MacInTouch Amazon link...

keyboards

Channels
Troubleshooting
I wanted to reinstall the OS to see if it would fix an autofill problem. I found I could not boot into Recovery Mode; all that happened was I would end up back in the partition I started from. Option/restart didn't work either. I could boot into any partition/drive that was in SysPref, but Recovery Mode isn't represented there.
I tried a variety of things. I couldn't boot into Single User, Verbose, or Safe modes or into Apple Hardware test. That made me think of the keyboard.

I recently got the Matias Wired Backlit keyboard and have liked it a fair amount. Nice red-lit keys in the dark. Or green, or whatever you wanted. I had no problems till now. I plugged in one of my previous keyboards and then had no problem using the various key combinations to get done what I needed.

After reinstalling the OS (Sierra), I went back to the Matias keyboard. Same problem. So if you have problems like this, it may be the keyboard. I will not likely be getting another one. Ach, I liked the colors.
 
Last edited by a moderator:


I got the same keyboard a couple of months ago. I haven't had any need to boot into recovery mode, but I found it somewhat different to set up than what I remember as the norm. In the past, when I have plugged in a new third-party Mac keyboard, the setup dialog for "unrecognized" keyboards pops up. With the Matias, the setup pane mostly did not appear when I plugged in the board. In one or two cases, the setup screen did appear, but got stuck (endless grey spinner) after I did the first step, pressing the key next to the shift key on the left.

Eventually I figured out that I had to go into System Preferences/Keyboard and add the new keyboard there. In those cases, I just got the list of three keyboard types, chose the third option (US keyboard) and then the Matias keyboard was recognized. It is tedious doing this for every supported boot drive (I set it up on 8 or 9 drives on 3 computers). I haven't tried to see if it will be usable with my legacy Tiger and Leopard OS drives on my 2006 Mac Pro.

My next test will be to see if it is usable through my KVM, now that the various drives are set up to see the Matias. It is a pretty nice board, but I have some concerns about the finicky setup. If it doesn't work properly through the KVM, it will be of limited usefulness.
 
Last edited by a moderator:


Before I purchased my Matias Ergo Pro a few months ago, I noticed a review of the keyboard that stated the start up keys did not function. I wrote Matias an email inquiring about this and received the following reply:
Hello Scott,

I checked with our Chief Engineer, and it looks like the holding down keys during startup feature is something that will be added later this year, but is not in the current model.

Best Regards,
Steve McGowan
After reading the other posts, I'm guessing this may be the case for their whole Mac line.

BTW, I purchased the keyboard anyway and am glad I did! It is the best ergo keyboard I've used, and I've tried most of them. I haven't needed to use startup keys for months, but when I do, I have an Apple keyboard on hand that I can easily plug in. I'll buy another Ergo Pro for my office when the updated model is released.
 
Last edited by a moderator:



My brother-in-law, who is pretty tech-savvy, told me about an interesting problem that he is having with his wife's iMac running Safari.

The Apple keyboard died, so he replaced it with a new Apple wireless keyboard, which will not work unless he updates the OS to the current version of High Sierra! He called AppleCare and the tech there confirmed that the new Apple keyboard needs the current macOS to work!

I did not know that having a functioning keyboard was related to the OS on the computer!
 
Last edited by a moderator:


My brother-in-law, who is pretty tech-savvy, told me about an interesting problem that he is having with his wife's iMac running Safari.

The Apple keyboard died, so he replaced it with a new Apple wireless keyboard, which will not work unless he updates the OS to the current version of High Sierra! He called AppleCare and the tech there confirmed that the new Apple keyboard needs the current macOS to work!

I did not know that having a functioning keyboard was related to the OS on the computer!
The minimum OS for the new Apple keyboard is 10.11, El Capitan.
 


The minimum OS for the new Apple keyboard is 10.11, El Capitan.
Hi Ken. Thanks for the information.
How was he supposed to know this? In past iterations of the many Apple computers that both he and and I have had, the OS version had no impact on the keyboard, so what would have lead him to "know" that this was now important? Does a long-time user have to question everything that they know each time they make a purchase of some Apple item?
(Somewhat rhetorical questions.)
 


