satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts

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Absolutely.  When 20% of the time you key strikes don't register, a particular
key seems unresponsive 75%, and one key sticks 20% of the time.....

No, no games on this laptop, so can't blame it on that.  Yes, they keyboard has
been replaced at considerable cost and time.

I mean, we're talking about a *keyboard*.  It's  mature technology, not rocket
science.  Scrimping on areas that render a significant investment (at the time)
to something of marginal usability.  #@!%@#$!@

Re: satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts wrote:
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When you say the key sticks, do you mean physically or the character  
repeats once the key is no longer depressed??

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Assuming that you purchased a new keyboard, have you tried another power  
supply on this laptop?  A slightly lower voltage than required can  
produce some bizarre behavior.

Also check the keyboard's behavior with a boot CD to see if the problem  
only shows up in Windows or is always present.  If it works OK from a  
boot CD, I would disable all the start up programs starting via MSCONFIG  
and see if that has an affect.

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Re: satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts

On Sunday, June 23, 2013 2:44:30 PM UTC-5, wrote:
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science.  Scrimping on areas that render a significant investment (at the time)
to something of marginal usability.  #@!%@#$!@

I assume this rant means you're not buying Toshiba anymore?

Re: satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts

On Sunday, June 23, 2013 4:09:52 PM UTC-4, Ken wrote:
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It's physical.  I can hear and feel the delay before the sticky key comes u
p as I let up on the pressure.  The nonregistering keys and unresponsive ke
y is also physical.  If you hit it hard enough, it always registers, but ha
rdness is highly variable across keys.  *Highly* variable.  This kind of be
haviour I expect out of dollar store products, not a high-ish end laptop.

On Sunday, June 23, 2013 4:11:20 PM UTC-4, Bob_Villa wrote:
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I wish it were that simple.  If I *knew* that I would have this problem, of
 course, the choice not to go for this model would have been simple.  But o
f course, this did not show up in my lengthy research.  And it probably isn
't the same for all Toshiba laptops.  Similarly, whatever alternative I wen
t for in the past or go for in the future will likely have unpredicatble is
sues elsewhere.

I just don't know why something as low-tech as a keyboard has to keep chang
ing.  If a formula has been found that works well, stick with it in new pro
ducts.  Change for its own sake is dumb.  If there is a potentially benefic
ial change, for crying out loud, there is the concept of TESTING.  Oh -- wa
it.  How foolish of me.  The market place is the guineau pig.  I guess this
 is just one of those sacrificial test cases.  And in high tech, there does
n't seem to be a way to avoid being such a test case even if you're prepare
d to go high-ish end.  I think it's because high end has been distorted to  
mean computing power rather or snazzy jazzy graphics that translate easily  
into sexy advertising.  Simple pedestrian things like robust physical featu
res are no longer included.

Re: satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts

And just for depends on the temperature.  Warm summers, the sti
cky key really sticks.  Cold winters, the touchpad buttons stick to all hig
h hell.  That's with just the limited temperature variation indoors.  Cheap
 piece of crap, turns the glorified platform into something slightly better
 than a damn paper weight.

Re: satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts

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    Buy a new keyboard.  They're like maybe 20 bucks.

    Lenovo's still got the best keyboards, BTW.  One of the reasons I
stick with them.

Re: satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts

On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 2:17:27 AM UTC-4, Computer Nerd Kev wrote:
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That's a good question.  There is a lengthy back story behind this, in whic
h it went to their local authorized dealers a few times.  Once for the orig
inal problem, a HD having highly abnormal readings in a SMART report.  Ther
e was also some tests run due to a common graphics card problem, but the re
-assembly was not properly done.  Something was buzzing and vibrating inces
santly upon its return, and after some unsuccessful attempts by them to tra
ck the problem down, Toshiba had this sent to their own depot.  They did so
me standard tests, didn't find anything, and sent it back.  It wasn't adequ
ately packaged for bulk transport, and the screen was smashed during the re
turn.  They didn't have any more of this model at hand so they sent another
 model, which was incompatible Synaptics (yes, such a platform does exist)  
making it impossible to emulate the middle mouse behaviour -- an essential  
function if you rely on older X-windows environments.  They finally found t
he parts to replace the keyboard and screen on the original laptop, and sol
ved the problem with the vibration.

All told, the laptop was unavailable for months, and to be repeatedly re-in
stalled with Windows, apps, and customizations, amounting to countless days
, and it costed untold amounts in transport.  I stopped asking for coverage
 because all I cared about was getting with my laptop back in functioning f
orm.  The warranty expired some time ago, but even if it had not, I do not  
consider the warranty to be a solution.

