View Full Version : PB keyboard problem, or just me?

Feb 21, 2005, 08:18 AM
When I type on my PB, I frequently encounter a problem that I thought was just me: As I type, I will look up at the screen and see that I am suddenly now typing in the middle of what I have previously typed, as if I inadvertently moved the cursor and inserted it in the body of the copy I am writing. This only happens when I am using my PB.

Initially, I figured that I must be accidentally hitting the trackpad while typing, even though I take extra care not to. I checked my preferences, and have the trackpad set to ignore accidental trackpad input while typing, but this does not appear to be working.
Today, I was talking with a co-worker who recently bought a PB, and I asked him if I could type a bit on his keypad. When he asked me why and I started to explain, he started nodding, and asserted that he had the same problem. I have the rev C 1.33 15" (no backlight), and he has the rev C 1.5 15" w/backlit keys. Neither being trained typists, we are both using the hunt-and-peck method.

A: Is there some setting we are both overlooking?
B: Are we both mysteriously doing the exact same thing when typing, despite our efforts to avoid contact with the trackpad?
C: Is this a common problem with PB's (or laptops in general)?
D: Is there something wrong with both these Powerbooks?

Feb 21, 2005, 08:21 AM
I do it occasionally, too, though less with practice.

Put it down to hitting the trackpad, perhaps dust on the 'pad... can't really see it being anything else...

Feb 21, 2005, 08:35 AM
Yeah, it's definitely the trackpad... I've done it on occassion, I just try to keep my wrists/thumbs raised up away from the trackpad.

Although I wonder sometimes if it could be static electricity, when it seems like you weren't that close to the trackpad and it still happens.

Feb 21, 2005, 08:53 AM
Same thing happens to me, but not only on my PB - also on Windows laptops. A bluetooth mouse solved the problem....But it's a shame not to be able to use the trackpad without that happening. Too bad the "ignore accidental..." doesn't work.

Feb 21, 2005, 09:36 AM
By any chance do you have Sidetrack installed?

I do and have noticed that even though I have "Ignore trackpad while typing" set in Sidetrack it still does it.

Before I had Sidetrack installed it used to work (as in 'not' work when I was typing) fine.


Feb 21, 2005, 10:09 AM
This happens to me sometimes on my Dell and on my Pismo. Less often on the Pismo, because I hardly use it.

I am fairly certain that it is due to the placement of the trackpad.

Feb 21, 2005, 10:28 AM
You're not alone. My wife has an iBook and me a Powerbook, and this doesn't ever happen to me. It doesn't happen if she's typing on her iBook, but it does if she uses my PB. Must be where they put the trackpad...but odd that it still happens to you even though you're hunting and pecking.

Feb 21, 2005, 10:42 AM
Happens on my dads dell laptop.

I think it is because when you type, your hands are inadvertantly touching the bottom of the keyboard, next to the mouse pad thingy (dont know what dell calls 'em, trackpads also??) and it puts pressure on it.

If you plug a mouse into the dell, the trackpad stops.

Feb 21, 2005, 11:00 AM
I do have Sidetrack installed, but I seem to remember the problem was there before, too.

Feb 21, 2005, 11:09 AM
I do have Sidetrack installed, but I seem to remember the problem was there before, too.

I had the Sidetrack as freeware, but it is disabled since I didn't pony up the cash. I'll uninstall.
Can't honestly say that this problem started when I installed Sidetrack, but I think it pre-dates that event.
I hardly ever use a BT mouse, but I'll try that and see if having one in (and disabling the trackpad) does the trick for sure.

Thanks to all for ideas, and for confirming that it probably isn't just me ;)

Feb 21, 2005, 12:01 PM
I've never had this happen to me. I have "use the trackpad for: clicking" turned off, do you all have it on? That must be it.

Feb 21, 2005, 12:19 PM
I've got it turned off, too - so it must be some mysterious thing about how we as individuals type :eek:

Feb 21, 2005, 12:27 PM
Does that mean you are hitting the trackpad button too? With the trakpad for clicking off, even if you just brush the pad it should not move the cursor. I find it hard to believe that you are hitting thebutton with out noticing it. We need to get to the buttom of this.

Feb 21, 2005, 12:36 PM
This happened to me initially, for the first four or five months after I got my iBook 12", but I don't notice it much anymore. I figured it was the trackpad too, but I never really figured it out. I definitely had the problem before Sidetrack, and I'm pretty sure I did have accidental trackpad ignore set on. I did have trackpad tap turned on, though. Having this happen with that turned off is just strange. And I can't explain why I don't really have the issue anymore. Creepy. ;)

Feb 21, 2005, 03:18 PM
I have this problem off and on on my iBook G4 too. I try and take care to keep my wrists up so that they are nowhere near the trackpad but the cursor does jump to the middle of previous typed text for no apparent reason. I have the accindental trackpad ignore thing set ON and I have trackpad tapping set to ON. Verr weird.. But I use my laptop mostly on soft cushiony sorface like the couch or bed so maybe that might cause a slight bounce which may freak out the trackpad :confused: :confused:

Feb 21, 2005, 05:31 PM
Well I've just removed SideTrack and clicked the "Ignore accidental trackpad input" in the Trackpad area of the Keyboard & Mouse section of System preferences and I no longer have the random jumping cursor issue, so to my mind its pretty conclusive that Sidetrack is the culprit.

Feb 22, 2005, 02:06 AM
If it's true it's Sidetrack, that's a real bummer. I love being able to scroll using my trackpad.

Feb 22, 2005, 02:09 AM
Just an addendum, its important to COMPLETELY remove Sidtrack, which is done by using the uninstall option in the installer function.

No guarantees, but it resolved the "independent free-spirit" cursor problem for me.

mad jew
Feb 22, 2005, 02:28 AM
Have you got INCREDIBLY hairy arms? It sounds like a joke but a friend of mine with far too much testosterone for his own good can barely type his name on my iBook... :D Quite funny to watch really! :p

Feb 22, 2005, 05:30 PM
If it's true it's Sidetrack, that's a real bummer. I love being able to scroll using my trackpad.

Just to clarify, this isn't a problem with the current version of SideTrack. The problem Vanilla was facing is that he probably didn't uninstall SideTrack completely. When the SideTrack driver is still loaded the Apple option switch for "Ignore while typing" doesn't have any effect, SideTrack's looking for its own preference instead.

Vanilla also doesn't mention how old the version of SideTrack he had installed, but I'm betting its old. All current versions of the SideTrack driver have a sanity check at load that make sure to warn the user if they've attempted to delete SideTrack without actually removing the driver.

(SideTrack's author)