February 20th, 2006 • 4:25 pm
This is a problem that I never had before I bought my G5 Quad and got the white Apple keyboard that comes with it. (My previous keyboard was the black model that originally came with the G4 MDD three and a half years ago.)
With this new keyboard, I have noticed that, quite often, when I press the Delete key, instead of just deleting the last character as would be expected, Mac OS X actually deletes the last two characters, as if I had pressed the key twice in a row.
This problem occurs in all kinds of different applications: Pages, BBEdit, Word, etc. In fact, I am pretty sure it occurs in all applications where I might have to type text. It’s rather annoying, because I often press the Delete key and then start typing stuff right away, only to notice after a few keystrokes that Mac OS X has erroneously deleted an extra character that was not supposed to be deleted, forcing me to backtrack and fix the problem.
It’s a problem that is unique to the Delete key. No other key appears to be affected. I remember already trying one of these white keyboards a couple of years ago that had come with another machine I had bought and not yet installed, out of curiosity, and experiencing all kinds of double keystrokes, not just with the Delete key, but also with the Return key, etc. So it might not be a new problem, but it seems to be more circumscribed now.
It has nothing to with the “Key Repeat Rate” that can be set in System Preferences, in the “Keyboard and Mouse” pane. The problem occurs regardless of what the setting is, even when the setting is “slow” (which introduces a pretty long delay between the time you press the key and the time Mac OS starts repeating the keystroke).
I did a quick search in the Discussions forums on Apple’s web site, and could only find posts by people who seem to have the problem with all kinds of keys, not just the Delete key. Some people also mention fiddling with the “Acceptance Delay” setting in the “Universal Access” preference pane, but in my experience any delay longer than the default “Short” setting is too long for my typing.
I don’t know if it could be a hardware defect with this particular keyboard. My suspicion is that it isn’t, in light of the problems that I already had with the keyboard I tried a couple of years ago. It’s almost as if the keyboard was a bit too “sensitive” to my typing. I can avoid the problem by using a lighter touch when I press this particular key—except that, of course, I don’t always remember to do so.
So I might still have to do something about it eventually. We’ll see how it goes over time. (I am assuming the keyboard is covered by the AppleCare warranty like everything else.)