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View Full Version : Why is there an Eject Button on the MBA?




hwu182
Nov 4, 2010, 09:07 PM
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Fuchal
Nov 4, 2010, 09:15 PM
I've been accustomed to pressing the volume up button as the second to last key in the top row, but with the new MBA, there is an eject button replacing it. Why is there even an eject button if there is no built in CD Drive. Yes, some ppl use the superdrive, but i dont see how the rest of us need that button. Apple is trying to emphasize the lack of importance of the CD Drive itself, so why are they still adding this nonessential key?

I do the same thing, and I'm not sure why it's there either.

Zackmd1
Nov 4, 2010, 09:17 PM
I do the same thing, and I'm not sure why it's there either.

Same here! I'm trying to find a way to remap it for use to eject usb drives. Any help would be nice!

The Toddfather
Nov 4, 2010, 09:19 PM
The reason it's there is to eject cd's if you are using the superdrive.

Rodimus Prime
Nov 4, 2010, 09:20 PM
my guess is it is due to the fact that the parts are more than likely shared across multiple models. Apple is just re using the parts. They were not going to make a custom keyboard just for one computer.
The other reason is that key more than likely has the same keycode so the OS would see it as eject no matter what they put there. That would require a very differently wired keyboard. The eject key location is more than likely sends the same keycode to the OS no matter what on every keyboard no matter what computer ans OS it is. means it is eject to every computer.

hwu182
Nov 4, 2010, 09:29 PM
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The Toddfather
Nov 4, 2010, 09:47 PM
But that's if, and IF is a big word here. Although I dont know exact numbers, very few ppl I know that own a MBA have the superdrive. Most people have an iMac or MBP at home, to which using remote disc is more convenient.

Besides, why not just place a little eject button at the top menu bar next to the time. That makes it much more efficient for people THAT ACTUALLY HAVE A SUPERDRIVE. Just my suggestion to Apple haha.

Your original question asked why it's there, it's there to eject for the superdrive.

jakespeed
Nov 4, 2010, 10:13 PM
There are times when you can not use your mouse to eject a disk. For example if your system disk is corrupted. If you have a disk in the drive hitting the eject button when the system boots is the ONLY way your going to get it out. MBA is my only mac so i would hate to track down a friends computer just to eject a disk if i have a crashed drive.

Over Achiever
Nov 4, 2010, 10:18 PM
Since the superdrive is external, why can't there be a button on the superdrive itself?

admanimal
Nov 4, 2010, 11:44 PM
There are keyboard shortcuts that use the Eject key and have nothing to do with any kind of external drive or whatever. For example, Control-Eject brings up the Shut Down/Sleep/Restart dialog, and Command-Option-Eject puts the computer to sleep immediately.

The Eject key exists on the MBAs so that these shortcuts still work.

gianly1985
Nov 4, 2010, 11:47 PM
1) keyboard shortcuts

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1343

http://img.skitch.com/20101105-nrpmtnnys1f682pcppfb28p396.jpg

edit: admanimal already mentioned the shortcuts while I was writing the post

2) external superdrive (people, really? ........really? just because some noob cannot bear seeing that supposedly useless key, Apple should break input/commands consistency e make the external Superdrive eject by another method unlike every other Mac? Some people don't get what Macs are about)

Rodimus Prime
Nov 5, 2010, 12:17 AM
You make a few excellent points. But that managed to remake the key letterings for the iTunes controls and the Volume control and the new power key, so why not just make a quick modification with the eject ubtton as well, perhaps getting rid of it altogether? Considering their brilliant engineers, rerouting the iTunes controls and the audio controls and power controls should be the same as rerouting/removing the eject button.

But remaking the lettering is easy and cheap. But changing the wiring diagraim not so easy. It is not something you can just do with software. They keyboard sends the exact same keycode no matter what key is pressed.
For example the backspace sends a keycode of 8. It does not matter what keyboard it is on backspaces ALWAYS sends 8 to the computer. From their you have the standard layout and the OS handles it. On yeah and the keyevent for backspace really is 8. I been spending a lot of time programing something in java and i needed that for a few things. Enter is 10.

They controller chip is always the same and that can not easily be changed.

Scottsdale
Nov 5, 2010, 02:36 AM
The reason it's there is to eject cd's if you are using the superdrive.

Seemed pretty obvious to me also... I guess people that haven't used external optical drives wouldn't think of it???

ImperialX
Nov 5, 2010, 02:59 AM
I still think the eject button should be put on the SuperDrive itself.

zedsdead
Nov 5, 2010, 04:17 AM
Seemed pretty obvious to me also... I guess people that haven't used external optical drives wouldn't think of it???