Apple sells you a new Apple keyboard that only works if you keep your system updated to the current version? Keyboard? Like the old typewriter? This ASCII thing that's been standardized since ≈1880? I'm not allowed in this family forum to use the proper words to express my disgust.

Odd thought: Do we suspect that within our lifetimes no one will know what a "typewriter" is/was? Never mind a teletype. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Once I was out there too far on the edge. Wrote my dissertation on one of the first 50K skinny Macs. (There went my student loan. Lots of Raman™ and cheap coffee.) I used a bootleg beta copy of Word (B .7.x?) Saved to 400K 3.5" "floppies. At least I had two copies.

Now? Please just work, got too much to do.
 


Apple sells you a new Apple keyboard that only works if you keep your system updated to the current version?
Well, it's not the current OS, but two versions old - OS X 10.11 as introduced on September 30, 2015 (just over two years and seven months ago). Still a pretty short interval.
Hi Ken. Thanks for the information.
How was he supposed to know this?
[I found it in] System Requirements in the product description: Magic Keyboard - US English
 
Last edited by a moderator:


Hi Joe,
Thanks for making my point for me. What this implies is that for any Apple accessory that one buys, in spite of one’s prior experience with the accessory, we now need to review the product description before purchasing? I think that this is a bit much. Past experience is no guarantee of future performance, as the financial info states. Sorry to see it also now being applicable to Apple's ecosystem.
 
Last edited by a moderator:


DFG

My brother-in-law, who is pretty tech-savvy, told me about an interesting problem that he is having with his wife's iMac running Safari.

The Apple keyboard died, so he replaced it with a new Apple wireless keyboard, which will not work unless he updates the OS to the current version of High Sierra! He called AppleCare and the tech there confirmed that the new Apple keyboard needs the current macOS to work!

I did not know that having a functioning keyboard was related to the OS on the computer!
Yet another reason why I prefer wired "dumb" USB keyboards (with numeric keypad, of course!).
 


One of my clients got caught with this after she had bought a new 'Magic' keyboard.

I went to see her, taking a trusty, 'ordinary' Mac keyboard, just to make sure that the Mac itself was ok. It was.

On a whim, I plugged the "Magic' keyboard into the Mac with its iPhone charging cable, and, lo, everything worked.

She's happily still using it over 2 months later and apparently not having any issues. Obviously something may happen down the line, but for now, she's perfectly happy.
 
Last edited by a moderator:


The minimum OS for the new Apple keyboard is 10.11, El Capitan.
Actually, I'm pretty sure one would need macOS 10.12 Sierra for the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keyboard. El Capitan is necessary for the plain Magic Keyboard and the Magic Trackpad 2; apparently, they all require drivers that Apple won't retro-fit into operating systems older than Sierra. After a quick search, I can't find a third-party driver for older operating systems.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Well, it's not the current OS, but two versions old - OS X 10.11 as introduced on September 30, 2015 (just over two years and seven months ago). ... [I found it in] System Requirements in the product description: Magic Keyboard - US English
That product costs $100 and has mediocre reviews at best.

Apple's $129 Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (as noted above) requires macOS 10.12.4 or later, so it won't work with OS X 10.11.

I bought a Logitech Easy‑Switch K811 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard last year (currently $74 at Amazon) and have been using it as my primary keyboard ever since. It feels just like a 2015 MacBook Pro keyboard and has backlighting and rechargable internal batteries.
Logitech said:
System Requirements
  • Mac OS® X 10.6 or later (Intel only)
  • iPad or iPhone with iOS 4.0 or later
 
Last edited:


I stopped using Apple keyboards on my desktop 15-20 years ago when I wanted an ergonomic keyboard, and quickly learned that even wired keyboards could be incompatible with the version of the Mac OS.

I bought a Power Mac G5, plugged in an ergonomic keyboard with a shape and feel that I liked, installed the required driver software, and it seemed to work. But over several weeks the computer kept feeling slower and slower, and I finally discovered that the driver was constantly crashing and rebooting, and had built up gigabytes of crash log. I now forget the details, but the lesson was that keyboards are not simple, especially if you want anything special, because so much is done in software.

