Double keystrokes with Apple keyboard: Getting a replacement keyboard through AppleCare

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
March 30th, 2006 • 9:56 am

A while ago, I wrote about the fact that the Delete key on my new Apple keyboard (the one that came with my G5 Quad) tends to act up on me and delete two characters instead of one even when I press it only once.

Well, the problem is not going away. I submitted a bug report to Apple (because I suspect that the problem is a hardware/software combination), but the only response that I have received so far is a suggestion to fiddle with the key repeat rate in System Preferences. Needless to say, I tried this a long time ago, and it doesn’t make any difference. The problem only affects the Delete key, and it occurs regardless of what the key repeat rate setting is.

So yesterday I decided I had had enough of this. I edit a lot of documents and I I don’t always notice that Mac OS X has deleted two characters instead of one, so I regularly end up with text with missing characters and file names with missing letters, etc. It’s rather irritating and potentially embarrassing. (I might send a document to someone which contains such erroneous deletions without knowing about it, and to that person it will look like spelling mistakes!)

I phoned AppleCare, and they didn’t question me at all. They immediately offered to send a replacement keyboard. So that’s what I will be getting. (They had to take my credit card number and will charge me $38 CDN if I fail to return the defective keyboard using the box and shipping slip that comes with the new one.) After our phone conversation, I also got two confirmation messages by e-mail, so it looks like things are moving along just fine.

(Embarrassingly, the e-mails are HTML-only, which means that they are unreadable in Mail if your default setting is to display the text-only alternative by default. You end up getting HTML code in your face. You need to switch to the “Next Alternative” when viewing the message in order to be able to read it. I guess it is too hard for Apple to always ensure that their e-mail messages include a plain-text alternative.)

However, I must admit that I strongly suspect that the replacement keyboard won’t change anything to the problem. I have seen too many reports on Apple’s own discussion forums of people with double keystrokes, and they have been through several replacement keyboards without getting a fix. Since the problem only occurs with the white keyboard (I tried the old black Apple keyboard that came with my G4 MDD, and it doesn’t have the problem on the G5), I strongly suspect a unique software/hardware combination as the source of the problem.

We shall see. If the problem persists, I will have to phone AppleCare again and hopefully get them to escalate the problem.

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