Backlit keyboard is like a strobelight among other things

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pooterscientist, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. pooterscientist macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    empire state
    #1
    I bought a penryn 2.5 the week they came out, and have a a very mixed experience since, with a few problems that I was hoping the greater macrumors community could shed some light on.

    1. Flashing keyboard backlight/display brightness.
    - This is the most frustrating one of all.
    - It makes working in a dark room unbearable. The keyboard backlight and the display brightness pulse under low light conditions, changing from almost full brightness to very dim in a consistent frequency of about once per second. It is like surfing the web in a rave.
    -It seems as if there is interference with the sensors and the display itself-

    2. Choppy HD video playback.
    - I have an episode of planet earth (.mkv, 4.4gigs for 1 hour) that can't play without getting error messages in VLC.

    3. Weird flashing updating of many programs:
    - White boxes flash over new areas when I scroll to them in many programs, they go away when I stop scrolling, however often leaving things drawn over each other, which dont look normal again until I resize a window or otherwise prompt a refresh. Happens most often in ShakesPeer and Safari. Also youtube videos flash these boxes on their own.


    Honestly the second two are nit picky and all I really care about it the first one. My sample size is pretty small for HD playback so I can't rule out that my test file is bad.

    your help is needed and appreciated.
     
  2. ergdegdeg Moderator emeritus

    ergdegdeg

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #2
    I can only help you with your first problem. Did you install an app called LabTick to control the keyboard illumination? If yes, try and disable it. If not, try unticking System Prefs >> Displays >> Automatically adjust brightness.
    Tell us what happens then.
     
  3. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Sounds like a faulty video card and light sensor. I wouldn't think too deeply about this... contact apple and ask for it to be fixed or replaced.
     
  4. anirban macrumors 6502a

    anirban

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    Try this, and let us know if it makes a difference. I have a strong feeling that this may be the culprit.
     
  5. pooterscientist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    empire state
    #5
    Screenshot of Bad renderings in safari

    Below is a shot of the youtube home page, when that wierd problem occured:
    Look at the bottom half of the Safari window.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. durant0s macrumors regular

    durant0s

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    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #6
    Sorry, but that sounds awesome!!!
     
  7. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #7
    If only you were rollin then you'd enjoy that surf! :cool:
     
  8. watermelon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    do software update...looks like your on liek 10.5.0 by the transparent menu bar.
     
  9. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #9
    try repairing permissions regarding the Safari issue.

    Had bunched up text in safari, making it unreadable. A restart etc did not fix it. After permissions repair it was normal. Go figure.
     
  10. Skeletal-dæmon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    #10
    Its a very very long shot but; are there any sources of Infra-Red light in the room? Is there is a source, such as a heater, remote control on a shelf with a button stuck down, whatever, it is possible that the ambient light sensor is seeing light that you simply can't.

    The reason I suggest this is because I had this problem with my alarm clock. it has an ambient light sensor so that at night the screen dims and during the day it brightens. However, if I have my IR heat globe switched on, the clock would flicker bright and dark at a rate of about twice per second.

    Failing that, check for firmware updates and then seek Apple help, it *could* be a dodgy light sensor thats reacting from its own light source.
     
  11. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #11
    I don't know if this applies, but FWIW:

    http://www.pocket-lint.co.uk/news/news.phtml/13992/15016/apple-admits-macbook-graphics-issues.phtml
     
  12. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #12
    VLC is by far the worst video player that I have ever used. It play anything under the tech sun, and it's kiss @$$ for a free program, but it crashes when the wind blows too hard.

    As for the keyboard and screen issue, you can turn off the ambient light sensor in system preferences, and turn the keyboard on full brightness or OFF via the buttons.

    Safari is starting to blow even more now... it was fine before, but now Opera/FireFox/Camino/anything (IE) are starting to really shine over the app. If Camino fine tuned it's UI, I would just stick with it since I can drag and drop my bookmarks folder into it. Opera crashes just as much as VLC does in some cases.
     
  13. kgeier82 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #13
    VLC plays a lot, but comes with a lot of pop-up errors for sure.

    i have the keyboard light strobe on my machine too. it cant decide to stay on or go off.

    its usually when the light is just right to where it cant decide. it doesnt bother me, cause you can make it go away easily. just cover the left speaker with your hand, and remove.
     
  14. pooterscientist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    empire state
    #14
    update on keyboard...

    I turned all off the ambient light sensor options to off, and as long as I dont use the keyboard lights, everything is fine. The display stopped pulsing, but the keyboard lights are useless. really annoying considering i like to work in total darkness (other than my comp).
     
  15. anirban macrumors 6502a

    anirban

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #15
    You could turn the keyboard backlight off at the F8 key....
     
  16. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #16
    I used to work on my 15" MBP in the car at night while driving, and the overhead street lights caused the keyboard and screen to go ballistic, so I just turned them off.

    If you are in on place with no constantly changing lights you should be fine with the keyboard backlit being on. I think the reason for the strobing was the LCD... which will change at will when the computer controls it, and some times shines into the speaker grill causing the keys to change as well.

    Since you turned off the ambient light sensors for the monitor, try using the keyboard to see if they remain at the same brightness level or not.
     
  17. pooterscientist thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    empire state
    #17
    No matter the conditions, or what options I have checked/unchecked (save turning off the backlight entirely) the keyboard flashes.
     
  18. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #18
    That sounds like a faulty keyboard sensor or backlit to me. I say get it checked out by Apple/get it repaired.
     
  19. modhab macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #19
    Same is happening to my MBPro too

    I just had the topcase replaced on my MBPro. I think it might be faulty. Did you ever get yours fixed? Let me know what you did and I'll post what the Genius Bar tells me.
     

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