Gadget to move a USB port to the front of an iMac

a, e, s, and i - those letters wore off pretty quickly, but now i am down wearing through the thin plastic, the e was first to go. yes, exactly that, long days of coding every day, well that and commenting on boingboing :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

also, on a note of annoyance at apple, i have 2 of the new bt wireless apple keyboards that i don’t use, and figured i could pop off the keys and swap them onto my wired one, but nope. the key sizes are not the same despite looking visually the same. the tolerances are totally different as are the attachments under the keys. i was very dismayed at that. :frowning:

I found the solution to that one. I had the same problem with an early mac, so I got a 24" extension cable and taped it in place. Presto - USB port on top! The Radio Shack version has the added benefit of not being useless when you buy a different computer.

Maybe you should buy one of @codinghorror’s keyboards :wink:

Congrats! Either way is way less than $15 which is Belkin level prices. Reckon what shipping to Australia would be with the original device?

The point is that hardware marketed as Apple-specific always commands a premium over the generic equivalent. Always order from your local cheapskate provider. All cables are exactly the same, only the margin varies.

1 Like

Meh. Simply put the USB and SD card ports into the table. Always the same place for all computers. Furniture has a longer shelf life than those anyway.

I now notice the thing’s been better designed than we thought… it has a little latch on the female end that hooks into the vents at the bottom of the screen to create a solid hold that doesn’t rely solely on the usb jack on the back, so at least with this mac-specific item you’re actually getting something that’s mac-specific.

I agree about cables though, which is why I know about dx :smile:

Gah. Apple these days is everything wrong with hardware design. Your computer is not a fashion accessory. Neither is your phone for that matter. No one has ever seen someone poking away at their phone and said “Wow! That phone makes you look pretty!”

That sad part is that fashion over function is obnoxiously successful in the marketplace, and as a result lots of companies try and follow. I would kill for a phone maker to say “fuck it, the form isn’t going to be that hurt if we make this thing a few mm thicker.” and then proceed to make a phone that can take a hit and has battery life to put everyone else to shame. But no, instead we will get continuously thinner phones with bad battery life that explode into a million pieces if dropped As a result everyone stuffs them into a big bulky case, defeating the entire point of a thin phone, but the reviewers get to line them up and squint, deciding which phone is a few microns thinner.



You just can’t trust anyone who looks at a desktop keyboard and says “Y’know what would really make this better? If it were more like a laptop keyboard that had been brutally squeezed into as little volume as possible!”

Apple’s implementation is arguably among the most competent of the pointlessly-laptopish desktop keyboards; but laptop keyboards are engineering compromises that just don’t make a lot of sense in a situation where height isn’t nearly as much of an issue.


From my experience, having the USB drive sticking out the front of the computer is no barrier to it being left behind either.

Being a musician, I use them because they are the best system for my needs, but I absolutely hate Apple’s design philosophy.

I honestly don’t care if my laptop is 3" thick and 14lbs, as long as I know it will survive getting dropped from the stage onto a concrete floor.

For a desktop machine, size and shape don’t matter at all. As long as it’s smaller than the desk it’s being put on, it’s fine. I’d much rather have accessible ports and a case that can be opened in case I ever want to actually upgrade the damned thing.

if it weren’t about the aesthetics, no one would buy macs

apple’s sales disprove pretty much everything about your post.
and you don’t think people buy their phone (car, clothes) because they THINK it makes them look pretty, or sophisticated, or rich, or whatever?

that being said… if you want a more rugged piece of hardware, go get one. they are out there

i use that apple keyboard every day connected to my diy desktop machine.
i disagree. the ease of pressing the keys makes me able to type much faster with fewer mistakes and i think it looks better than alternatives on my desk.
my lenovo laptop keyboard sucks in comparison, as does my IBM mechanical keyboard from way back. just my preference, i suppose.

Ooooh. I’ll agree that Lenovo has weakened the once-superior Thinkpad keyboard; but saying that the Model M ‘sucks’?

There are opinions, and there is blasphemy, and and I think we all know which one that is.

1 Like

fair enough. :blush:
the PDP-11 is completely amazing and we’ve all moved on to completely different architecture, not to mention the clock speeds…
i’ve known and loved many model M keyboards, but for day to day use i like the apple. when the keys wear out i sell it and buy a new one. they are cheap these days…

And by “one” he means “dozens”.


If Man were meant to plug USB conveniently into the front of his computer, (or change phone batteries for that matter) Saint Jobs would have made it so. All else is heresy, perfection cannot be improved upon.

1 Like

i mainly use the new apple keyboard because it is very fast and easy to type on, i was a die-hard mechanical switch keyboard user prior to this keyboard. I’ve tried switching back to one of my two previous apple mechanical switched keyboards and the effort to type was much greater so i agree fully with this point.

the build quality on this keyboard just isn’t up to snuff though. the keyboard is glued together not screwed, so it is impossible to repair or clean in a spill accident, and the plastic keys can’t be more then a few mil thick. one shouldn’t be able to type through the tops of the keys in under 2 years as I have. that and the letters wear off much more quickly then that. both my mechanically switched keyboards saw much longer service life, and none of the letters even wore off let alone the keys being typed through. also, they can be completely disassembled to service and clean.

so while i truly do love typing on this new apple keyboard, they are made to be thrown away after a few years and replaced. the build quality just isn’t there which is a real shame.

I must live in a completely different universe than you do. What do you need 10 usb 3.0 ports for? Please tell me you aren’t trying to cook bulgogi.

I wish, I love bulgogi!

I have two 8 port hubs and one 10 port hub…so 26 ports, plus one on the back left over from the 3 hubs plugging in, i don’t chain any of my hubs, so 27 ports in total.

my typical usb usage:

  • high end wax phaser printer (for professional work)
  • ink jet printer (for quick prints)
  • cannon flatbed scanner
  • digital camera
  • apple wired keyboard
  • ipad
  • iphone
  • mobee wireless apple magic mouse charger  (i hate throwing away or swapping out batteries)
  • mobee apple magic trackpad usb charger (i hate throwing away or swapping out batteries)
  • wacom tablet (small, on desk)
  • wacom tablet (large, pull out tray under desk)
  • 2tb external drive
  • 2tb external drive
  • 4tb external drive
  • 4tb external drive
  • ultra high speed 64gb flash drive for scratch disk memory intensive apps like photoshop and illustrator
  • voip usb phone so i can use the headset with voip or skype calls when talking with clients, which dramatically improves call clarity and keeps the call somewhat more private (i’m thinking about switching to a bluetooth headset soon though)

(sometimes my zagfolio is charging)
(sometimes I have some of the huge number of regular 64gb usb metal flash memory sticks plugged in, for transferring large amounts of data to clients)
(sometimes I use my high end usb sound input/output device for recording because it can handle multiple channels.)

i also have a NAS storage on top of my local usb storage. :slight_smile:

oh and the usb drive that has all my virtual machines for running other OS from Parallels or VMWare.

occasionally I’ll have another device or two plugged in as well and am probably forgetting one or two from my list.

(despite all that I actually keep my standing desk fairly clean, the shelves next to my desk have the scanners, and printers, and external drives, and camera, just in case you were horrified by this list…lol)