Having said that, I have to be clear about the fact that Toshiba as a whole
 is not to blame.  The escalated support contact bent over backward to try  
and solve the problem.  The overall design is also very good.  However, all
 the support in the world cannot make up for a poor design decision on the  
weakest link -- the physical user interface.  BMW designers would not compr
omise on the steering wheel, but this is in effect what I find this to be.  
 (Alright, the BMW analogy might be stretching things a bit).  As I said, s
uch a design decision is incomprehensible.  Keyboard technology is mature.  
 There doesn't seem to be a reason to do this from a business perspective (
perhaps those in the know can shed some informative light on this).

On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 2:01:09 PM UTC-4, the wharf rat wrote:
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That is definitely the right solution if I wanted a desktop, along with all
 the space that such a solution entails.  But my lifestyle is minimalist, b
oth in terms of space and belongings.  (Which means I had no alternative de
vice while the machine was out for repair or in transport).  I deliberately
 chose and was willing to pay for a laptop to fit my lifestyle, and it does
n't seem right to have to change my lifestyle to solve a problem with the l
aptop (get a bigger place, etc.).  Such a decision is typically driven by m
uch more than a crappy laptop.  ('scuse the attitude, but I'm using it to c
ompose this posting).  None of my past laptops had this problem, and it's i
ncomprehensible that a new high-ish end laptop has the problem.  It's not t
he kind of problem you can suss out by taking the time to test drive the pr
oducts in a store.

Re: satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts

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    Huh?   I meant buy a new keyboard for the laptop, 20 bucks on
Ebay and a 5 minute swap if you read the manual to find all the hidden
screws and tabs first.  

    I'm not impressed with Toshiba's quality, myself.  I've worked
on quite a few and they seem flimsy.  So if I were you and I really liked
my Toshiba, I'd buy 2 keyboards, a set of keyboard trim (the plastic parts  
that go around the keyboard), and a used but good condition "top end", the
screen assembly complete with plastic and hinges.

    Oh, and at least one spare fan.

Re: satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts

I think I've got an idea of what causes the sticky keys. The A660 is somewh
at unique in that the body of the laptop has holes cut out for each key.  U
nless there is perfect alignment, some keys will chafe against the holes.  
I suspect this because, after transporting the laptop in a backpack, differ
ent keys seem to stick.  It is a shitty situation regardless of which keys  
stick, but the fact that they change suggests that the underlying keyboard  
shifts when the machine is handled.

I'm debating whether to get it serviced with this likely cause in mind (not
 under warranty), to be explained to the staff.  However, the neverending s
tory that led to this problem began by bringing the laptop in for servicing
.  That drawn-out experience strongly indicates that servicing is done at t
he owner's peril.  Based on that, if one were to rule out servicing as an u
nacceptable risk, then the randomly sticky keys are, in effect, a permanent
 feature of this machine.  I guess thats tuition for experience -- avoid in
dividual holes in the housing for individual keys.

They say that life long learning is a good thing.

Re: satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts

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    Lol, try tightening the screws that hold the keyboard and trim down.
They usually run through from the back.

    Push comes to shove take a razor blade and shave the "holes" a bit

Re: satellite a660 keyboard driving me nuts

On Tuesday, July 2, 2013 1:43:20 PM UTC-4, the wharf rat wrote:
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Sorry, I got thrown by he Lenovo reference and thought you meant an externa
l 3rd party keyboard.  But it's very interesting to find out from web surfi
ng that replacing the keyboard is actually quite straightforward.  I was un
der the impression that, unlike desktops, venturing into the seedy underbel
ly of a laptop was done at the owner's peril.  And that impression was conf
irmed by all the trouble that beset the laptop after its first professional
 servicing.  It seemed that if the pro's can screw it up consecutively, the
n woe to the mere end user who dares to try.  I may take your advice and jo
in the ranks of such users.  Today, the stickiness is not there, either bec
ause the temperature is quite different from yesterday or I moved the lapto
p from one place to another.  In fact, it's behaving quite well so far, so  
I'll bang away at other items on the to-do list until the problem rears its
 head, then I'll likely decide to bite the bullet.

On Tuesday, July 2, 2013 1:44:42 PM UTC-4, the wharf rat wrote:
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See above.  Thanks for that.  I anticipate that such a fix would definitely
 be iterative.  (1) Experience sticky keys, (2) open laptop, fine-tune posi
tion and tighten down, (3) close laptop and try it out, hoping that stickin
ess didn't just move to another key, and (4) if it does, go to step (1).

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Bleah.  Definitely hope it doesn't come to that.  I'd consider throwing it  
into the dumpster.  Only thing is, as I said earlier, there is no guarantee
 that switching to another laptop won't bring its own quirks.  I thought I  
could avoid the gamble by doing my research and going around trying out dif
ferent models in-store.  It didn't work for this laptop.

Afternote: Starting up again.

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