iBook spacebar problem explained!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by MacRhythmGuy, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. MacRhythmGuy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    #1
    Hello all,

    I'm a new 12" iBook owner and I'm posting this after doing way too much research on my one complaint: the spacebar.

    The spacebar on the white 12" and 14" G4 iBooks appears a little unresponsive, at first. It seems to take more effort to "smack" it compared with the rest of the keyboard. I put up with this for a while, but it was irritating. Upon further examination, I discovered it was only the RIGHT SIDE of the spacebar which was troublesome.

    This explains why some people don't notice! They're left-handed! :)

    You probably also have to touch-type to care.

    The problem is the thin ribbon cable which is folded underneath the keyboard. You become familiar with this if you perform a memory upgrade yourself. The cable doesn't fold flat enough, and interferes with the operation of three keys on the right side: space, command, and "enter" (which I guess is for the numeric keypad. Couldn't they've given us another CTRL instead??).

    The spacebar is where it counts. It's the most frequently used key! If you have to smack the spacebar, you end up smacking ALL they keys harder! Try it! It makes you an angry typist! It's bad for world peace!

    I've tried everything. I squished the cable between my fingers as hard as I dared. I fiddled. I cursed. I carefully cut a slice of a playing card and insert it to add some stiffness right where that cable interferes. This was a failure. I searched for third-party keyboards online. I also hoped that simply using the iBook for a few months would soften it up with wear. No such luck.

    I EVEN tried getting used to hitting the spacebar with my left thumb. I can't do it. 20 years of touch-typing is too big a habit to change. I've sort of gotten used to moving my right thumb an inch to the left. That helps because you start to reach the "active" portion of the spacebar on its left side.

    This all sounds crazy, but it makes me not want to use my iBook! I have to get rid of this thing and buy a 12" Powerbook. Or turn my 12" iBook into an expensive "mini" by closing it and attaching an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor. :) (But it doesn't even support resolution over 1024x768 externally! Useless.)

    Warning to right-handed iBook shoppers who can type! Find a couple hundred extra bucks and get a 12" Powerbook instead. Its keyboard is more solid and doesn't have this problem.

    MacRhythmGuy
     
  2. AcousticDoc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    #2
    HAve you gone to the mac store and tested this out on other ibooks? I don't recall the space bar ever being messed up at the store.
     
  3. alikaalex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    Same Problem Here!

    Wow! So it's not only us! My girlfriend's iBook has the same problem ... actually, as far as I can tell, the *exact* same problem with the exact same keys!

    I've been telling her to take it to the Apple Store to get it fixed before her warranty expires and she has to buy AppleCare, but so far she's still saying "I'll get to it later".

    Maybe it's time to gently remind her again. If she brings it in, I'll let you know what happens.
     
  4. AcousticDoc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    #4
    oh wow I had no idea this was a common problem...is it like this for everyone? just ordered a new ibook that's scheduled to come on 8/3...I don't want a crappy keyboard because I'm mulitspacebar user.
     
  5. MacRhythmGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    #5
    I'll bet you lunch: there won't be anything they can do at the Apple Store, although I am very curious if they're aware of the problem. They may look at you like you're crazy. This is a design problem, common to all iBooks. It's fairly subtle until you've used it for a while and started noticinghow manyerrors you startmaking with missing spaces inyourtyping.

    Peer under the keys and you can see the cable in the way. To really get a "feel" for it, press the front edge of the far left side of the spacebar with your index fingernail. Then try the front edge on the right. It feels much firmer. It doesn't depress all the way like it does on the left.

    Maybe most people just adapt, or type harder than I do. YMMV.

    MacRhythmGuy
     
  6. wide macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    this is what electrical tape is for. just lift up the keyboard, tape it so it is flush with the components of the computer, and put the keyboard back in place.

    it's only the right side of the keyboard? i'm righthanded but I use the left side of the spacebar, i guess i'll be alright w/ my ibook.
     
  7. topspin98 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    #7
    My best firends space bar wont even work.

    Its in proper place. But it wont make a space.

    He has even attached a externl keyboard and the space didnt work


    I tried the external on myne, and it worked fine
     
  8. alikaalex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #8
    Genius Bar to the Rescue!

    Italian sounds nice.

    I was able to coax my girlfriend to the Apple Store at The Grove earlier this evening and two Geniuses helped her. The first guy said he saw the same exact problem earlier today, and he even had some strange plastic tool ready to fix this specific problem. Oddly enough, she said he actually used the words "you're not crazy" (of course, the problem was easy enough to replicate in his presence).

    Unfortunately, he had no luck with the tool and his shift was ending. He explained the problem to another Genius who took her info and said they will order her a new keyboard and will call when it arrives.

