Last year I gave my Macbook Pro a nighttime glass of milk and cost myself $153.91 for replacing the keyboard.
Apple repairs carry a 90 day warranty. Long after that time had passed, the new keyboard developed a strange quirk: sometimes the 8 key doesn't work. That's an unfortunate key for a Unix user not to have because the shift version is, of course, *. It's hard to go more than a few minutes without my needing an * when I'm working at the command line.
So apparently it's worn out. Can't blame the poor thing; it gets a heck of a lot of use. But..
Here's the twilight zone stuff. When this first started happening, the only way I could fix it was to restart the computer. That's just a little annoying and it's also a bit suspicious: if this is worn out, why should a restart fix it? But wait - it gets weirder.
Because I don't want to restart just for this, I put a text clipping on my desktop - *8. When this acts up, I just drag that down into Terminal, eliminate whichever key I don't need, and I'm good. Sometimes I don't even have to do that: I may have an 8 or an * just above me on the screen and I can cut and paste from that. Either way is a little annoying, but it's a lot better than restarting.
The keyboard usually starts working after I do that.
Yeah, I know: that makes no sense whatsoever. It has to be coincidental. I agree with you 100%, but it's eerily coincidental. That is, I have held off pasting and tried tabbing elsewhere, hitting other keys, going off to brew a cup of tea.. when I try again the keys still aren't working. But paste in what I need once or twice, and normal function returns.
Stop rolling your eyes - I KNOW this can't be. I told you, I agree with you. It's not logical. Mr. Spock's eyebrows would be arched all the way to his hairline: pasting can't be fixing this. That's just crazy talk. It doesn't happen.
But, like Galileo, I bow my head and whisper "And yet it does".
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