Accidental Caps Lock Defense in Snow Leopard: Doesn’t work in 32-bit applications

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
October 14th, 2009 • 6:12 pm

Thanks to the feedback of numerous readers, I think I’ve finally figured out what’s going on with the Accidental Caps Lock Defense feature in Snow Leopard: It still works for people with the aluminium keyboard (and not just for laptop users), but only in applications running in 64-bit mode.

Because I have a number of applications running in 32-bit mode, either because they are 32-bit only or because I need them to run in 32-bit mode (for compatibility with Spell Catcher X, which is not 64-bit yet) and these are the applications where I do most of my typing, I didn’t realize that the feature was still working in 64-bit applications until someone suggested that there might be something with my specific setup, with the third-party utilities that I run and so on.

Well, it’s not the third-party utilities, but it’s definitely something specific to my setup, which is that I type text in a fair number of 32-bit applications in Snow Leopard. (But the Accidental Caps Lock Defense doesn’t work in 32-bit applications where I don’t type much text either, such as Logic Studio or iTunes.)

I discovered this, because I switched to a clean user environment and wasn’t able to reproduce the problem, so I knew it was something with my user environment, and then for some reason I just thought it had to be something that had to do with the one major change in Snow Leopard, which is the introduction of the two modes, 32-bit and 64-bit.

So there you have it. Unless I am mistaken again, this time the problem has been narrowed down to a specific set of circumstances: In Snow Leopard, Accidental Caps Lock Defense no longer works for applications running in 32-bit mode. It only works for applications running in 64-bit mode.

It’s clearly a bug, but probably one that won’t be fixed any time soon (if ever), since obviously Apple’s priorities are in the 64-bit realm and they probably want everyone to migrate their applications to their mode as soon as possible (if past experience with similar transitions is any indication).

I’ll still file a bug report, and if it bothers you too, I suggest you file one as well.

Thanks again to all the readers who chimed in with their own experiences or suggestions.

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