Really Annoying: Laptop Keyboard With a Few Bad Keys
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Well, this is annoying... my MacBook keyboard has started to go flaky, with several keys no longer working... the “” key, the “” key, and the “” key. Don't see them? Dooh! I can't type them, silly! 🙂

One of the regrettable side effects of Apple's exceedingly-compact, dense designs is that repair/replacement of parts can be “challenging”, to phrase it kindly, and the keyboard is a good example: a key is “repaired” by disassembling almost the entire main body and replacing the whole keyboard assembly.

I've got the “AppleCare” extended warranty so I can get it fixed plenty easily, nevertheless still a hassle, especially since the problem appeared at the start of a three-day weekend. (Monday is the “Respect for the Aged” holiday in Japan.) The day after that, I'll take the laptop to the repair place and hope it's something they can do on site, knowing I'll probably lose the laptop for a week or more. 🙁

So, we'll probably see zero posts on my blog for a while, except that perhaps this will be motivation for me to finally clean my office desk to the point that I can access my MacPro (my desktop Mac). These days, I normally do all my work with my laptop while reclining in a big soft La-Z-Boy, so my desk has grown to be a vast wasteland of random debris piled in layers over time. If I clean, I'll be astonished if I don't find a fossil or two.

I will soothe the pain this evening by (yet again) drowning myself in beef and beer at the great BBQ/Beer garden feast at the hotel next to the (oddly-named) Qanat Mall, as I've written of several times.

PS: if my prose on this post seems a bit stilted this time, it's owing to the fact that I can't type the letter “” (again, I can't type it!), so I've had to find alternative ways to phrase things. Which letter? That's for the reader to decipher. 🙂 Here's a hint: this post has every letter except the one I can't type.

Here's another hint: to write this post while avoiding the letter that my keyboard rejects, I had to often refer to my thesars.


All 9 comments so far, oldest first...

This is nothing fun having to type without having access to letters! I don’t know Mac a lot (I know it’s may be an horrible thing but for my work, all the adaptations for people with disability are mostly in PC) but in PC you can use a virtual Keyboard with the mouse… ok not the most quick way to write but at least, it can give a hand while having to deal with a non collaborative keyboard 🙂
I will miss your post. I’ve learned a lot and it’s always a pleasure to take some time to slow down from the fast pace of life and enjoy your posts 🙂
I hope they will be able to fix your laptop fast.

— comment by Pesc on September 16th, 2012 at 10:40am JST (4 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve been reading your blog for years now and I know how thorough you are, but this does fall into the Someone Had To Ask category: Have you tried plugging (or pairing) your MacPro keyboard into (or with) your MBP?

-Latrent (Hanover, MD)

Oh, I can do that, or plug in a USB keyboard, but that involves a bit of an archeological expedition to find them! 🙂 —Jeffrey

— comment by Latrent on September 16th, 2012 at 10:49am JST (4 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Unless you’ve found another solution, there’s some for you to cut & paste.

Thanks so much, Mark, ever thoughtful. 😉 —Jeffrey

— comment by Mark Sirota (Philadelphia, USA) on September 16th, 2012 at 11:34am JST (4 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Well, it’s a good thing “U” don’t lack the E … 😉

— comment by Henk on September 16th, 2012 at 11:59am JST (4 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

posting from Rockport Tx

2 suggestions

You could clean the keyboard using a small vacuum.
remove the keyboard.
tape the end of the hose and put a small hole in it then insert a straw use this to clean out the keys.
the keys fill up with dust and dead skin.
you may need to wash out the keyboard but if you have apple care why go this far.

if your desktop keyboard is usb just add that for a temp fix.

— comment by Ed Pouso on September 16th, 2012 at 12:09pm JST (4 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

I shouldn’t think it will be a week to fix, assuming parts are available. On my 2008 macbook the keyboard plate breaks due to a design flaw, it was replaced in less time than it took to go for a burger.

Which reminds me I need to call Apple care about getting mine fixed as it’s broken again!

— comment by Chris on September 16th, 2012 at 4:25pm JST (4 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Cute. So you didn’t misspell “Thesaurus” by accident. Clever hint.

— comment by Grandma Friedl, Ohio, USA on September 16th, 2012 at 10:41pm JST (4 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Sunny cool (16 C) Monday morning 2012 08 17 (10:16 Eastern Daylight Time) waiting at my Honda dealer in Hamilton Ontario for my 40,000 kilometre pre-winter checkup and related on my Honda Ridgeline truck. Have driven Honda vehicles since 1982 and, although the vehicles themselves have become larger, the interior space is much less. Hence I can just fit into the driver’s seat of the truck. And I have similar lack of space problems with any number of other vehicles…

As to your Macbook Pro. Of what vintage is it and if you’re like me that three year additional warranty is worth its weight in gold. My Macbooks last about three years and a bit and then something major dies, usually the logic board. This MacBook had
a solid state drive installed in lieu of the swirling disc. More as an experiment than anything else. So far am very happy.

One otherp oint, the solid state drive is all of 250 gig, as the majority of my work and related goes to a RAID system
which means my hard drive is not that full. I also use the 2TB Airport back up system.

Best of luck with your device, and yes can well relate the mess on the desk.

“Don’t clean my desk, it will disturb my filing system!”

My MBP is a couple of generations old, I guess… its three-year warranty runs out next May. About the shrinking size of the truck interior, are you sure it’s not the opposite, that the driver is expanding over the years? 😉 —Jeffrey

— comment by Bryce Lee on September 17th, 2012 at 11:20pm JST (4 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Low blow Jeffrey, appropriately placed!
I graduated from secondary school in 1965.
Nineteen years of age and a giant in height and size
among then normal men.
Physical body mass then was 260 pounds.
Now somewhat older and a victim of gravity
weigh somewhat more, About 140 pounds more
actually. However my six foot eight inch height has not changed,
my doctor noted I have none of the reducing spine problems
at my age of 66; may you Jeffrey fare as well at your age.

And maybe budget for a new MacBook Pro not too far down the road.

— comment by Bryce Lee on September 19th, 2012 at 10:30am JST (4 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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