I recently purchased an Apple wireless keyboard. I blame it on being surrounded by Mac evangelists at the time. I had the quaint notion of using the keyboard on my Windows Vista box. To cut a long story short, I spent around a week trying to get the keyboard paired with my Asus bluetooth dongle (WL-BTD201M) and although I did succeed, the results were less than satisfactory. This was due to many reasons such as the keyboard being a Mac keyboard and Vista's flaky support for bluetooth. I say flaky because pairing the keyboard with a MacBook took around 20 seconds! I experienced unreliable bluetooth functionality on Vista with the connection reset every so often - too often to make it usable. Unlike other components on your system, if your keyboard or mouse is non-functional it gets frustrating pretty fast.
Here's what I liked about the apple keyboard:
1. Very small. See pic against my Microsoft keyboard.
2. The keys are very nice to the touch and spaced exactly right.
3. The bluetooth connection light emanates from an almost invisible led on the keyboard.
4. The packaging was fantastic as per usual Apple standard.
5. The keyboard is one of the thinnest and lightest keyboards I have ever seen. See pic.
Here's what I disliked about it:
1. It was maybe too small. I found it hard to type with it at times. But then again if you have smaller hands than I do, I doubt this will be a problem.
2. It was missing some important keys I frequently use like home, end, insert, backspace, page up/down and printscreen to name a few! I was told that home and end keys were (command + <-) and (command + ->) on the Mac, which is great if I could only find some software to do the mapping for me.
3. Some of the keys like the function key (fn) didn't work out of the box and needed special software to work. The remaining keys can be mapped with a tool like SharpKeys.
Here are the steps I followed to get the keyboard paired on Windows Vista:
This guide is for dongles using the Widcomm bluetooth stack only. You need another working keyboard (preferably wired) for use to enter the pin code.
1. Remove the following updates if installed:
Update 941600 (Cumulative update rollup for USB core components in Windows Vista)
Update 941649 (An update that improves the compatibility, reliability, and stability of Windows Vista)
2. Install the Widcomm drivers that came with your bluetooth dongle.
3. Launch regedit.
4. Locate the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Widcomm\BtConfig\General key.
5. Set the key PinCodeWord to a decimal value of 1111
6. Set the key UseFixedPin to a decimal value of 1
7. Set the key NoSleepingWhileConnected to a decimal value of 1 (Disallows the keyboard going to sleep while connected to via bluetooth)
8. Set the key DeviceInactivityDuration to a decimal value that represents the time in seconds before the keyboard disconnects from the bluetooth dongle. Eg. A value of 10800 is 3 hours. (60x60x3)
9. Set the key MinPINLength to a decimal value of 3. This is the minimum pin code length).
10. Restart the computer and log in with your other keyboard (not the Apple keyboard).
11. Attempt pairing the keyboard with the dongle. Once the keyboard is detected, select it and click next to proceed. On the next screen you will need to enter a pairing key, which you won't be able to enter! :) The key you entered into the registry at step 5 is what you need to enter here. Using your other keyboard type in the pin code. You will not see the key strokes but they will be entered into the dialog.
12. Press the Return key on the Apple keyboard.
13. The bluetooth authentication dialog should accept this value. If it doesn't your probably entered the wrong passkey. You may have to repeat the pairing process a few times before it succeeds.
If and when the keyboard disconnects, I use the bluetooth driver in Vista to disable and enable bluetooth (using the mouse since my keyboard is not working). This then redetects the keyboard and reconnects to it in about 10 seconds. Failing this I eject and reinsert the dongle after about a 10 second wait.