When I first saw Carl Lumma's review of the DVForge GarageKey MIDI keyboard in Keyboard Magazine , I was impressed its clean design, small size and USB connectivity (goodbye, MIDI interface!) — but dismayed that XP support was lacking. However, there were some situations where I could use it with an OS X Mac, so I got one anyway.
I was surprised to find that its manual mentioned Windows compatibility! I spent a lot of time trying to find out whether there was some way to get it to work with Windows as advertised. After a protracted search, it appeared that there was in fact no Windows support. I stopped looking.
Months later, I happened to look again, and found a new mention of a GarageKey driver for Windows XP, and my search resumed, leading eventually to Mike Ajlouny at Mac Pro Systems and Software who very kindly sent me the driver. Now, a few months later, I still don't see the driver available anywhere on the web (and in spite of lots of discussions about it), so I'm posting it myself as a public service:
In case you're not familiar with the GarageKey keyboard, here's what it looks like:
The width of the keys is full-size (same as a grand piano, that is), but the depth (front to back) is not.
Here's a picture that gives you a sense of how compact (and portable) it is:
The worst part of the design is the legs:
... which are not all that ugly, but don't attach as securely as I'd like. However, they're worth it for two reasons: they put the keyboard at a better angle (tilted forward slightly), and they raise it enough that you could slide an ASCII keyboard under it:
Unfortunately, most ASCII keyboards are too wide for this. So far, the only full-size keyboards I've found that fit are the narrow Apple models like the one shown above.
A few more things you might want to know about this keyboard:
That said, I'm pretty happy with mine (in fact, enough that I got a second one, so I have one in both my at-home office and my at-work office).
—— Stephen Malinowski, August 27, 2006