OS X Mavericks Affecting Trackpad/Keyboard on Older MacBook Pros?

Standard

I’ve read a few articles at different tech sites, along with some Apple support forum postings, discussing a problem with keyboard and trackpad issues on new MacBook Pro Retina systems. Apple even has a support article titled MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013): Keyboard and Multi-Touch trackpad may become unresponsive.

I don’t think this issue is limited only to newer MacBook Pro Retina systems. A day after upgrading my wife’s 13″ MacBook Pro, which is a 2010 or 2011 model (and doesn’t have a Retina Display), we experienced a similar problem. She was trying to use her laptop but the mouse cursor did not follow the movements on the trackpad. It seemed to stop responding for brief moments and then move off in a slightly different direction when it did work. I witnessed this problem myself and even checked to see if something had gotten on the trackpad that was throwing it off. Nothing had.

Because I had yet to learn of this problem I happened on the solution by accident. My wife had become frustrated so she closed her laptop and let it sleep. I grabbed it, opened the display, but it wouldn’t fully wake up (an issue that itself isn’t exactly rare). Rather than power the laptop off, not knowing what she may have left open and unsaved, I simply closed the lid and waited until the LED pulsed to indicate that the system was sleeping. Then I opened it back up. This time the system woke up properly and, once again, the trackpad behaved normally.

It’s certainly possible that something else was the cause but the problem hasn’t recurred so I doubt it’s a hardware issue. This has never happened before. In addition, a friend of mine mentioned that he also had a similar problem with an older MacBook Pro. So, if you have an older MacBook Pro that behaves this way try the solution for new MacBook Pro systems.

Bluetooth Sliding Keyboard Case for iPhone

Standard

Several weeks ago my wife gave me a $25 gift certificate for ThinkGeek. It took me a while to decide what to buy using the gift certificate. Eventually, I decided to get a Bluetooth Sliding Keyboard Case for iPhone, which cost about $35 before shipping. I’ve never been especially happy with the iPhone on-screen keyboard. It’s not terrible but I thought a physical keyboard might be more useful for writing longer e-mails or notes.

Unfortunately, I haven’t used it since the first week after it arrived. In the end it just isn’t as convenient as I was expecting. It’s lacking two features that I think might have made it useful. First, the keyboard (at least on this version) isn’t backlit so it’s useless in low lighting conditions. The other reason, which might have made it more useful in the dark, is the lack of any kind of bumps or other markers on certain keys that would provide a form of touch-typing. Instead, I spent the entire time looking at the keyboard while typing because all of the keys feel the same.

The product certainly works as expected, but it doesn’t have enough features to make it more convenient to use than the on-screen keyboard. Quite frankly, I would have been more satisfied if I had purchased something else from ThinkGeek.

Updated 11/18/2012: I tried using this product again several months ago but it just isn’t practical.

Updated 12/10/2012: I sold it in a yard sale for a few bucks.

Rii mini Portable Wireless Keyboard and Touchpad

Standard

Once the ASUS EeeBox seemed to be configured and working well I decided to search for a wireless keyboard and mouse that I could use to control the system. Granted, there’s nothing wrong with the keyboard and mouse that came with the system but I wanted to find something much smaller, which I could leave on a table with the other remotes.

Running a quick search for HTPC and keyboard on Amazon.com immediately hit upon the Rii mini. It’s a small, wireless keyboard and touchpad that operates in the 2.4 GHz range. It had good reviews, all of the features I was looking for, and was only about $35. I went ahead and ordered one.

Continue reading