A Keyboard for my Mac Mini

Many of you will know I have a Mac Mini connected to my TV, to provide internet TV (via Miro) and a PVR for broadcast TV (via Elgato’s eyeTV). Several people I know have similar set ups, and there seem to be three schools of thought for controlling it from the sofa:

  • Use the apple remote.
  • Use a bluetooth Apple keyboard and mouse.
  • Use some non-apple keyboard/trackpad combo.

Of the three, I like the last – there are too many times when a keyboard is needed on OSX to make the first work for me, and trying to find a flat surface for the mouse means the second drives me mad.

So when I set my mini up, I tried to source a suitable keyboard. Here in the UK that seems to be a hit-and-miss affair, with stockists varying each time I looked. When I noticed a wireless USB keyboard intended for a PS3, I snapped it up. It’s by Logitech, and called the Y-RAN77 (snappy!). They don’t seem to make it any more, but amazon lists something similar.

The only remaining problem is that some of the keycaps weren’t resulting in the right character when pressed. Some people prefer that – relying on their typing ‘muscle memory’ to get the right character. I use so many different keyboards, I don’t really have a subconscious recollection of them all, so I used this tool to remap the defaults the mac used to the correct items.

If you also need such a thing (unlikely), the file is here. Just copy it to /Library/Keyboard Layouts, and then pick ‘Logitech Y-RAN77’ from the list of ‘Input Menu’ options in the international prefs pane.


Merry Christmas

A glass tree ornament

Seasons greetings to everyone reading!


The end of my Sabbatical

It’s time for another update on my sabbatical year. It’s time to declare it over.

At the start of the year, I posed two questions to myself:

  • Do I want to integrate more cycling into my habits?
  • Do I have the capacity to start my own software company?

The first, I can answer with a resounding no. As I wrote in the last update, I haven’t cycled any more than I did when I was working at Symbian. Whilst I’m a little disappointed with myself, I certainly hope to revisit this question some other time in the future. I certainly love cycling when I do it.

The second is a qualified yes. And qualified only until the company becomes a going concern, since I’m confident I’m on the right track. Transmission Begins was founded during the year, and after a flurry of activity while I wrote the first version of the My Own TV Channel product, things have been publicly quiet for the last few months.

Well, I was busy delivering Transmission Begins’ first income generating contract. (Perhaps I owe myself a couple of months sabbatical in the future!). Who I contracted with is a confidential matter (at their request), but to those of you who read this, thank you for a very enjoyable few months.

Now that is done, it is time to focus on Transmission Begins again. Today I’ve launched a blog on Transmission Begins website, and if you’re interested, I hope to see you there.