That is the reason, but the placement is SO annoying coming from every other Mac keyboard for the past several years. Like many others, I keep screwing up the volume buttons.

I would rather them remove the eject button (since you can just eject via the desktop or finder), and bring back the Back-Lit keyboard (which needs F5 and 6).

koobcamuk
Nov 5, 2010, 04:48 AM
I still think the eject button should be put on the SuperDrive itself.

It wouldn't look very nice, would it?

I rarely use any of the function keys, but as they are part of a keyboard, they don't stand out to me.

netdog
Nov 5, 2010, 04:50 AM
I can't believe that someone actually asked this question.

Jayomat
Nov 5, 2010, 05:48 AM
It wouldn't look very nice, would it?

I rarely use any of the function keys, but as they are part of a keyboard, they don't stand out to me.

How do you turn up/down volume/brightness ?? Mute??

koobcamuk
Nov 5, 2010, 06:23 AM
How do you turn up/down volume/brightness ?? Mute??

I said I rarely use them.

I rarely adjust the volume on my mac, and I rarely adjust the brightness either. My iPad is for media consumption and radio... my mac is for work. It's also plugged into an external monitor most of the time.

Jayomat
Nov 5, 2010, 06:38 AM
I said I rarely use them.

I rarely adjust the volume on my mac, and I rarely adjust the brightness either. My iPad is for media consumption and radio... my mac is for work. It's also plugged into an external monitor most of the time.

fair enough ;)

ImperialX
Nov 5, 2010, 06:47 AM
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I can't believe that someone actually asked this question.

Why not? I don't see a need for it.

colourfastt
Nov 5, 2010, 09:17 AM
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Why not? I don't see a need for it.

It's quite useful for me when I'm installing software from the external superdrive.

fizzwinkus
Nov 5, 2010, 11:40 AM
i remapped my eject key to switch to the login screen.

Slix
Nov 5, 2010, 04:15 PM
Why is there an eject button at all when you can drag a drive to the trash, right click on it, or press the eject button in the Finder to Eject it? :rolleyes:

Regardless, there's other uses for the button.

SamTheeGeek
Nov 5, 2010, 04:23 PM
I was wondering why today too, but i think its because apple does sell an optional optical drive that you can connect via usb :) so yea i guess thats why.

Mugambo
Nov 5, 2010, 04:35 PM
Because the MBA too has "needs"...

ingramLee
Nov 5, 2010, 05:01 PM
Yeah the eject button is pretty annoying on a device with no CD drive. I keep hitting it thinking its the volume.

hwu182
Nov 5, 2010, 05:38 PM
I was wondering why today too, but i think its because apple does sell an optional optical drive that you can connect via usb :) so yea i guess thats why.

why not make an eject button on the drive itself instead, so users the few ppl that own one can have the ubtton while the rest of us who dont need it wont be annoyed by it. lmao. it just seems more plausible.

HLdan
Nov 5, 2010, 05:49 PM
why not make an eject button on the drive itself instead, so users the few ppl that own one can have the ubtton while the rest of us who dont need it wont be annoyed by it. lmao. it just seems more plausible.

You can use other external optical drives besides the MBA Superdrive. You can't expect all companies to put an eject button their drives. It makes more sense to have it on the computer's keyboard. It's stupid to put it in the menu bar because if you have issues with booting up or problems with the screen and you have a disc inside then you won't be able to get it out.

halledise
Nov 5, 2010, 06:00 PM
it's there
a) to eject stuff or
b) cos Steve likes to give the forums something else to talk about or
c) <your ideas here> :cool:

the real way to eject anything is surely command+E :D

Over Achiever
Nov 5, 2010, 07:01 PM
You can use other external optical drives besides the MBA Superdrive. You can't expect all companies to put an eject button their drives. It makes more sense to have it on the computer's keyboard. It's stupid to put it in the menu bar because if you have issues with booting up or problems with the screen and you have a disc inside then you won't be able to get it out.
The argument against that is not all computers have eject buttons, therefore most external drives out there actually have buttons on them.

Also there are other ways to eject a disk such as Command + E, dragging the disk to the recycle bin, right clicking the disk in Finder, etc. Same on Windows. Not all windows laptops have dedicated eject keys.

