Mac Pro: Problems with Apple Pro Keyboard (continued)

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
October 20th, 2006 • 2:27 pm

As indicated in my previous post on the topic, Apple sent me a new keyboard to replace the one that came with my new Mac Pro, because of problems I have with spurious double keystrokes (I press a key once, Mac OS X thinks I have pressed it twice).

Unfortunately, the AppleCare representative forgot to verify which type of keyboard I needed for my machine, and I forgot to tell her that my keyboard was a French Canadian keyboard. So the replacement one that they sent me is the one with the U.S. English layout, which is of no use to me. I suppose I should have double-checked with the representative, but really it was her job to make sure that she was sending the right keyboard.

Anyway, I am sending this U.S. keyboard back, and getting yet another replacement keyboard sent.

However, I did give the U.S. keyboard a try, and it has the exact same problem as my original French Canadian keyboard with the double keystrokes. This seems to confirm what I have suspected all along, which is that the problem is not with a defective keyboard, but with a flaw in the design of the keyboard itself, which is somehow incompatible with my typing.

I am almost 100% sure that the new replacement keyboard that they are sending me will have the exact same problem. I told the guy I talked to today, but he predictably said that I should wait until I get the new replacement keyboard and phone again if I still have the problem, and then we’ll take it from there.

But it’s just delaying the inevitable, in my opinion, which is that the conclusion will be that there is something wrong with my way of typing, which is somehow incompatible with this particular model of keyboard.

I find this quite extraordinary, but it’s the only reasonable conclusion. I doubt very much that I am the only one experiencing this problem with double keystrokes (my typing is not that unusual!) but obviously there aren’t enough Mac users with the problem out there to cause Apple to change the design of the keyboard.

I should also note that, the more I use this Apple Pro Keyboard, the more I see that the problem actually affects all applications, and not just some of them, contrary to what I initially thought. It does tend to occur more often in some applications than others, but since I last wrote about this, I have seen the problem even in applications where I didn’t think it was occurring (such as BBEdit and Pages).

9 Responses to “Mac Pro: Problems with Apple Pro Keyboard (continued)”

  1. Simanek says:

    I don’t have this problem, fortunately. Sometimes I wonder if the older Apple keyboards, which no doubt had a little more mechanical complexity, were not better in terms of typing (which is the keyboard’s only function). I think the keys compressed with less force, but I can’t say that my current Apple Pro Keyboard is a strain on my typing. I am at least not having your problems. The difficulty is in finding a keyboard made by another company that doesn’t look like some sort of ergonomic surfboard.

  2. Arden says:

    It’s been suggested that you adjust your key repeat settings. Perhaps slow Delay Until Repeat down a notch?

    In any case, I certainly have never run into this problem, on an Apple Pro or any other keyboard.

  3. Pierre Igot says:

    That’s the very first troubleshooting step when it comes to keyboard issues. Of course I tried this long ago. It doesn’t make any difference. The delay before key repeat is not related to this problem at all.

  4. davlab says:

    I have been having the same double keystroke problem and found this thread while searching for a solution. My problem has occurred on two Intel Mac minis. I ttried several keyboards from an ancient Apple Extended II ABD with a USB converter, a Logitech PC keyboard to a new Apple white/clear 16 F-key kkeyboard.

    I called Apple tech support and they had no clue as to the cauuse or solution.

    I think the problem is probably software and Intel processor related. I nnever hhave a problem on my G4 Quicksilver at home or any PowerPC Macs.

    Pierre, do you hhave Spell Catcher and/or QuicKeys installed? Those are my main suspects. Spell Catcher can intercept typing and change spelling on the fly, so nnaturally it goes to the top of the list.

    I hhave another mini in my office without Spell Catcher installed and it hhas no problems.

    If you have found any solutions to this problem, please let me know—its driving me nuts.

    (all incorrect double letters above are example of the problem)

  5. Pierre Igot says:

    davlab: I only had the problem with the white 16 F-key keyboard, and I had it with both a G5 Quad and the Mac Pro. So it might not be the same problem. Also, I mostly had the problem with the Delete key, not will all kinds of keys like you seem to have :-/.

    I have Spell Catcher, but it doesn’t intercept keystrokes, on the fly. It records them, but only works its magic after some kind separator (usually the space bar) has been pressed.

    Besides, I was able to reproduce the problem without SCX on.

    Based on my research, there are probably several different problems falling under this category. I stopped researching the problem after switching back to the older white Apple Pro keyboard (with only 15 F-keys), which doesn’t have the problem for me (or rather only very rarely).

  6. Ben says:

    Hello everyone,

    I bought a new iMac a month ago with the white 16 F-key keyboard. I love it except for one huge caveat, namely that I am having the same double-letter issues as others here have described. Various characters appear an extra time without a corresponding keystroke: Dave becomes Daave, better becomes bettter, 4168 becomes 41688, etc. It’s an infuriating problem.

    It seems to occur more often when I type a double-letter (i.e. double letter becomes triple). I have already confirmed that the keyboard settings, Delay Until Repeat, etc. are not the issue. For that matter I have been using Macs since I was 14 (I’m 36 now) and this never happened before.

    In my naivete, I asssumed (see?) that with a brand-new machine this was a hardware and not a software problem. I figured I just had a loose wire in my keyboard. Apparently I should have googled first.

    So I returned the keyboard to my local Apple Store last week and brought a new one back to the office. Same results, problem NOT solved. The guy at the Apple Store said he didn’t know anything about this issue but took my word for it and also confided a few other customers have had the same complaint.

    To my knowledge I am running neither Spell Catcher nor QuicKeys.

    I am heartened to learn that others have shared this problem, but now, of course, I would love to know how to fix it. Anyone?

  7. Pierre Igot says:

    Ben: I am afraid the only solution is probably to get another keyboard, either from a third-party maker or from Apple (new aluminum keyboard). I have the new Apple alu keyboard and I no longer have any problems with double keystrokes:

    New Apple Keyboard: Fine hardware, but the software side still needs work

    Based on past experience, it’s highly doubtful that Apple will ever acknowledge the existence of this problem for a number of users of the white keyboard.

  8. McKinley3 says:

    I have mixeed feelingss. I’m so glad tto finallyy ffind (via this aan aanother foorrum thread) that I’m not alone wwith tthiss maddening problem of tthe doubblee-keying by the whitee Apple Pro Keyboard.

    On the other haand I’m sad aany of us haavee tto graapplee wwitthis seriouss impeedimeent to getting tthe most outt of ourr wwonderful Macs.

    Thaanks ffor confirrming that it’s nott jusst mee and any fat fiingeering oor other personal shhorttcoming.

    I too haave tried all possible tweakss of the Repeeat raatee aand Deelay ssettinggs aandd it doesn’t affect itt a bit. Alsso yeears off Mac use aandd use of varriouss PCss aat work tell mee itt’ss not ssomee reecent change in thee synaapses my brain-ffingers connection.

    Doees anyonee haavee aany expeerience havingg this occur on any keeyyboardd other tthan tthee current onee? Hopefully not wwhicch meean I ccan try a 3rdd arty or maaybe ffind an older Mac keeyboaardd aand my stutteeringg will be cureed.

    I agree that applee will NEVER addmitt tthaat tthere’ss anutthing wrong wwith this keeyboad.

    Thanks veery much forr the validattion that itt’ss nott jusst mee.

    I still lovee Mac!!!!!!

  9. Pierre Igot says:

    In my experience, the problem is completely gone with the new aluminum keyboard. But of course that new keyboard might not be to everyone’s taste. See this postfor more info.

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