1) Is there any way to keep applications from egregiously stealing focus, sometimes in damaging and annoying ways? It’s bad enough that some noncritical program can just barge in and hide your work and demand a click, but sometimes it also steals your keyboard input immediately or even worse steals the foreground but doesn’t give you mouse or keyboard focus, and then you have to flail and swear.
2) How much, roughly, does it cost to replace a Macbook Pro keyboard? I’ve typed mine to pieces and no AppleCare/warranty/wife/horse/mustache is available.
9 thoughts on “Two semi-whiny mac questions for the Group Mind”
1) No, it’s crazy fucking annoying and one of the big reasons I left Windows in the first place. Now watching a movie is like:
VLC: OMG CAN’T DECODE DIS HERE FRAME OF COCKTHIRSTY_ARGENTINES(Fullrip-iso960).divx ABORT RETRY UNIX
iTunes: ARE YOU SURE YOU DON’T WANT TO UPGRADE TO 22.214.171.124??? IT’S SOOOO MUCH BETTER. ALSO I GOT BORED AND DELETED YOUR MOVIES AND PLAYCOUNTS.
Cyberduck: HAY I CRASHED. CAN I HAVE SOME MONEY?
Time Machine: WHERE’D THAT DRIVE GO? IT’S BEEN TREN DAYZ 😦
Bluetooth: UM REMEMBER YOUR KEYBOARD? I DON’T
Adium: SOME FAG SAID SOMETHING. IMA BOUNCE NOW
Keynote: LALALA WHAT’S THAT FONT WITH THE LITTLE DINGYS ON THE T’S AGAIN? I CAN’T FIND IT AND I’M GONNA USE MARKER FELT IF YOU DON’T HELP
Word: INDEXING FONTS. YOU NEED SOMETHING TO DRINK? I SHUR DO LOL
Finder: I JUST LOST CONTACT WITH THAT SERVER FROM 2004. WANT TO RECONNECT?
Print Services: PAPPPPPPPPERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
I was going to blog about this but I feel better now that I know someone else is suffering.
2) I think it’s about $150 for the keyboard. Reasonably quick repair, but that depends on a thousand things, all out of your control.
I just laughed my ass clean off. Thank you for that.
p.s. You do not want to know what kind of day I had today. Which is okay, because I’d be recycled into plant food if I posted about it. Suffice to say: this comment made it all better.
You’re being familiar, but I don’t know who you are, but what I’m reading of yours is informi-taining so I’m adding you. Hello.
I went to high school with him. Neither of us has recovered.
It’s like you were inside my computer the whole time. Wow.
Thanks for the keyboard info.
Ima bounce now.
Check eBay for the keyboard; several people have discovered that you can make more money taking apart a working laptop and selling the components separately than by selling the whole laptop. Apple laptop keyboards are usually mutually incompatible, though (sometimes in stupid ways: the iBook G3 and G4 keyboards would have been compatible if the jumper didn’t attach to the computer in different places), so there might not be much selection.
Sometimes replacing individual keys works, in which case several models probably have keyboards suitable for plundering individual keys. I replaced half a dozen keys on my iBook G4 with keys from a broken G3. If you’re patient enough, or know someone who is, you could even replace every single key. Of course, that won’t help if the mechanisms that are attached to the “real” keyboard below the keycaps are broken, but IME it’s always been the keycap-attached mechanism that fails.
What’s even worse is when they steal focus in another Spaces workspace. Fwoosh! Now you’re on another screen and I demand your attention!
With the exception of iTunes popup dialogs, I think I’ve managed to make most everything not interrupt and/or go through Growl. There’s a certain sort of OCD ADD that goes with email and RSS programs that notify you that there are THREE NEW ITEMS!!! (even if it’s a number badge in the icon) since the last time I checked, TWO MINUTES AGO. Even if I’m in the middle of something important, I’ll click over just to make the counter go away. Along similar lines, I’ve shut off a lot of little ADD-like-notifiers on my system. Only a few important things try to get my attention, and they’re configured to not bounce or popup or anything, just go through Growl please.
1) Re-program all your favourite foreground apps to run in modal dialog boxes.
Okay, seriously: It’s a huge pain in every GUI I’ve used. Hot keys make it worse when typing a letter accidentally provides the intruder with unintended input. It would be nice to see a Desktop Environment with an arbitration layer for cases like this. Some of the most common mistakes could be avoided simply by making modal dialogs apply their modality (heh) only in the context of the app. But that breaks when system-level dialogs are invoked to open files, etc.
No good answers to this one, I fear.
I wish I knew how to fix the focus thing. Mac OS Classic did this better…