As a writer, keyboard ergonomics and feel are crucial, so I live with a bit of fiddling and a few trade-offs to use the wired Microsoft keyboard I find feels best.
 
Last edited by a moderator:


I bought a Power Mac G5, plugged in an ergonomic keyboard with a shape and feel that I liked, installed the required driver software, and it seemed to work. But over several weeks the computer kept feeling slower and slower, and I finally discovered that the driver was constantly crashing and rebooting, and had built up gigabytes of crash log. I now forget the details, but the lesson was that keyboards are not simple, especially if you want anything special, because so much is done in software.
I never install driver software for devices like keyboards and mice.

The USB spec (and Bluetooth, for that matter) has clear definitions for all the basic functionality and macOS has proper generic drivers. Any standards-compliant keyboard or mouse should just work without any driver software.

The software you get is probably only used to allow use of some kind of proprietary media keys or other non-standard features. If you don't use those keys/features, then the software is pretty much irrelevant. And it is often (although not always) the case that you can use the Keyboard preference panel to map functionality (e.g. Launchpad and Exposé) onto otherwise-unused keys (like various F-keys).

The driver software that comes with devices is usually garbage. Manufacturers throw it in so they can claim compatibility with operating systems, but they almost never update the software, so it becomes less and less useful as the rest of the OS evolves, and eventually becomes a cause of failures. If you need to use a feature that can't be used without software, consider using third-party software, and make a point of keeping it up to date just like you would any other software package.

For keyboard and mouse support, I have read good things about USB Overdrive, but I have no personal experience using it. On my Macs, I'm using Apple keyboards (which have built-in support for the media keys) and generic mice (two buttons and a wheel) which also have built-in support in macOS.
 


I never install driver software for devices like keyboards and mice.

The USB spec (and Bluetooth, for that matter) has clear definitions for all the basic functionality and macOS has proper generic drivers. Any standards-compliant keyboard or mouse should just work without any driver software.

The software you get is probably only used to allow use of some kind of proprietary media keys or other non-standard features. If you don't use those keys/features, then the software is pretty much irrelevant. And it is often (although not always) the case that you can use the Keyboard preference panel to map functionality (e.g. Launchpad and Exposé) onto otherwise-unused keys (like various F-keys).

The driver software that comes with devices is usually garbage. Manufacturers throw it in so they can claim compatibility with operating systems, but they almost never update the software, so it becomes less and less useful as the rest of the OS evolves, and eventually becomes a cause of failures. If you need to use a feature that can't be used without software, consider using third-party software, and make a point of keeping it up to date just like you would any other software package.

For keyboard and mouse support, I have read good things about USB Overdrive, but I have no personal experience using it. On my Macs, I'm using Apple keyboards (which have built-in support for the media keys) and generic mice (two buttons and a wheel) which also have built-in support in macOS.
I have found that USB Overdrive is good mouse driver and a good keyboard driver. I like having drivers that do more than one task and thus reduce the number of drivers being launched and potentially interfering with each other.
 


I did not know that having a functioning keyboard was related to the OS on the computer!
Similarly, the Magic Mouse 2 requires El Capitan. I bought one about a year ago but could not use it until I upgraded my operating system.
Does a long-time user have to question everything that they know each time they make a purchase of some Apple item?
Any user should check the system requirements before making a purchase of any item.
The driver software that comes with devices is usually garbage.
Hear, hear.

Contrary to many MacInTouchers, I have several Apple mice and keyboards and like them just fine. Call me a rebel!
 
Last edited by a moderator:


I emailed support at Matias about the keyboard combinations not working.
Got this:
In our original design of the Matias wired aluminum keyboards, we added a dial on the top edge of the keyboard. In the case of the Matias Backlit Wired Aluminum Keyboard for Mac, for example, we made it be a color control dial. This control dial added extra functionality including the feature of being active during the boot / startup sequence. All this extra functionality added to the firmware meant that we had to remove other functionality from the firmware, and we removed the feature of keys being active during the boot / startup sequence

We constantly tweak and improve our keyboards, and we’ve now updated our design of the Matias Backlit Wired Aluminum Keyboard for Mac to allow keys to be active during the boot / startup sequence of the Mac (but removing the feature of the color control dial being active during the boot / startup sequence), because on further reflection, more people will care about the keys being active during the boot sequence than the color control being active during the boot sequence.
I've replied asking how I can get that functionality on a three month old keyboard. Will let you know.
 


