Apr 25 2016

Fixing a Jumpy Trackpad

You know what’s annoying? Computers. Specifically when something doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. Like, say, your pointing device. Want to know how to fix a jumpy trackpad on your Macbook?

As they say in The Pajama Game, we figured it out… with some help from The Google.

Macbook Trackpad from Wikipedia

Apple Macbook Pro (Early 2008) 17″ Trackpad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So your trackpad is just kind of… doing stuff. Without you touching it. That’s really annoying. You’re watching a YouTube video and then suddenly iTunes opens and starts playing, say, the soundtrack to The Pajama Game.

(Hey, it’s in our heads now. “Seven and a half cents, doesn’t mean a heck of a lot, seven and a half cents, doesn’t mean a thing…” Great song. Also remarkably relevant today — heard about the Verizon strike? Yeah, it’s about more than seven and a half cents, but inflation and stuff. And OK, it’s not a pajama factory. But there were no cell phones in 1954! OK, back to the point… no pun intended.)

To resume after that parenthetical, your trackpad/touchpad, whatever you want to call it, is making it seem like your computer is possessed by a poltergeist. A ghost in the machine, if you will. (Will not… get… sidetracked… again… no pun intended… we mean it…) What do you do? Thanks to someone on Apple Support Forums, we found this possible solution:

Press down on the left side of your trackpad kind of forcefully, and try to push your trackpad (the actual component of your computer) to the RIGHT side of the macbook. Apparently it can get kind of stuck on the left side and needs to be unjammed essentially.

You know what? For us, this worked. No more jumpy trackpad. I should point out that in my case, I pressed down on the left side of the trackpad more forcefully than usual but not so forcefully that I would break it. So be careful. While still holding it down on the left side, I then repeated the action on right side. Reading the suggestion quoted above, I’m not 100% sure what “try to push your trackpad (the actual component of your computer) to the RIGHT side of the macbook” means. Although now that I’m re-typing the words I suddenly do… maybe.

Whatever you do, be careful not to press too hard, because computers are kind of delicate, at least on the inside (and sometimes on the outside). And as always, caveat doer. That means (a) be careful and (b) if anything goes wrong, it’s not our fault. We’re just (a) repeating what someone wrote on a forum and (b) telling you what worked for us. That’s a disclaimer. Get it? Got it? Good.

Happy computing!

Source: Trackpad is jumpy | Apple Support Communities

Apr 26 2015

Stop iTunes Song Pop-up

Starting with some version of Apple‘s iTunes software, the song title will pop-up over whatever you are doing. If you’re like me and can be distracted by, well, everything, this is annoying.

This is one of those features that was never necessary, or at least shouldn’t be turned on by default.

Luckily there is a simple way to turn it off. From Apple’s Support website:

Click iTunes -> preferences -> General -> Under “Notifications”, uncheck “when song changes”
What a relief!

Here’s some screenshots for ya:


iTunes When Song Changes - checked



iTunes When Song Changes - unchecked

Thank you carpetfiber101 for the tip.

new song pop up window in iTunes | Apple Support Communities.

Nov 10 2014

Kiddie-Lockout Feature Should Be Standard on iOS and Android

I know I’ve said this before, but just in case I haven’t typed it on DaddyTips, I firmly believe that a kiddie-lockout feature should be standard on all mobile devices, iOS and Android.

Apparently there are others who agree with me.

For IOS on the iPad, they should implement the concept of multi-user accounts and the ability to lock down features for non-administrator accounts. This would be great when a family shares an iPad, but do not want their kids mucking around in the settings, or deleting stuff.

Now, it should be noted that the Samsung Galaxy S5 has this feature, at least according to one of their TV ads:

I’m fairly certain this isn’t a new feature for some Android devices. Read through the comments on the Engadget page; a few folks get specific there.

The S5 is also “dust and water resistant”, according to this spot:

But yeah, keeping the kids away from the stuff on your phone or tablet should be a standard feature across the board. I don’t want my kids reading my email, my texts, or even seeing what apps I use. Not that I would ever use my phone for anything inappropriate. But I’d like to have the option.

via I can’t believe Android or iOS still don’t have _______! – Engadget.

Jul 31 2014

How To Rotate Video in OSX (Tips)

We’re putting together our post about this year’s Crown Royal Your Hero’s Name Here 400, and needed to know how to rotate video in OSX. It’s not that difficult, but it’s also not as easy as it should be, so we thought we’d share this lil’ tech tip in case you need it.

DaddyTips Tip

Basically, the default free Quicktime player in current versions of OSX does not offer a Rotate Video option. For that you need to use Quicktime 7 Pro, which is not free. I bought a license years ago back when I used Windows. (Before the dark times… Before the Empire… Actually, I prefer Macs, but what the hell. Any excuse to use a quote from the late great Sir Alex Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Geek Gold Card.)

Apple’s online store lists Quicktime 7 Pro in both Mac and Windows flavors.

There are probably free ways to rotate a video in OSX — iMovie perhaps, or some open-source/freeware option. There are generally more free options available for Windows users than for iHoles such as myself. Using QT7 Pro is simply a very, very easy way to do it.

Bonus tip: if you bought a license to Quicktime 7 Pro back in the Jurassic era like I did and still have the code, you may be able to use it to unlock the software on your newer Mac. No guarantees, your mileage may vary, caveat code-enterer. But it’s worth a try.

If anyone reading this has a tip for rotating video on any operating system — OSX, Windows, Linux, BeOS, OS2/Warp, something even more obscure — please share it in the comments. It takes a village, folks.

How do I rotate video? | Apple Support Communities.

Mar 08 2013

Another Macbook Pro No Sound Problem Tip

Macbook Pro sound problem solvedBack in July of 2012, I had a computer problem — no sound on my Macbook Pro. After I fixed the issue, I posted a tip titled Fixing Sound on Macbook Pro.

Guess what? The no sound problem just happened to me again. (I hope you were sitting down when you read that. If not, we apologize but accept no responsibility.)

Because I’m getting older (again, hope you were sitting down) I didn’t remember what I did to fix the sound problem on my Macbook the last time. However, I still came up with almost the exact same solution.

Googling “mac no sound” got me to a page at Apple.com that essentially treats you like a moron. It doesn’t say “are you sure you turned your computer on?” But it comes pretty darn close.

A couple of links down I found another page on Apple.com filled with suggestions such as “resetting the PRAM”, which I’ve done before and is not physically painful despite the phrasing. Further down in the same discussion thread was a much simpler solution:

Hi.  I had the same problem this morning, and guessed that it might have something to do with the mechanical switch that’s built into the headphone socket.  I just gently plugged and unplugged a pair of headphones into the socket a couple of time and voila, it worked again.

I did this. It worked immediately.

I refer to Internet/World Wide Web comments as “The Hive”. In this case, The Hive was very helpful. Thank you. Live long and prosper.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

via No sound from MacBook Pro: Apple Support Communities.

Jul 07 2012

Fixing Sound on MacBook Pro

Macbook Pro Sound Greyed Out

The sound on my Macbook Pro wasn’t working. Specifically the built-in speakers. I couldn’t figure out why. Headphones worked, as did a USB speaker. Eventually I figured out how to fix my sound problem, so I thought I’d share it with you. Here’s a Tech Tip from me, but really from the Internet.

Initial attempts to Google the problem didn’t help. Read more »

Apr 30 2012

Avengers Origins: Assemble! App (Countdown To The Avengers Movie)

Avengers Origins for iPad

Avengers Origins: Assemble! is a universal App for your iPhone or iPad. We haven’t tried it yet but it sounds like fun. Read more »