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Lighted Laptop Keyboard

Another quickie: When using my laptop at night (for the usual - writing, reading, and programming), I often need to type a function key (e.g., F11 to toggle Full Screen mode in Firefox or Ctrl-F11 in IDEA), but I can't see the darn keyboard! This really screwed me over once - I was hunting for the function key and accidentally (I found out later) invoked the hardware disable for the trackpad! (FYI the laptop is a Toshiba Tablet.) So of course the idea is to provide lighted keyboards on laptops. Well, a search turned up (big surprise) an Apple Powerbook (article from MARCH 20, 2003). Apple (whose Advanced Technology Lab provided funding for yours truly during grad school - thanks!) has had some real design hits, and some misses over the years, but this was a good idea. Sadly, I couldn't find a current model that supports this feature. I really would buy a Mac laptop for my next purchase if they'd just provide a two-button mouse with scroll wheel functionality. I can not live without this. The Toshiba lets you configure a strip on the right side of the trackpad to simulate a scroll wheel, which I use for scrolling and for quickly changing the font size in Firefox.

Reader Comments (10)

I've got the backlit keyboard on my PowerBook and love it. If you want an external mouse for a PowerBook, you can use Apple's new Mighty Mouse (scrolls both up/down and right/left), or any M$ or Logitech scroll-wheel USB mouse. They all work. The new trackpads also have the "scroll" feature now (again, u/d and r/l).

October 20, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks for the comment; I'll have to check out Apple again.

October 25, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

Thank you, I just wanted to give a greeting and tell you I like your blog.

January 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMyles Licon

Much appreciated, Myles. I tried to view your site, but it said "Account Closed". Thank you for reading.

January 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

I thought I was the original of the lighted keyboard.! How is it that cell phones have this feature but a laptop does not yet... it seems like a simple feature to add but the ingeneers havent thought in that direction yet ! why not ?

April 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterrobert moreno

Hey, Robert - I totally agree! Thanks for reading, and for your comment.

April 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

it seems that Mac/apple is the only company that "gets it" and the others, the PC's just can't quite figure out how to make things flow or be user friendly. Not only that but, WINDOWS VISTA!!!!!!!!!! Ack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and Internet Explorer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! both terrible terrible products!!!!!!!!!!! I have an HP now but my next laptop will definitely be a Mac.

November 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMagan

Magan, I have to say I agree re: Windows. It's hard to believe such a low-quality system could be acceptable to the people who created it.

And it continues to go downhill.

Sadly they have a monopoly, and I really wonder if they care about fixing it. I'm sure they do; maybe it's just too hard... I feel for them.

In the meantime, switching to the Mac is a fine idea. I haven't done it.

November 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell

"Ingineers"?? Oh, please.

July 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I couldn't find that anywhere on this page.

July 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermatthewcornell

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