For years now, I’ve been an Apple fanboy. Their hardware is second-to-none in terms of build quality and their OS is, for me at least, light years beyond Windows. But right now, I have two Mac computers and they’re both unusable.
Too bad I may have to switch entirely.
I own an Early 2015 MacBook Air and a Late 2013 iMac. Both computers are running fine except for the fact I can no longer type on either of them.
Say, for instance, if I were to type the phrase “The Rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain”. What I’d likely get is something like “The Rain ain in Spain ain falls alls mainly ly on the plainain”. As you can see, the keyboard has a bizarre echo. It retypes portions of words, and I spend more time editing than I do composing.
The first machine to develop this defect was the Air. It started happening shortly after I updated to Catalina, the latest operating system. I wrestled with it for a while then took it to an Apple Store. Let me just say that this, by itself, was a nightmare. Given the traffic these locations experience (and, believe me, I know because I used to work at one), I had to go to a store that was not at all near me. The two I have within easy reach were booked for weeks.
When I got there, I described the issue to the tech and, if memory serves, I was even able to demonstrate it. (Demonstrating can be difficult in that the problem is “degenerative”. Rebooting makes it go away for awhile, but it invariably comes back.) My rep said he’d never heard of the problem and told me I must’ve either dropped the computer or gotten liquid inside of it. Since the laptop lives on my nightstand and is never near either my shower or my beverages, neither scenario was plausible. Still, the man said, there was nothing he could do and he steered me toward the sales floor where a waiting representative would be happy to take my money for a new laptop.
Since I didn’t have a thousand bucks to plop down on a computer, I shrugged and went home. I then made a rookie mistake. I upgraded the desktop to Catalina.
Not long after, it too developed the same hiccup when it came to typing. Which is weird because I’m even more certain I’ve never dropped the desktop or poured sticky soda into its inner workings.
“Okay, this is ridiculous,” I thought. If this happened on two machines, there must be others who’ve had the same problem. And indeed there were. Enough people that someone developed a software workaround. It’s called Unshaky. I installed it, but I’ve had mixed results. I thought for a while that it was working, but I had my worst day ever yesterday with the echo-y keyboard, and I’m at the end of my rope.
I had to buy a Windows laptop last year because Apple computers don’t work well with the Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s mostly an issue with how they handle graphics acceleration, but the performance of Premiere Pro is markedly different on Mac vs Windows — so much so I wonder how the good folks at Adobe can charge the same amount for the same software on the two OSes.
But let’s not go down that rabbit hole right now.
The fact of the matter is, I would switch over to Windows entirely — even for my writing — were it not for the fact all of my publishing software is Mac-exclusive.
I write and self-publish to the Amazon Kindle and the programs for doing that work are much better than their Windows equivalents — if such an equivalent even exists. For instance, Vellum, the app I use to format my books is a) expensive and b) dynamite. I’ve already dropped my money on it and would like to continue to use it — but that’s tough with the janky keyboards.
So, Apple, if you’re listening: I can’t buy a new computer from you whenever one of my old ones decides to stop working. You also can’t afford to ignore a phenomenon that is both widely documented and longstanding. I would say this problem could be corrected with a patch, but the incident reports I saw dated back several years, so I guess that’s not the case.
Regardless, if I’m going to spend $1000+ on one of your computers, the least you could do is make sure I can do basic things on it.
Like, you know, type a sentence.