Smoked "J"

Okay, this has nothing to do with anything, really, but you may find it amusing.


I’ve been eagerly awaiting Apple’s next batch of MacBook Pros (my current 17" is nearly 2 years old), and tomorrow they’re due to announce new hardware.  In particular I’ve been awaiting the next batch of GPUs, and I’m eager to see whether they go farther with multi-touch technology.  (For CS4 we worked with Apple to enable the new gestures on MacBook Pro/Air models to let you zoom, pan, and rotate images in Photoshop and Bridge, and I can’t show off this support with my current rig.)


Anyway, I awoke this morning to discover that the letter "J" (aka the thing I now have to keep on a text file for copy and paste) had stopped working.  No warning, no other affected keys–and no J (kind of a big deal for me, for obvious reasons).  I’ve had keys occasionally get stuck in the past, but in this case lifting the key and cleaning underneath had no effect.  In fact, the key popped off entirely, leaving me with this somewhat disconcerting sight of a glowing stump.


Now I have to explain to my boss that no, really, it’s completely coincidental that my machine broke right before the new ones are announced–I swear.  (Mm, yeah, good luck with that…)

0 thoughts on “Smoked "J"

  1. I had the same thing happen to me with the F key on my 12-inch Powerbook (I swear a lot) and I was able to replace the entire keypad for something like 40 bucks.
    Just search eBay and Google for replacement keypads… there are a multitude of places selling brand new genuine Apple replacements for dirt cheap. I was expecting a single key to cost more than that.

  2. Your Apple MacBook died after only 2 years and you want ANOTHER one???
    [The machine has been great overall, and it’s only the one letter on the keyboard that’s died. I want a new one so that I can show off a new Photoshop/Mac integration point, and to take advantage of other forthcoming graphical goodness. –J.]
    Maybe it’s time for a ThinkPad or something else that’s reliable. Remember, Adobe sells to PC users too. In fact, this PC user will be buying CS4 Design Premium as soon as it is released. Why? Because CS3 Design Premium is an excellent product and works well, and because CS4 seems to have useful new features. I sure would not be rushing to buy CS4 if CS3 hadn’t worked well.

  3. I have nothing against Macs, I actually like OSX very much, but “graphical goodness” and “Mac” (even more “MacBookPro”) don’t belong in the same sentence (and this is what prevents me from buying a MBP in the first place).
    If you want graphical goodness in a notebook, check some mobile workstations from HP, Dell or Lenovo.

  4. To be fair laptop keyboards are a bit fragile and it sounds like you use the J key a lot.
    If it helps my 2004 PowerBook G4 still runs fine in every respect and the keyboard has taken some abuse (things dropped on it, etc.).
    I hope you get the replacement though, in your business you should be demoing those nice little extra features like gestures.

  5. You can get replacement keyboards really cheaply and installing them is pretty simple on the MBPs according to what I have heard. After two years you don’t have to worry about voiding your warranty either. But you may want to wait until you got a new one before you tell your boss 😉
    @John Hoffman: Showing off the healing brush a lot and having a ‘J’ in your name is probably too much for any notebook…

  6. So much for the “Macs have better hardware than PCs” I keep hearing all the time from the 2 Mac users I know.

  7. John,
    The only thing ever to go wrong on my Titanium Powerbook since its incept date in January of 2001 was the right-hand-side option key. The little key popped off one day; can’t even remember if it was my doing or not, though I figure I did something weird. Anyway, the left-hand-side option key was just peaches, so I decided to leave the unattached key in its place. It never fell out, just sat there all loose and inoperative. I retired the TiBook a month ago (by giving it to my PC brother, heh heh) in anticipation of today!

  8. We still have a 2002 vintage 500 MHz PowerBook G4 lurking around the office chugging away on audio projects. (And running CS2.)
    Use a Thinkpad? Yeah, right. It’s just a fluke I’m sure, John, that yours broke. Macs tend to last much longer than PCs. No way you’d sabotage it, right? (We love our laptops, we would never do it on purpose!) 🙂
    Now, I’m hoping predictors are wrong about the 17″ MacBook Pro not getting an update. After reading your post, I’m thinking you must know the answer to that question. (Unless they have an 18″ laptop coming out?)
    [If I knew anything about Apple’s plans, I could never share the info before it was made public. I don’t want to be fed to free-range pigs wandering around Woodside… 😉 –J.]
    I love my 17 incher. I don’t care how big it is, carrying it in my backpack when I’m in India or Africa is worth the extra weight and bulk when I sit down in the hotel and start editing photos.
    Thanks for the heads-up on the new Photoshop/Mac integration. Now I’m gonna have to get one too!
    And it just occurred to me, that with Adobe’s budget, they can’t complain too much about buying you a new laptop? Unless, of course, you bought Applecare – and then you have a year to go on the warranty?

  9. This must be laptop hell day. The WiFi & keyboard died on my dad’s laptop just 2 hours ago.
    I feel for you, John.
    By the way, Johno, never knew you frequent Mr. Nack’s place. 😉

  10. I’m running CS3 and LR2 on a first gen iMac G5 with 1 GB of RAM. It’s 4 years old and still chuggin’ away. I am seriously looking into getting one of the new MBPs. It just seems like it is time to refresh and become mobile.

  11. ohn – Somehow, I think your boss won’t be a erk and will dig up some coin to get you a new laptop. That way you can stop acking around with copy and paste and get back to blogging.
    [Thanks, eff; let’s home so. –J.]

  12. So how do you like the new Apple laptops? Only glossy displays – that’s a complete disaster! I would rather order the “J” at or other shops with spare Apple parts.
    Other than that, the update is pretty impressive.
    [I happen to really dig the glossy screen on my MBP (except when my baby son sees his picture on screen & decorates it with a bunch of finger oil), but on the whole the new machines are less than I hoped for.
    Don’t get me wrong, they look like a perfectly nice update, but I guess I was dreaming big, hoping for some real groundbreaker (e.g. a keyboard/trackpad area that’s another screen; multitouch on the monitor; etc.). I was also hoping to see the introduction of more RAM and more cores as options. (Gotta keep up with the Chinese peeps. –J.]

  13. I think that a software work around would be the most practical solution, and help keep Adobe profits up.
    Just tell all of your associates that you are now using “GK” in lieu of “J”.
    Could also go by a nickname that doesn’t include “J”.
    Hope that you can tell we care 🙂

  14. On a Toshiba notebook I’ve lost once the CTRL key, and there was just one of them. I had to wait some months before finding the time (and another PC) for sending it to the assistance…
    Anyway, I can’t wait to put my fingers on a new MacBook Pro’s touchpad for working with Photoshop CS4!

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