In March of 2006 I bought a brand new MacBook Pro. I was so pleased with its sleek lines, its power, its bright screen. It had 2Gb 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM — the maximum possible for that machine — and a 2Ghz Intel core duo chip.
It served me well. But after the second year I was starting to get a bit antsy: I like to keep my Macs up-to-date. If I were rich I’d upgrade every time there was a new model.
However, in real life, a new Mac is a big spend and I sacrifice other things to upgrade. In 2008 I couldn’t afford a new Mac, and in 2009 my financial situation was even worse.
By late last year my good old MacBook Pro was really groaning when I tried to work with the RAW files from my camera, or export videos to accompany my weekly MacTips.
In addition the keyboard was showing plenty of wear, and had been for a very long time. The photo shows the way the Spacebar is worn, the patch below the Command key. Harder to see is the wear on several other keys: n, m, t, r, i, o and h in particular.
2010 brought a brief flurry of work and a whole new model of MacBook Pro. I realised I could scrape together enough to upgrade and bought the 15″ 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 model with 4Gb of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRM RAM. I also opted for the 7200 rpm hard drive and the anti-glare screen.
It has a fancy new keyboard with discrete black keys. On my previous model the keys were silver and directly next to each other. On the new one each key stands alone, with a small space around it.
I’ve been svaouring installing my applications and adding my various files and folders. I love it that I can start fresh, leaving behind all the detritus I no longer actually need. In another post I’ll explain what I found I absolutely had to have straight away.
Then an interesting thing happened. I went to rename a file.
There are assorted ways to rename individual files, but the one I use is to select the file then press the Enter key to the right of the Spacebar. That allows you to edit the name. Then I’d make changes and click elsewhere or press Return to finish.
It didn’t work. Then again it didn’t work.
Then I actually looked at the keyboard: the Enter key is gone! In its place is an Option key — undoubtedly more useful in the general course of a day, but not what I was expecting.
For Tips on dealing with poorly placed modifier keys see Sticky Keys can be very handy, Mac Tip #431, 07 April 2010.
When I look closely I can see that Enter now appears on the Return key (as in fact it does on the old one — I never noticed it there before). Press the Return key alone and the result is a normal Return key action. Hold down Shift and press Return to get the normal Enter key function.
This makes a lot of sense, as often the two keys are interchangeable. It’s going to take my muscle memory a while to adapt though.