    She gets to keep her iBook until the part comes in, which is good to hear. (It's nice to still be under AppleCare.)

    I also like Tex-Mex! :D
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9

    You might want to start a new thread because I don't think this is the same problem.
     
  10. zeeko macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    #10
    i noticed the same thing on my moms new 15" pb! the space bar is unresponsive! i find myself having to go back and correct places i dind't make a good space all of the time arg!
     
  11. WillMak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #11
    I hope the lack of responses indicate that this is an uncommon problem.
     
  12. AoWolf macrumors 6502a

    AoWolf

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Daytona Beach
    #12
    I have this problem too. The apple store genus told me to was my fault! Now I am mad.
     
  13. nichos macrumors 6502

    nichos

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Fl
    #13
    I had the same problem on my 12 inch iBook (don't know the revision, it was the one that was current a few weeks ago) It was really a pain because I never realised it, but I only use my right thumb on the space bar.
    I called apple and they send me a new one, hadn't had any problems since. There was no charge since it was about 2 weeks after I bought it.
    Good luck
     
  14. WillMak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #14
    sent you a new ibook or a new keyboard?
     
  15. nichos macrumors 6502

    nichos

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Fl
    #15
    Keyboard
     
  16. MacRhythmGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    #16
    Thanks for the responses!

    LOL! :D I really have to laugh at myself, here. I was convinced I was stuck with this problem! I don't see how a new keyboard will help, but with the stories here, I'll sure give it a try! I have AppleCare on this baby. I'll let you know what happens. There's no Apple Store in my area.

    Thanks and a can of Spaghetti-O's is on its way. ;)

    MRG
     
  17. alikaalex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
    Glad to help! Still waiting for the call announcing that the keyboard has arrived. So we'll see where things go from here. <fingers crossed> :cool:
     
  18. MacRhythmGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    #18
    New keyboard on the way

    AppleCare is hooking me up with a new keyboard. The guy was cool and didn't tell me I was crazy. What's crazy is analyzing the hell out of this problem and assuming it's a blatant design flaw instead of calling for help! :rolleyes:

    Thanks everyone,
    And at least this should still be a useful thread for the archives.

    MRG

    P.S. I'm still skeptical so look for an update when I receive the keyboard!
     
  19. RJP31484 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #19
    My girlfriend's iBook had the same issue!!! MAN it is annoying to have to go back in and put 20 spaces in a document you are typing. She just recently sold that laptop though, and is getting a new one this sunday. I will let you guys know if the latest revision has the same issue.
     
  20. MacRhythmGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    #20
    Problem solved - ALMOST!

    The keyboard wasn't delivered when promised, so I called back and they said it was coming, and to wait another week. It arrived, I just installed it, and the good news: It does seem to fix the problem. The bad news: It's a keyboard for a slightly different language! The main Enter key and the left Shift keys are both too small, among other weird things.

    So I called AGAIN and apparently this is the British keyboard, not USA like I need. (Brits, what are you doing that apparently requires more prominent placement of keys like \ and ` and ~ etc?)

    There's a tiny plastic tab which helps lock the keyboard in, located at that critical spot to the right of the spacebar, and apprently that tab wasn't quite long enough on my broken keyboard. It looks like a manufacturing defect.

    AppleCare says another new keyboard is on its way.

    In the meantime, I have to decide what's worse: hitting "`" all the time where the left SHIFT should be, or missing spaces all over the place! :)

    MRG
     
  21. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #21
    A little off topic, but will Apple just give anyone a new keyboard, or do you have to really talk with them to get one? My "n" is a little squeaky and my left CMD key is crooked. Think they'll give me one? Computer is 4 days old. :eek:
     
  22. pags macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #22
    My wife has a 7-month old iBook (12" 1.2) and the spacebar problem popped up early on. Then her c and m keys got loose. Then the letters started rubbing off numerous keys. We took it to the local Apple store and they replaced it with a new keyboard while I waited. I've read in other forums and elsewhere on the web that this is a common problem with G4 iBooks. This is a common iBook G4 problem.

    Any word on keyboard quality in the new 2005 iBooks? I'm looking to get one later this month to replace my dead iBook G3. The keyboard quality is the only thing making me wonder whether to pay the big price jump to get a 12" PB.
     
  23. alikaalex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #23
    Update!

    So the keyboard arrived as promised, was installed, and has been working great according to my GF. Chalk one up for the Genius Bar!
     
  24. EJBasile macrumors 65816

    EJBasile

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    #24
    I have a 12" PowerBook and with the 3 button- you always have to hit right on top. if you press it more to the bottom right nothing will happen.
     
  25. assscat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #25
    OK, so let`s see what the US keyboard looks like then. Here's a picture of the wonderful\sophisticated\graceful ~British~ keyboard. ;)
     

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