Friday: Hili dialogue

August 1, 2014 • 12:16 am

Note: I have spilled some water on my Mac keyboard, and I’m unable to log in (the capslock key appears to be stuck on “on” when I log in, and I can’t seem to do anything about it. (I made the mistake of restarting, so I can’t log on.

I’m using a substitute computer in the meantime, but posting may be reduced to very little until I return on Wednesday. If anybody has advice on how to fix that, please tender it below. With great effort I’m posting today’s Hili dialogue:

Hili: Cyrus, what are you doing?
Cyrus: Hush, I’m pretending I’m a black panther.



In Polish:

Hili: Cyrus, co ty robisz?
Cyrus: Cicho, udaję, że jestem czarną panterą.

29 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. I’m not a Mac guy, but have you tried using Shift to un-capitalize while Lock is on?

    Beyond that, sticking a damp phone in a bag of rice often works to dry it out and restore proper function. Maybe you can improvise something along those lines.

      1. The problem is that the caps lock is not on. That is, it doesn’t show up for the login name, but does for the password, and I can turn it off for that. But without the right login, I can’t get on. The computer is now in the hands of the village repairman, who, I am assured “will not make things worse.” He is cleaning and drying the interior of the keyboard. We will soon see.

        1. That’s probably the best bet.

          Get it dried out. That usually solves the problem. Maybe you can get some desiccant to put in a bag with it?

          Electronics are very sensitive to small amounts of water. (I work on them.)

          If you get water on an electronic device, power down. Water + bias (charged terminals on the PCB and elsewhere) is much worse that just wet. Then, dry it out.

          I had some sweat drop onto the lens mount ring of one of my DSLRs and it shut down the auto-focus in a couple of minutes. I pulled the battery out (immediately), then took off the lens (once I got home) and set the camera face down; but with air space under it. It dried out in about a day (sweat is much worse than plain water, usually) and then the AF came back and hasn’t been an issue since.

  2. I don’t know how to fix the cap’s lock issue, but you can just plug in a USB keyboard into your mac if there is one available.

      1. Removing the battery on a mac laptop nowadays isn’t simple, it involves unscrewing the case and figuring out what needs to be removed (probably not insurmountable). I’ve never tried to get into the one on my lap right now (although the IT folks at work manage it), but I’m thinking it would need either the right tools or a crowbar and a large hammer (the latter option probably not compatible with future successful use!)

        I’m afraid that we are slowly ceding access to even the most basic control of our electronic devices to their designers.

        1. Yeah, same is true of all my electronics except my laptops and cameras. I just bought a Kindle Paperwhite (which I love) and it’s sealed.

        2. Or perhaps ceding to the Masters of the Universe STEM-borderline illiterate bean-counter management-/owner-/investor-types for whom the designers/engineers are hand maidens?

    1. That would have been my suggestion too.
      I can’t remember if I had the keyboard out of my Mac when I had one. Most of my laptops get a keyboard vacuuming every couple of years, so I probably did, and I don’t recall any particular problems with the hardware side of that machine.

  3. Adore the expression on your face. Deepest sympathies on the non functioning keyboard. Mega stress issue. Still very worried about Hili living side by side with a trained hunting dog. Looking forward to seeing you both back soon. Hope the rice bag is successful. Love and cuddles to the Polish Princess.

  4. When I’ve done this (but with coffee, not water), the only solution has been to get a new keyboard. Not the answer you want, I know!

    1. Getting a US-layout Mac keyboard in Poland is going to be … I think “a voyage of discovery” is a good way to describe it. Trying to do the same for a windows laptop in Central Siberia was endless entertainment.

  5. I’d be worried that the computer could be wet inside on the board. Was it water only? If so that is best and I’d suggest drying it out with a hair dryer. You should really power down the computer if it has had liquids spilled on it as it could fry it inside.

    I’ve successfully recovered my 17″ Macbook Pro laptop that got rained on & a phone that I once dropped in a toilet buy immediately turning them off (pulling the battery when there is one – the Mac laptop didn’t have a removable battery) and then drying the keyboard with a hair dryer.

    1. Diana,

      I was able to do the same thing with a phone that went in the loo. Pull the battery. And I just let it air dry and it worked the next day. At least enough so I could upload my phone book!

