Monthly Archive for September, 2009

Tool: Wireless Keyboard & Touchpad

As a way to share tools I use regularly with others and find out tools that other IT people are using. So, I am going to start off with a tool I keep on hand and use at odd situations.

Wireless Keyboard & Touchpad

Logitech® Cordless MediaBoard Keyboard for PlayStation®3
or the
Logitech Cordless MediaBoard Pro Wireless Keyboard

The one pictured above is just the cordless mediaboard, but it is currently more expensive that the MediaBoard Pro and harder to find. It was originally bought to use with a media center PC attached to a big LCD TV, but plans changed and I put it into regular use at the church.

Some Points about the Hardware:

The USB dongle is the same size as a standard thumbdrive

There was no way to attach the dongle to the keyboard for storage so I superglued a magnet in a place underneath where the dongle could be held out of the way.

The keyboard feels flimsy and cheap, but it holds up pretty well.

They say the reach is 30 feet, however I plugged it into a computer and then walked out of the house and down the road probably 50 feet before the characters went goofy. This was through a standard exterior wall that had hardy board siding added onto it, and hardy board does a lot of damage to readio signals.

There is no software to install and windows recognizes it instantly. Macs will, of course, pop up the dialog to ask you to hit the key next to shift so it can be identified as a non-Mac keyboard but it works just fine.

The keyboard uses 2 AA batteries. I love this since it means that when I pull it out for use I can just take 2 AAs with me and not worry about the condition of the rechargeable integrated batteries that some remote keyboards use.

Uses:

Obviously it is good for presentations done by people who don’t like using an air mouse and do like a touchpad.

It also works well when assisting someone with a presentation. It is nice to be able to quickly plug into someone’s laptop so that if they do have problems during a presentation you are ready as a helper.

It works well in your lap when at a distance from the screen, but I would not use it as my daily desk keyboard. It isn’t comfortable enough for that position and duration.

We keep it as an emergency USB keyboard in my office. Since nobody wants it at their desk it isn’t going to go into circulation. I used it in the server room when a keyboard cord to the KVM had been knocked loose and the server came up without recognizing the KVM’s keyboard. It was easy to get into place without dealing with a cord, and the mouse was integrated.

And of course, it is good for pranks. Especially if you set up some good shortcut keys in advance.

Some Additional Stuff:

I need a keyboard and touchpad setup for a kiosk going into the bookstore. There isn’t enough room for a mouse on the ledge, and it seems too cumbersome, so I was looking at the Adesso Slim touch Desktop Keyboard. It is currently $37 at buy.com, but if you have any suggestions I would be glad to hear them.