LinkMx
Nov 5, 2010, 08:20 PM
A couple of people already posted that they are needed for some shortcuts.

ciaran00
Nov 5, 2010, 10:30 PM
Since the superdrive is external, why can't there be a button on the superdrive itself?
same reason why there aren't volume and brightness buttons separate from the keyboard. The eject button fits with every other mac keyboard out there. It even has a use on the iPad (via BT KB).

shootingrubber
Nov 8, 2010, 07:46 PM
I would assume it's because that there are unified keyboard shortcuts in Mac OS X that use the eject key. Some of these are the auto shutdown, auto restart, auto sleep, etc... I use them all the time.

NewProduct
Nov 8, 2010, 08:28 PM
But remaking the lettering is easy and cheap. But changing the wiring diagraim not so easy. It is not something you can just do with software. They keyboard sends the exact same keycode no matter what key is pressed.
For example the backspace sends a keycode of 8. It does not matter what keyboard it is on backspaces ALWAYS sends 8 to the computer. From their you have the standard layout and the OS handles it. On yeah and the keyevent for backspace really is 8. I been spending a lot of time programing something in java and i needed that for a few things. Enter is 10.

They controller chip is always the same and that can not easily be changed.

You do make some really good points! My guess is that they kept it for consistency with the other models; kind of what was alluded to earlier.

Regarding the keycode remapping, I disagree that it cannot be done with software. Apple already does this with the function keys, you can enable or disable the special behaviour from System Preferences. This shows us that the OS does in-fact interpret the keys alternatively. And for the hardware controller, the kernel should be able to define an array that can translate the fixed hardware codes to arbitrary codes which the upper levels would be completely ignorant of.

Icaras
Nov 8, 2010, 10:43 PM
I would assume it's because that there are unified keyboard shortcuts in Mac OS X that use the eject key. Some of these are the auto shutdown, auto restart, auto sleep, etc... I use them all the time.

You beat me to it. That's exactly why. Apple would have to remap shortcuts that utilize the eject button just for the Air, which is absolutely not feasible.

I use the Eject button on my Air all the time to put it to sleep. :)

randomerratum
Nov 8, 2010, 10:59 PM
I don't think it matters 'how hard' it is to remap the hardware or if it's 'in-line' with older models for consistency... doesn't this just seem a little un-Apple? Steve Jobs insisted on extra screws in the older MacBook Pros just to make sure it's symmetrical (ok, it's a rumor that it was Jobs, but there are certainly "use-less" screws in there). The Air is a flagship computer which heralds many generations of Airs to come... It just doesn't (ahem) compute!
They can remap keys via software or at least put a different symbol on it.

To most people, the Eject symbol means open or spit-out a physical object... Apple is all about the every-day user... the MacBook Air especially. I find it hard to believe that there's a dedicated button for a peripheral that most users aren't going to have or keyboard shortcuts that most users don't use. Heck, I'm pretty much a power user who mounts and ejects drives, iPhones and network volumes all the time... the only reason I ever think to use the eject button is for optical media.

Is it possible that there's some kind of "future" use for this button? A more obvious function in Lion?

I guess I just can't wrap my head around this one....:confused: I really want me one of those new MBAs though.

iZac
Nov 9, 2010, 06:41 AM
Why not? I don't see a need for it.

I am but one man, but use it every day to ... shutdown my mac.

Icaras
Nov 9, 2010, 02:49 PM
I am but one man, but use it every day to ... shutdown my mac.

You shouldn't have to shut down your Air every day.

The machine has been designed to be more like an iOS device without any moving parts and really don't need to be shut off for extended periods amount of time. I have not yet turned off my iPad since I got it many months ago. And the only time I've had to shut down my iPhone is because of weird glitches in the OS.

Since the Air has a 30 day standby time, powering on and off constantly just seems like an unnecessary exercise for this class of product.

Now, using the eject button for sleep is something I do use every day :)

gb1631
Nov 9, 2010, 02:57 PM
I've been accustomed to pressing the volume up button as the second to last key in the top row, but with the new MBA, there is an eject button replacing it. Why is there even an eject button if there is no built in CD Drive. Yes, some ppl use the superdrive, but i dont see how the rest of us need that button. Apple is trying to emphasize the lack of importance of the CD Drive itself, so why are they still adding this nonessential key?

I am 'one of those people' who use the Apple Super Drive. So, I can see why it's there. I suspect that they didn't what to have to make that an option for people who don't want to use the Super Drive to not have this feature.

BTW: Both the Super Drive and the eject button work good! ;) :apple:

lsteixeira
Nov 10, 2010, 06:42 AM
Hi!

It may be to "eject"/remove/disconnect USB flash storage or the SD Flash Card?