Computer mystery – solved!

Just wanted to share this with my fellow amateur geeks out there:

My MacBook Pro occasionally has a trackpad problem, where the cursor starts jumping around and is uncontrollable. I researched the problem in the Mac forums, and found a lot of long, complicated “solutions” that didn’t seem to be working for anyone. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I instinctively felt that hiring a technician wouldn’t help . . . call me silly, but here’s what happened:

Quite by accident, after considering tearing my hair out over this, I found a solution: Each time the cursor started getting fidgety, I would put down the lid of my MacBook, wait a few seconds, and then open it again. Every time I did this, the cursor would calm down and act normal for a minute or so. As I continued to do it, the problem would gradually stop altogether. Sometimes it took a few days and some patience, but it worked EVERY TIME.Laptop-frustration

I wanted to tell other frustrated trackpad users what I’d discovered, so I went to several forums, where I saw many, many posts like these:

“Please help me! My trackpad constantly freezes, moves by itself and does not respond when needed. It deletes my messages and it flashes. It also clicks on random links.”

“My trackpad moves by itself…and even opens and clicks things! help!”

So I posted my solution, with a sincere desire that it would help people. In a day or so, I got this reply:

“This is excessively bad advice! What you are recommending really just amounts to ignoring the symptoms and hoping that the problem goes away. If this is being caused by a swollen battery, ignoring it could result in permanent damage to the computer. If it is actually being caused by someone accessing the computer remotely, ignoring it gives them more opportunities to do something malicious. Please stop posting this advice everywhere!”

Well, I reasoned that if I had a swollen battery, my computer would certainly not have returned to normal so easily. As for someone accessing my computer remotely, well, I just didn’t believe that. I had my proof, why should I worry about malicious attackers?

Then, a while later, someone posted (on the same forum as my detractor):

“Thanks. That worked for me!”

Ah, justified at last. But I’m sure a lot of other people just ignored my post because I’m not “knowledgeable,” not a technician, and I didn’t offer any complicated, impressive-sounding non-solutions. Also because they might have read that post that “put me in my place.” Who cares? My MacBook is still working just fine, and if my silly little amateur solution can help anybody else, then I’ll be supremely happy. I’m convinced that computers are full of mysteries that have no “pat” answers. I just went with my gut, and got my answer.



Filed under technology

2 responses to “Computer mystery – solved!

  1. Pat Collins

    Hey! You are now officially Technical. As a long time “techie” I can tell you that “whatever works” is a qualified solution. Your techie badge will be in the mail tomorrow!

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