Mac OS X Keyboard Mapping

Back in 2002, Logitech gave away 20,000 Cordless Navigator Duo Keyboard/Mouse sets in celebration of 30 million cordless devices sold. For some reason Mac OS X doesn’t seem to recognize some keyboards correctly such as this, and even my standard Dell 104 Key Keyboard at work. Not sure why this is, but maybe being behind a KVM switch has something to do with it.

For anyone else who runs across this problem (and me next time I upgrade my OS and completely forget this), here’s the fix. First setup your keyboard with the wizard as Mac OS X prompts you to (it asks for the key next to the left shift key, and the right shift key). Once that’s done, go into System Preferences and select “Keyboard & Mouse”. Under “Keyboard” press the “Modifier Keys” button. Then change the settings to match your keyboard. For me the Apple (Command) and Alt/Option were inverted. Control was fine.

Keyboard Mapping On Mac OS X

Easy enough right? Now my keys map perfectly.

The Logitech Cordless Navigator Duo is a really cool keyboard since it’s one of the few that actually put both sets (Mac/Win) of lettering on the keys. There is software for this keyboard but in my experience Keyboard/Mouse software is garbage and should be avoided at all costs. It’s also not yet available for Mac OS X 10.5

Blocking Firefox

There’s recently been a lot of buzz about a list of sites that make Firefox sad. Having written reporter, I’ve done a fair amount of monitoring in this area over the past few years. Overall I think the scope of sites that still block certain browsers/OS is declining. By scope I mean quantity of sites/popularity of sites. More and more often the sites are less and less popular sites. Often they are either financial institutions (known for being the last to update their tech) or media related (and dependent on Microsoft Windows Media DRM). That’s not to say the landscape doesn’t need to improve. From where I sit, it says the landscape is improving. More and more websites are realizing the need to work anywhere. No site is happy with a 5% drop in traffic. That means they can’t afford to ignore a browser with even more market share.

Things are looking a little brighter. While it’s still not good for the web, Silverlight and Flash seem to encourage much more compatibility across browsers/platforms than Windows Media Player ever has. Flash has been a major win for Firefox. Flash is rather consistent across browsers making it a popular choice for media (think YouTube). It’s leveled the playing field, since lets face it, Windows Media historically has been lacking in Firefox, though recently improving. On Mac OS X it is awful at best. h.264 support will make Flash even more attractive to content providers in the near future who are still holding out because of quality.

An interesting point made by that list is a lot of sites are “IE only” because of buggy navigation menu’s, typically due to flyout and drop down menu’s. It really is too bad. Most of those implementations aren’t even search engine friendly (they often store the entire navigation in a JS array). You’d think that would be incentive enough to change.

So those are my somewhat random thoughts on the topic for the moment.

On a sidenote, other content of the site includes a how to on Firefox pencils that look pretty cool.