Apple Magic Keyboard 2

Long live the Lightning dock!

Back a few months, I somewhat hesitantly bought a Magic Keyboard 2 shortly after my purchase of an MBP 15 2018. I wanted an external wireless keyboard for the laptop because 1) the laptop was uncomfortably hot when connected to an external display 2) I didn’t want to spend money on a dongle just yet to use other keyboards like the HHKB Pro2 3) I liked the freedom of being wireless and 4) I just wanted to try it.

I’ve used it for a few months for at least an hour every day. And here are my picks of goods and bads.

Pros

  • Ultra-portable and light. I adjust my posture quite a lot. So I found its weight (or lack thereof) never an issue when re-position the keyboard on my desk.
  • Long battery
  • Never disconnected once.
  • Mapped to useful functions like brightness control, volume up/down.

Cons

  • No multipairing. I knew it didn’t have multi paring , but I actually didn’t believe it. I honestly thought Apple had a clever way of *magically* handing the pairing off to whichever device I am using at the moment. There is no such magic.
  • Rattly (noisy). I have hypersensitive ears and this drove me nuts.
  • Small arrow cluster. Impossible to reach without leaving the home row, but the problem is the up/down arrows are frustratingly miniature in size. I learned great many keyboard shortcuts though.
  • Eject button for.. what?
  • Expensive. Comparatively speaking, this is the cheapest keyboard in my fleet. Yet I still find its value proposition a bit hard to swallow.
  • Nothing to write home about on its tactility of the switch. I actually preferred the infamous butterfly switch keyboard on my MacBook Pro which I found to be very crisp, precise and tactile (of course, I try not to use the butterfly keyboard because it was repeating the ‘O’ key out of the box).

I stopped using the Magic Keyboard on a daily basis now. I don’t know if I want to keep this around. I will see if I can get great use out of it on my iPad instead.

GarbageCollection Roof on Amazon

I’ve delivered a handful of GarbageCollections.co.kr roofs through GB. It was great to share a good product with the community. The roof not only accentuates the beauty of keyboard, but it is also extremely practical as it will shield your keyboard from coffee spills and dust, to say the least! Now I’m glad to share the news that they are available on Amazon.com. It is cheaper than the price I was able to offer. So it is a good deal. I apologize for those GB participants who had to pay a little more, but paying for shipping both ways and covering Paypal fees added up! From what I have been told, the price of $35 for the roof and $10 for the shipping (from Korea) is an introductory price. And the regular price will be $45 before shipping and handling. So for those of you who weren’t able to grab the roof through my GB, please head on over to Amazon.com and get your own roof :).

GarbageCollection.co.kr Roofs Shipped

All GarbageCollection orders have been shipped and delivered. It was probably the most painless GB I ran to date. I was just acting as a middle man, so it was as simple as receiving the orders and shipping them out. Of course, I must thank all the care and love GarbageCollection has put into this. The large box full of roofs was well packed for an oversea trip. Hope you all enjoy your roofs. And I look forward to the next round :).

My Keyboard Story #2 – CM Storm Quickfire Rapid

I bought this hefty little guy god-knows-how-long-ago from (now bankrupted) NCIX in Vancouver. Considering I picked this over others purely based on price (less than $70 on sale!), I really lucked out that it sports genuine Cherry-MX BLUES. Time over time, I became convinced these clicky, tactile blues are my go-to switch unless I have a special need. The build quality is simply amazing. After many years of abuse, there is no sign of wear or slightest hint of crack on the case. Heck, even the detachable USB cable is so thick and stiff to the point that it gets mildly annoying. It will outlive any USB cable out there though.

I changed a few things over the years. Obviously, the keycaps starred in the picture aren’t stock. I don’t even know where my original caps are, but let’s just say I don’t miss them at all after putting on those GMK Carbon caps. The controller, which can’t be seen above, has been replaced with the Frosty Flake by Bathroom Epiphanies.

Although I have used it as a daily driver here and there, I now use this board mostly for gaming. The rawness of blue switches accentuates gaming experience by complementing booms and bangs with clicks and clacks. Over the years I have tried other gaming boards, but this championed every time. No, it does not have a narrow profile, fast switches. And no it does not have a backlight. I keep it around nonetheless because it does the very basics so well.

Miuni32 dimensions and missing labels

The latest version of Miuni32 PCB lacks labels on some key components, especially around the MCU. It was partly because I didn’t see it was necessary as the assembly was done automatically with pick-and-place machines., but mostly also because I was lazy. Well, I have owned up to myself and have uploaded a completely labeled image to the repository. I also made an image with important dimensions for anyone who’s working on a custom case.

Miuni32 Submitted to MassDrop

Ok I gotta do something about the case situation for Miuni32. I wanted the cases to become available organically with time, but there still is no affordable and readily available case option! I have been trying to work with some oversea manufacturers for polycarbonate cases, but the upfront risk is a little too high to put my money down. I will still work on the higher-end CNC machined aluminum cases with the community, but I am hoping to make Miuni32 available on MassDrop as a kit. If anything, it should put more Miuni32 PCBs in circulation and help build ecosystem including cases. So fingers crossed. Let’s see what I hear back!

My Keyboard Story #1 – HHKB Pro 2

I bought this HHKB Pro 2 when I was still in college 8 years ago (that is nearly.. 10 years!). It was a BIG money for a student (well, it’s still a lot of money). I’ve bought and sold many things for many reasons since then, but I could never let go of this little guy. It just has been through so much with me – graduation, multiple jobs, and moving between countries, health issues, mental issues, relationship issues, as well as a happy marriage among other life changing events. Sure I’ve tried many other keyboards along the way, but for work and school, nothing comes close to this layout. The Topre switches are pleasure to type on, but for me the layout is the killer feature. I *love* how I don’t have to move my hands around.