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Getting Old? Troubleshooting a First Generation Apple Wireless Keyboard

written by: Austin•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 8/15/2011

The first generation of Apple's Bluetooth keyboard line is called the A1016, and it's been on the market for over eight years. Originally released in 2003, if you still have one, you might be noticing that it's showing its age. Here's how to keep it in pristine condition.

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    The A1016 - An Introduction

    Screen shot 2011-08-13 at 4.38.54 PM Way back in 2003 after Apple had begun gaining steam because of the iPod, they released the very first on their line of Apple wireless keyboards, the "A1016". Sure, it wasn't the catchiest name in the world, but it certainly did the job when it came to performance. Now, eight years later, some people are still using those old keyboards without a hitch, and others are struggling just to make it recognize what they're typing. If you're in the latter of these two groups, you're in luck- there are some things you can do to get that keyboard to work with newer devices, and there are certainly some things you can do to keep it in pristine condition.

    First, let's quickly go over some basic keyboard care tips.

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    Wireless Keyboard Care 101

    Whether you're just buying a keyboard or you've had it for ten years, there are a few things you'd be smart to start doing, if you're not already.

    - Firstly, don't eat or drink around they keyboard. You may not see it, but crumbs and little bits of food fall down and get lodged underneath the keys. You won't notice a difference at first, but one day it'll all add up and you'll be in a lot of trouble because your keyboard will totally stop working.

    - Secondly, regularly take a vacuum cleaner and suck/blow the dirt, dust, and grim out from in between the keys. This will ensure that you don't have any problems down the road!

    - Lastly, always make sure you fully use and then fully charge the batteries in the keyboard. Don't overcharge it and then only use half of it before charging again!

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    Using the A1016 With New Hardware

    Screen shot 2011-08-13 at 5.08.56 PM One of the biggest problems with using older wireless and wired devices is that when you try to use them with newer computers and hardware, you get an incompatibility signal. This is true with older MP3 players and today's modern devices just as it's true with really old games and new gaming systems- if you don't stay current on hardware then you can't keep using your old devices. One of the biggest problems the A1016 has is its seeming incompatibility with the latest craze in touch screens, the iPad.

    Using With The iPad

    If you're like anyone else out there with one of these Apple wireless keyboard (1st gen), you've probably noticed that- for whatever reason- it won't show up in your iPad's Bluetooth registry. This isn't some sort of one time glitch, however, because Apple has been negligent enough not to update the iPad's firmware, or the keyboard's compatibility (partially due to the fact that it's an old keyboard that they aren't selling anymore). This means that, if you want a wireless keyboard for your iPad, you're going to need to upgrade to one of the newer models.

    Using With New Computers (MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, etc)

    But what about new Apple computers? Can the old keyboard sync to those? Thankfully, the answer is a resounding "Yes!", though that's not to say people haven't run into issues. Many users report that initially, they had trouble setting up the keyboard because- like the iPad- it didn't seem to show up in the Bluetooth registry. Thankfully, this is fairly easy to fix, and in most cases was the result of a mishap on the users' side.

    First, make sure your batteries are fully charged. Many people end up feeling rather silly because they simply forgot to keep the thing fully juiced, and after giving it a few hours to rest, didn't have any more problems.

    If this doesn't help you, try making sure Bluetooth is enabled both on your computer and on the keyboard. To do this on the computer end of things (the hard of the two), click the Bluetooth icon in the upper right of your screen and scroll down to activate it by clicking "Turn Bluetooth On". Once done, your device should show up in the list, and if it doesn't, you may need to try a few other things.

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    Other Problems?

    For the most part, the A1016 has seemed to hold up pretty well for people, save for the iPad issues, but it's not entirely without inherent faults. One problem that a lot of people report is that their first few keystrokes don't get registered after they've been away from the keyboard for a while. Don't worry; it's not just you and your keyboard isn't just quirky. Actually what's happening is that your keyboard goes to sleep after a set amount of time, and the first few keystrokes are simply telling it to wake up rather than telling it to type. To avoid this in the future, hit the spacebar and wait three or four seconds before trying to use it.

    Other than that, any issue that the A1016 has isn't exclusive to it, and should be approached in a general troubleshooting manner. First, try restarting your computer and reconnecting the keyboard. Second, take the keyboard apart and clean it out. Thirdly, bring it to a professional. Follow these steps for troubleshooting, keep the upkeep rules (listed above) in mind, and your Apple A1016 should stay in tip-top shape for another few years.

    Happy keyboarding!