This would help.... how?

uh...
It would let you format the HD?

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I'm pretty sure that a live c

I'm pretty sure that a live cd would.

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But he needs a working OS on

But he needs a working OS on the HD to use the installers on the CDs he's got.

Have you seen the hacks for adding a second hard drive to the RevA iMacs? I think you just need to add a two-connector IDE cable and a power splitter. The second drive ends up sitting outside the case. Involves screwdriver work, but it could be an option, at least temporarily while you set up the internal drive. Check xlr8yourmac.com's iMac section.

Or alternatively, and probably nearly as inconvenient, mount the iMac's HD temporarily in another Mac, and install the "for any machine" version of the OS.

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Re: But he needs a working OS on

DrBunsen wrote:

But he needs a working OS on the HD to use the installers on the CDs he's got.

Have you seen the hacks for adding a second hard drive to the RevA iMacs? I think you just need to add a two-connector IDE cable and a power splitter. The second drive ends up sitting outside the case. Involves screwdriver work, but it could be an option, at least temporarily while you set up the internal drive. Check xlr8yourmac.com's iMac section.

Or alternatively, and probably nearly as inconvenient, mount the iMac's HD temporarily in another Mac, and install the "for any machine" version of the OS.

I like your first suggestion. A second hard drive would be the ideal solution. Thanks. Smile