I consider Apple trning Keyboards into Rocket Science an absolute abomination.
Other than buying a decent KB, your issues can still be handled...
think Spark cured this for another person many people and the same problem...
Spark doesn't work. I download it, place it into the Applications Folder as instructed, and it won't open or do anything.
You said, "Other than buying a decent keyboard...". Will ANY USB Windows keyboard at least provide the control of the hardwired Function keys on my old Apple keyboard i.e., volume up/down/mute (F12, F11, F10) etc.?
Is there even an equivalent Function key on a Windows keyboard so I can invoke the Fn+F? commands?
See if you can install a copy of BetterTouchTool. It has the ability to associate hotkey (such as the F1-F15 keys to actions such as brightness controls, volume, etc...
Another possibility is KeyRemap4MacBook (works on all Macs, not just laptops)
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm gonna try to find an older version keyboard on eBay.
P.S. When I purchased the newer version keyboard, the Apple staff member e-mailed my receipt-first time I ever tried this.
Well, unknown to me, he entered my address wrong, leaving me without a receipt for the return.
Fortunately, the staff member working at the time I returned the keyboard made the extra effort to research their activity of the previous night and found my errant receipt, so I could obtain my refund.
P.S.S. I found what should be a compatible replacemnt from Logitch, their wirelss solar keyboard K750. Product specs list it as being compatible with OS X 10.5, which is what I need. The price is comparable to an Apple wired keyboard.
Forgive the missing "e"s and other spelling erros as that's part of my keyboard problem!
I'll post here with a review when the keyboard arives as it should help others running OS X 10.5 that have failing keyboards.
Update: I received my Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 today. I'm typing on it now!
It's solar. It's wireless. It'll work with a desktop or laptop Mac. There's an app you can download to monitor the keyboard's solar charging functionality.
To install the keyboard, plug the supplied dongle into your laptop, or plug the dongle into the supplied extender and plug that assembly into your desktop Mac's USB port. Follow the prompts and you're done.
Configuring the F-Keys to match the functionality of the Mac OS 10.5 keyboard was a little tricky despite following the downloaded manual but in the end it works! The volume up/down/mute keys work as do the screen brightness keys and the DVD Play/Pause, Forward, and Back keys.
The trick is to open System Preferences and select Expose & Spaces, and enable the F-Keys corresponding to the icons on the keyboard. You may also have to go to System Preferences-Other and select the Logitech Control Center app (download it if necessary). Select your new keyboard, press Configure, and UNCHECK the box.
The end result is, I've found a keyboard that will work with my iMac and OS 10.5, including the function keys. If you don't like going the eBay or Amazon route for a used OS 10.5 compatible keyboard, the Logitech is the ticket. I also understand that Snow Leopard used the same keyboard so if you're running that OS and your keyboard tanks, the Logitech K750 is a viable solution.
One update regarding the K750 keyboard.
It appears that if you configure the F3 and F4 keys to mimic your old Mac keyboard and access Expose and Dashboard respectively, you deactivate the volume controls, and vice versa. It does not appear you can get both the F3 and F4 keys and volume keys to work simultaneously. Switching between the 2 choices requires going to
System Preferences-Other-Logitec Control Center (remember to download the software), select your keyboard, click Configure... and either check or uncheck the box to toggle your F-key preferences as mentioned above.
This is not a deal breaker for me as I was primarily interested in regaining volume and DVD Player control via the F-Keys, which this keyboard does for me.