Don’t You Hate Computer Problems?

Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ~C.P. Snow, English novelist and physical chemist

I like to think I’m somewhat tech-savvy.

I’ve been using a computer for decades, and I work in web design; however, recently an “issue” has cropped up that I’m helpless at resolving.

I asked Domer when he was home this last time, but he didn’t know — either what was causing it or how to fix it.

I’m hoping my colleagues online can come to the rescue.

You see, I use a laptop computer. It saves space and is easy to pack up in case I need to work away from my office.

But laptops are notoriously un-ergonomic. Did you know the human head typically weighs 11 pounds? All that weight hanging forward and down to peer at a laptop screen and keyboard can’t be good for one’s neck.

I’ve positioned my laptop approximately 8 inches up, making the screen practically perfect for eye-level viewing. And I invested in a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo that makes it possible for me to type and point/click at proper arm’s level.

So far, so good.

However — and this is where my problem comes in — sometimes, I’ll be typing away, working intently on my novel or a web project or a blog post, when all you-know-what breaks loose.

I’ll look up and notice there must be 5,000 identical specimens of the last letter I typed. And more keep coming!

It’s like gremlins have commandeered my keyboard.

And I can’t stop it. Pressing Escape, Delete, Back, or the Windows icon does nothing. Hitting any of the other keys does nothing. Typing keys on the actual laptop does nothing.

Identical letters quickly fill my screen, causing a rush of panic.

I’m a prisoner of this madness!

Eventually, I shut the entire system down — never mind the correct way — wait a bit while I reboot the Bluetooth devices, hold my breath, and try again. Sometimes it works; sometimes not.

Domer says it sounds like a Bluetooth issue, but I’ve checked everywhere, and that appears to be working just fine.

I’ve thought of going back to a desktop model but don’t want to. I’ve thought of scrapping the ergonomic keyboard/mouse and relying solely on the laptop; again, I don’t want to.

Help, please? What’s going on, and how do I fix it?

19 thoughts on “Don’t You Hate Computer Problems?

  1. OK. This may not be your issue, but it was mine. I was seeing the same thing: multiple letters, or a given site loading multiple times. Eventually, I found the problem. My arm was laying across the ‘Enter’ or ‘+’ keys at the far right of my keyboard: the numeric keypad.

    Now, I could delete my multiples, and it sounds like you can’t. Still, I’d bet on a stuck key. It happened to a friend of mine with her laptop. She was accustomed to keeping things like ice cream around while she was working, and eventually she noticed a drop of melted ice cream falling into the keyboard. It would be a place to start looking, anyhow!

    • Linda, thank you for your suggestions. I used this keyboard with my previous laptop and didn’t have a moment’s worth of trouble. That indicates to me that it might be a communication issue between the new laptop and Bluetooth keyboard.

      Or, since my Internet Service Provider installed a new modem — one I wasn’t using with the previous laptop — maybe that comes into play.

      It’s very trial-and-error, you know. And before I contact some expensive repair guy (and don’t you know the machine never acts up for them?!!), I’m going to research online and see if somebody somewhere has had — and solved — the same thing!

  2. Debbie, I read your issue several times and for the life of me can’t figure out what could possibly be the problem or how to resolve it. I work off an HP desktop, but I used to also have an HP laptop, but it’s been ages since I had one.

    I know this sounds like a silly questions, but have you tried going back to using the laptop keyboard instead of the Bluetooth and seeing what happens? Perhaps the issue is within the Bluetooth keyboard.

    I so understand your frustration because having computer issues is such a pain because we use them daily.

    Hope you can resolve this issue soon. Perhaps one of your other readers will have the answer.

    Have a great Sunday, my friend! X

    • Thanks for trying, Ron. It’s quite maddening. And what’s worse is, it happens when I least expect it (like when I’m on deadline or in the middle of writing a crucial scene), and there doesn’t seem to be any way (other than turning off my computer) to make it stop.

      I’ve updated drivers for the keyboard and regularly install updates as recommended. I never eat at my computer — it’s just my Virgo fastidiousness — but in case there was dust trapped there, I cleaned both keyboards with compressed air.

      Since even the laptop keyboard refuses to interfere with the rapid-fire typing, I don’t see how switching to using the computer as is would work. Unless, of course, it’s the Bluetooth keyboard that isn’t playing nicely with my laptop — in which case I’m going to have to figure out how I can work without straining my neck, ha! Tis a puzzle!

      Enjoy the week ahead — and some Fall-like temps! xo

  3. I think Linda has touched on the cause. Somehow you may be hitting a sequence of keys that is causing the problem. Is it the same letter each time or the last letter you typed that is repeated. If it is the last then there is a key hit combo that is causing you the problem.

    • Thanks, John, I’ll check into that. I don’t think it’s the same letter every time. I think it’s the last letter I type, but you could be right in thinking it’s a combo of some sort. I know that, when I’m trying to get thoughts down, my fingers aren’t as fast as my mind, ha. Must be a writer’s problem! Anyway, thank you for the suggestion, and I’ll explore further.

    • Google is my very best friend!! Yes, and I took some of the more reasonable-sounding suggestions and applied them. Fingers crossed that some will work — thanks, Dawn!

  4. No help from me, I fear, though your own idea that it’s a bluetooth communication glitch sounds likely to me. After months of intermittent issues with my router, I bought a new laptop recently – not for that reason – and have had no router problems since. I can only think my old knackered laptop was sending out some kind of signal that was interfering with the router. Technology is great, when it works…

    • I think you might be onto something, especially as this wasn’t an issue with my previous laptop. I have a different brand now, and maybe it just doesn’t want to play with my keyboard, Bluetooth, or router — grr! By the way, I guess you’re back now? You’ve been missed, FF!

  5. I’m so sorry! Computer problems are so frustrating. Personally, I rarely manage to solve them on my own, and usually call my son in a panic. I figure I taught him how to eat with a fork, he can teach me how to navigate technology.

    • Every time this happened, I had to deal with it myself; this last time, my son happened to be home. I pointed it out to him, and he said he’d never heard of such a thing. And he sat there and watched the letters retyping over and over again, with no clue how to fix it! Something tells me it was easier teaching them how to eat with a fork, ha!

  6. Debbie, I also have a special keyboard for my neck that occasionally misbehaves. It’s hardwired into my desktop, so it’s weird when it won’t type at all on the screen. When I reboot it tends to behave again. For my laptop I have previously used your setup. I know it’s messy, but sometimes Bluetooth weirds out. Have you tried connecting your mouse and keyboard with cords to your laptop? (I still use a mouse connected to the USB port on my laptop. Seems to work fine.) Hope you find the gremlin, soon. Peace be with you (lots of it!)

    • Well, both my keyboard and mouse are wireless, so I’m sorry, but that’s not an option for me. But you’re right — Bluetooth does weird out. In fact, it’s giving me fits right now, ha! Thanks for trying, Virginia!

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