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OPINION NOVEMBER 6 , 2000
Talkin' Smack: My New Mac

[Page 2 of 2]

But I wasn't going to leave Fry's without a new keyboard, so I resolved to purchase a MacAlly iMediaKey keyboard. The keys aren't exactly black, and the action seemed all right. Plus, if I wound up not liking it, I could just spend five hours returning it at Fry's. Dealing with retail idiots is draining, but at least I could get my money back. (I can't emphasize enough that you should never shop at Fry's. I had to wait at the checkout counter for literally 10 minutes while the cashier left to go verify the price of my keyboard.)

Well, guess what? The keyboard is great! It does have a few USB-related problems. If I have to force restart my Mac, for example, my Wacom tablet that's plugged into the keyboard gets no power. (I have it hooked up through the keyboard to save my precious full-power ports.) But, in the five days I've been using it, I haven't missed a keystroke.

I wish to the great Jeebis above that somebody would come out with a USB keyboard for Mac that has white keys—even frosty white keys with clear overcoats, if manufacturers feel the compulsion to match it with the G4's colors. Which, for some reason, they do to the exclusion of practicality, even when such attempts to match colors come out looking like abominations too horrid even for a peecee user.

I love my Mac. I even sometimes love Apple. But it's about time for Apple to get its peripheral act together. A one-button mouse is silly, especially since the advent of contextual menus and professional applications' heavy reliance on Control-Click functionality. And a non-functional keyboard ... well, that's just a no-brainer. There's no reason that we should have to go out and replace our hardware like this.

How many peecee users does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
I close this week's column with an answer to last week's question: "How many peecee users does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" The winning user submission comes from Neil. The reasons he wins are:

1. His answer threw me. I really wasn't expecting it, even though, according to my coworkers, it's the oldest answer to any "screw in the lightbulb" joke.

2. I like this guy's Web site.

3. He's the only one who answered.

So the answer to "How many peecee users does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" is: "Two. But it has to be quite a large light bulb."

Visit Neil at http://cyclelogicpress.virtualave.net so you can learn all about goat herding.

Now, I also came up with my own answer:

It takes 13 peecee users to screw in a lightbulb. Ten of them take the lightbulb certification test. One passes. The eleventh peecee user is a supervisor. After two months and a ream of paperwork, he approves the expense for the lightbulb and supervises its installation. The new lightbulb, of course, shorts out the rest of the lightbulbs in the house. This leads to the hiring of the twelfth peecee user, who has a specialized certification in GE lightbulbs. He recommends using GE lightbulbs exclusively and replacing all light switches with with password-protected keypads to prevent unnecessary use of the lightbulbs. The corporate office, always looking for ways to "trim the fat," approves the new fixture initiative and promotes the twelfth peecee user to CIO, who soon after takes a higher-paying job as a Tier 2 Support Agent with Microsoft. The corporation then hires the thirteenth peecee user to replace the twelfth. He, too, leaves for a higher-paying job, but not before replacing all the Macs in the design department with HP Pavilions.

Okay, it's kind of weak, but next time send me funnier answers, and you won't have to live with mine.

In case you missed this week's punchline question on page 1, here it is. Send in the best answer, and I'll publish it with your name.

Punchline of the Week
See your name in glowing, correct-gamma phosphor lights by sending in the best punchline to this question:

What's the difference between a peecee user and a presidential candidate?

Send punchlines to [email protected]. See you next week.

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Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital DTP; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, DCC Designer, DCC Workstation, Digital DTP, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, ProAudio.net and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.

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