      1. Yeah I had the phone incident t happen at work so I ed the battery and dried the phone using the hand driers and I did this all day whenever I had time. The phone functioned normally the next day but I also dried it by hair dryer at home on the low setting. It takes a lot to get the liquid out. Thank Thor the toilet was just cleaned when it happened in the morning.

    2. We had a shipping container of about a half ton of circuit boards and assorted paraphernalia for an MDT tool arrive on the rig once and it was half-full of seawater when we opened it up. Which was a bit of a problem as there were no back-up tools in that country, and the regional (Pacific region) headquarters couldn’t release any from another job in less than 6 weeks (the Chinese were being un-cooperative ; just because they were paying to keep a set of back-up tools on their location, they seemed to want to keep them there.
      First, multiple washings with drinking water to get rid of the salt, then de-ionised water, then alcohol (we had to get that specially shipped to the rig), followed by 3 days of drying with warm air. We got a working set of tools at the end of it, but they broke down after about 36 hours of the testing programme. Which was adequate to demonstrate what the client wanted to know. Skin-of-the-teeth job though.

      1. Wow, yeah, the cleaning process. Immersion is sea water is about as bad as it gets. Luckily, nothing was under bias. Otherwise, it’s unlikely you could have got it going. Well done to do it anyway!

  6. For a short term fix for the keyboard, there may be a way to get a keyboard to display on the screen. You then have to click each letter with the mouse. Not ideal, but good enough to type in a password.

    In Windows, this is found under:
    – Start menu
    – All programs
    – Accessories
    – Ease of use
    – On screen keyboard

    There should be something similar for Mac.

    I’ve never used it, but once had to figure out how to get rid of an on-screen keyboard that unexpectedly appeared.

    1. It’s a mac, not a PC…. Good luck with the local tech. Do no harm is rule #1 in IT. I’m unsure if connecting an external keyboard will help. Even if you connect an external keyboard, the on-board keyboard will still be active and still have stuck capslock. Sounds like either a short in the caps lock key caused by the h2o, h2o in the keyboard connection on the motherboard (mb) or damage to mb itself. Most of the time, swapping the keyboard will heal the device. Keyboards are not very expensive. Also, most macs contain moisture sensors that change color tp let the tech know if the h2o reached the mb.

      1. Yep. I mentioned that Mac is likely to have a similar functionally. I don’t have a Mac so I can’t give exact keystrokes, but I’m sure that the accessibility features of a Mac would be comparable.

        I agree that the hardware fixes require time and expertise. But for the immediate problem of being to enter small bits of accurate keystrokes, the on-screen keyboard is a risk free, no cost, short term solution.

  7. When a keyboard gets wet, the first thing to do is instantly turn the keyboard upside down to drain and remove power.

  8. If the local repair guy can’t get it working again, you’ve got a bunch of options for when you get home.

    If it’s still under warranty, take it in to a retail Apple Store. Be up front about the water spill; don’t try to pretend it stopped working of its own accord. There’re color-changing “moisture detectors” that’ve already told the tale. But if you throw yourself at their mercy, they’re likely to either repair it under warranty anyway or at a reduced rate. Those sorts of things are at the discretion of the store’s staff / management, so you want to make sure to get them to sympathize with you. And, every time I’ve done something stupid (including the time I spilled half a bottle of cyan inkjet ink on a brand-new wireless keyboard) and made the first words out of my mouth to the person at the store be, “I’m an idiot,” they’ve practically fallen over themselves to help. They might not (don’t remember; years ago) have charged me for that keyboard, for example — and, if they did, it was a token amount.

    If it’s not still under warranty, you’ve got two good options. First, there’re a number of companies that specialize in Apple laptop repairs. You get in touch with them; they send you a box to put your laptop in, you send the box back with the laptop, they fix it and send it back. Prices and turnaround times vary, of course, and it might cost more to repair the laptop than it’s worth.

    In that case, or if you’ve been wanting a new laptop anyway, go back to the Apple Store. Same deal; tell them your sob story. But this time, they’ll likely give you as an option the maximum discount for a new computer — the same kind of discount they offer for employees. That’s how I got the MacBook Air I’m typing this on…I spilled a glass of water on my old MacBook Pro. You don’t have to give up your old computer, and it may well still be perfectly serviceable as a media station or the like — set it up somewhere with a wireless keyboard and play movies or stream Internet radio or what-not. They also make great servers for those who have need of such. Even if you wouldn’t have any use for it like that, you should still be able to sell (or give) it to somebody who would.

    Good luck….


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