Apple keyboard design and tech failure

By: David Hess (davidwhess.delete@this.gmail.com), May 5, 2019 3:03 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Maynard Handley (name99.delete@this.name99.org) on May 2, 2019 12:21 pm wrote:
> This is pretty interesting:
>
> https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/bjtyaw/macbook_pro_keyboard_failures_why_apples_dust/
>
> At the macro level this feels like Intel 10nm. I don't have much patience with
> theories in either case that feed into the author's monomania (like "Jony Ive
> would rather ship computers that are thin than computers that work").

I think that is exactly what has happened. Even if the keyboards were reliable, they would be crap.

I have taken to testing various keyboards whenever I visit store with laptops on display and these chicklet keyboards are all junk. They were terrible in the 1980s and they are terrible now. I notice that most do not even bother to include home key locators showing that their intended audience does not touch type.

> What it feels like in both cases is that engineers feel trapped in a local optimum -- they can't
> figure out how to make just small tweaks to improve things, but making huge changes (essentially
> starting from scratch) is ruled out by perhaps practicality and time, perhaps by management?

The local optimum they are stuck on comes from the requirement for an excessively low profile which among other things requires low travel.

> More generally still, which is why I'm posting this, I wonder if there's a tech capitalism failure mode here
> that we will see more often going forward -- as companies are burned by some disclosure or other, and become
> managed by people more from the finance side of the world (certainly not trained in science/engineering and
> the ethos of open publishing) they become ever more secretive, both internally and externally.
> So that problems that were solved in the past by some combination of pieces from fifty
> people -- assembled in various minds from papers they read, blog and news posts, talking
> to other people, etc --- become restricted to a pool of 10 people, all of whom know the
> exact same thing and are forbidden to communicate with anyone else in any way...

The failure, if it can be considered that given that Apple's intended customers have no choice and do not know better, is simply that form is more important than function. Unfortunately other laptop manufacturers are following Apple into the abyss.

If a keyboard is designed for casual users who are not expected to make great use of it, then reliability is not a requirement. That it looks stylish is all that counts.
< Previous Post in ThreadNext Post in Thread >
TopicPosted ByDate
Apple keyboard design and tech failureMaynard Handley2019/05/02 12:21 PM
  Apple keyboard design and tech failureDavid Hess2019/05/05 03:03 AM
    Apple keyboard design and tech failureDummond D. Slow2019/05/05 04:56 AM
      Apple keyboard design and tech failurefoobar2019/05/06 12:10 AM
        Apple keyboard design and tech failureMaynard Handley2019/05/06 09:29 AM
          Apple keyboard design and tech failureitsmydamnation2019/05/06 02:27 PM
            Apple keyboard design and tech failureMaynard Handley2019/05/06 04:23 PM
              Apple keyboard design and tech failureDummond D. Slow2019/05/07 07:42 AM
                Apple keyboard design and tech failureMaynard Handley2019/05/07 10:26 AM
                  Apple keyboard design and tech failureDummond D. Slow2019/05/08 08:18 AM
      Apple keyboard design and tech failureDavid Hess2019/05/08 04:58 PM
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