Adapt or buy?

One G.R. Gaby has a passel of old Macs and is preparing to upgrade to a Mac mini. One problem remains: What about his old keyboard and mouse? He writes:

I’d like to get a Mac mini but there is a big problem. I have a Mac SE, a Performa 6500, and a Power Book 3400c and, as you know, the two first ones have the “old” keyboard and mouse. They won´t work on the Mini Mac. My question is: Is there any cable or adapter that I can get so I will be able to use these input devices with the Mac mini?

There is. Griffin Technology’s $39 iMate is an ADB-to-USB adapter that will allow you to use your old mouse and keyboard with your new Mac. According to the folks at Griffin, the iMate is plug-and-play with recent versions of Mac OS X. After you’ve plugged in the iMate, fire up the mini and you’ll be asked to push a couple of keys on the keyboard so OS X can figure out which keys are which. With your mouse plugged into the Mac’s keyboard you should be able to mouse around as well.

I used an iMate for years because I was loathe to give up my old Apple Extended Keyboard II and it worked perfectly.

If your goal is to simply have some way to type and mouse around on your new Mac mini, you could also look into getting a new keyboard and mouse. Matias’ $30 OS X Keyboard isn’t quite as dreamy as its $100 (the finest keyboard made today, in my humble opinion), but it’s a perfectly suitable keyboard for the price. As for a mouse, there are jillions of them out here and nearly all of them have two things that Apple stubbornly refuses to provide with its mice—a scroll wheel and a second button. Running Mac OS X without a multi-button mouse is like running with your shoelaces tied together.

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