That product costs $100 and has mediocre reviews at best.

Apple's $129 Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (as noted above) requires macOS 10.12.4 or later, so it won't work with OS X 10.11.

I bought a Logitech Easy‑Switch K811 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard last year (currently $74 at Amazon) and have been using it as my primary keyboard ever since. It feels just like a 2015 MacBook Pro keyboard and has backlighting and rechargable internal batteries.
I have the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad with my iMac 2017 and find the keyboard a pleasure to use. Recharging has been infrequent and easy.
 



I am using a COO bluetooth keyboard from Amazon ($~25) on a 2010 Core 2 Duo Mac Mini, and it appears to be fully functional, except that the OS has to be booted for it to work. Have an old Apple USB keyboard for backup.
 



I stopped using Apple keyboards on my desktop 15-20 years ago when I wanted an ergonomic keyboard, and quickly learned that even wired keyboards could be incompatible with the version of the Mac OS.
I switched to Microsoft keyboards with the rubber membrane between the keycaps and the switches. When the keycaps get greasy and dirty or when liquid is spilled, I just remove the keyboard top with captive keycaps and wash it, along with the membrane, with dishwashing soap. Back together after rinse and dry, it’s just like new. Try washing your wonderful old Apple keyboard. That doesn't work very well.

Until 5 or 6 years ago, the Microsoft software was necessary -- now it won't work even if already installed in Sierra or High Sierra. Fortunately, the keyboard system preference handles swapping the Command and Option keys. Media and Function keys work without any extras.

It is interesting to note that many of us actually appreciate wired keyboard and pointing devices. There is already a clutter of monitor power and data cables, with USB ports on the monitor holding Lightning cables for iDevices. So the presence of wires to the keyboard and mouse is not a big deal. All these devices are tools for me to accomplish things and the reliability of the wired devices far exceeds that of wireless devices, both because of interference in the 2.4 GHz band from WiFi and USB 3 cables, and because the battery never dies (since there is none).

Regarding Alessandro Montalcini's USB Overdrive -- after some initial glitches that Apple claimed were Microsoft's fault, USB Overdrive installs and functions properly in both Sierra and High Sierra. I use it to set the function of buttons 3-5 on the Microsoft Comfort Mouse 4500 which fits my big hands. I carry a 4500 in my kit for use when visiting (anywhere).

And, of course, I would be lost without my Apple model A1314 wireless keyboards. I often use these when setting up iPhones and iPads, for relief from the new MacBook Pro keyboard, and as travelling support tools, including travelling between test systems in my office/lab.
 
Last edited by a moderator:


I've replied asking how I can get that functionality on a three month old (Matias) keyboard. Will let you know.
I bought a Matias Wired Aluminum keyboard – the non-backlit model – a couple of weeks ago. FWIW the boot key combinations work on it. However, I don't know if my keyboard has revised firmware or not... when I was first ready to buy, it was listed as out of stock in Matias' online store. Perhaps that was the period when the updated keyboards were being produced.
 



That product costs $100 and has mediocre reviews at best.

Apple's $129 Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (as noted above) requires macOS 10.12.4 or later, so it won't work with OS X 10.11.

I bought a Logitech Easy‑Switch K811 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard last year (currently $74 at Amazon) and have been using it as my primary keyboard ever since. It feels just like a 2015 MacBook Pro keyboard and has backlighting and rechargable internal batteries.
This, again, is another reason this site and Ric's work is valuable, appreciated --- you discover or are pointed to some products (or solutions) you would not have discovered otherwise ... such as this Logitech wireless keyboard (mentioned above, link), which is now on my buy next list. Thanks, Ric.
 
Last edited by a moderator:


Amazon disclaimer:
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts