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Tech Review: Apple Keyboard ’08 Edition
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Sherab Zangpo   |  
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New Apple Keyboard 2008 EditionI set out happily on my morning mission to the local Apple store with the intention of coming home with a shiny new-brushed aluminum (one of my VERY favorite aesthetics, BTW), Apple Bluetooth keyboards. Sadly, my happy thoughts of bringing home my new little friend (minus the number pad AND the forward delete button… a personal peeve of mine!) were dashed. They weren’t in stock. I went from the Apple store in the local mall to a CompUSA only to be told the same thing, though the words were slightly different. At the Apple store I inquired about the new Apple Bluetooth keyboard and I was handed a card and instructed to call in a week and “check up to see if they were delivered yet.” At CompUSA, however, the resident Mac-geek informed me that they “hadn’t shipped out to anyone,” and “I don’t know what’s wrong with Apple, people have been asking quite often about that item.”

Well, I was a bit bummed. But after reading the absolutely glowing reviews on the Apple site about the new wired and non-wired alike, and since the keys on one of my keyboards were starting to stick quite a bit, I decided to go for the Apple wired, extended keypad (109 keys, I believe… I’d sit and count them, but…).

Now I know why this keyboard had nothing but positive reviews!

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Tech Review: Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Digital Surround Sound Speaker System
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Sherab Zangpo   |  
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Logitech Z-5500 5I made a decision about a year ago to simplify my life and living room, and make my G5 Macintosh my “media hub.” I purchased an external Miglia USB TV tuner with EyeTV DVR software, a 30″ Dell monitor (most HIGHLY recommended!), and sold my home theater.

At the time I had a modest Logitech analog system, which was good, but I wanted more. For a few years the Logitech Z-5500 Digital speaker system caught my eye, but the price was just a bit too high, and I just couldn’t justify the close to $400 price ticket for a second sound system. But now that this was going to be my main (and only), system, I decided to take the plunge.

I purchased the system through Dell for $278.95, and say what you want about Dell, they were the best choice when it came to this item as they had very reasonable shipping ($22.32), and this was a VERY heavy item (somewhere around 40 or more pounds). Another positive thing I found with Dell is they have a very fast delivery time.

I received my system in 3 days. The setup was easy and straightforward. Included in the manual was a quick setup guide with diagrams that made the initial wiring and placement of the speakers quick and painless.

The G5 has an optical audio out, and the Z-5500s an optical in (as well as a coaxial and the usual analogue connections), so the link between the two was made with one simple toslink/optical cable.

Although I originally had a rather thin, inexpensive fiber optic cable running between the two that was intermittently giving me a hard time with recognizing sound coming from the computer. I upgraded this to a $30 Belkin toslink cable which did the trick!

With a few quick sound tests I was up and running and the sound was absolutely SPECTACULAR! The sound was VERY comparable to my former home theater with Bose Acoustimass 5s.

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