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can desk fan affect computer strange jumping around behaviour

#1 User is offline   carmenoax 

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:32 AM

This is a strange question but have not been able to find any real info. I recently connected a desk fan to same voltage regulator as computer to provide air circulation in office (we have giant heat wave). No problem (and some relief) for several days and suddenly things began to jump around on screen. First noticed on Acrobat, moved to bottom of page - could try to scroll up but wouldn't stay - then same on browsers, selecting a folder its name began to jump, finder wouldn't allow selection of applications, etc. etc., etc.

Finally managed to connect to HD recovery and disc repair - NO PROBLEM FOUND. Virus scan shows no virus. Hardware test shows everything "normal". After disc repair things OK for a few days - with exception that when turned on computer the Hardware test came on direct! and trying to connect to ALT compu opened direct to normal screen but made no strange noise, as sometimes happened when turning on direct, screen opened with a sort of subdued thunk or sometimes with a sort of drum roll of 3 or 4 thunks.

At the moment everything seems to be operating "normally", all tests OK, etc. but only problem free off and on, as strange behaviour returns though fan has been disconnected since first day. I repair the disc and it is OK again for a while. Something is definitely wrong. Some of what I found about fans and computers talks about magnetic field affecting screen, others about using desk fans to cool overheating computers. (BTW, the desk fan is Massey model MF-6C, 120/60/15 two speed 6 inch , made in China). So I don't know what to think about the fan and haven't found any answers.

Only other thing that occurs to me is a faulty keyboard could cause problem?? I have a favourite A1038 wired KB connected that seems Ok but has a couple of keys that don't work. Could be "going bad"? I bought a second "new" A1038 on eBay but from day 1 it has had several keys that don't work (sort of a diagonal stripe down from 6/7 keys). "Tech" who checked it for me said it has a short or false connection that can't be fixed. I also asked if the two couldn't be combined into one good one but no response. Any help on this?

Do you think the KB could be cause of problem and not the fan? Any advice very welcome.


Thank you.,

Carmen
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#2 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:34 AM

It is possible. Stuff with motors can create noise on a power line circuit, but it shouldn't be an issue for your computer. Maybe more something for different types of powerline communications, which I don't think apply to you. A desk fan doesn't seem like it should be much of an issue. I've plugged small to medium fans in in small offices without apparent issue. Short term or long term. With various computer equipment around.

The things you are describing - erratic behavior and movement - seem more inline with a dirty / faulty mouse or trackpad. Not something the hardware test would reveal anything for. All that would test in that regard is whether it is there or not, most likely.

I'm not sure what you mean with connecting to ALT compu at one point, and another where you talk about A1038 and bad keys. To me the A1038 is an Apple Cinema Display :)

If you are having keyboard issues, use a can of compressed air and blow around between the keys and/or try to vacuum dust etc with a vacuum with a small nozzle. When using a compressed air canister ensure to keep it upright and no shaking required, otherwise it can blow some icy mix, which isn't good for electronics.

So, I'd start with giving the computer and the mouse a careful inspection and cleaning.
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#3 User is offline   carmenoax 

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 04:32 PM

View Posticerabbit, on 13 May 2013 - 11:34 AM, said:

It is possible. Stuff with motors can create noise on a power line circuit, but it shouldn't be an issue for your computer. Maybe more something for different types of powerline communications, which I don't think apply to you. A desk fan doesn't seem like it should be much of an issue. I've plugged small to medium fans in in small offices without apparent issue. Short term or long term. With various computer equipment around.

The things you are describing - erratic behavior and movement - seem more inline with a dirty / faulty mouse or trackpad. Not something the hardware test would reveal anything for. All that would test in that regard is whether it is there or not, most likely.

I'm not sure what you mean with connecting to ALT compu at one point, and another where you talk about A1038 and bad keys. To me the A1038 is an Apple Cinema Display :)

If you are having keyboard issues, use a can of compressed air and blow around between the keys and/or try to vacuum dust etc with a vacuum with a small nozzle. When using a compressed air canister ensure to keep it upright and no shaking required, otherwise it can blow some icy mix, which isn't good for electronics.

So, I'd start with giving the computer and the mouse a careful inspection and cleaning.




thanks for reply. I will try connecting fan again in a few days and hope for best.

The reference to the ALT key is that is how I have to connect to internet base to do disc repair, reinstall, time machine and other stuff - restart while pressing ALT (option) key - like restart pressing D key for hardware test.. A1038 is the model number of my Apple keyboard - discontinued but my all time favourite. It has number pad, keys and space between for real fingers and one doesn't have to hunch to use it. 2 keys no longer function so I bought the second A1038 but it is worse, as mentioned in first post. I still hope(d) it might be possible to make one good KB from the two but haven't found anyone who can state definitively if it can be done or not. Keyboard is totally clean - any problems from KB might somehow be related to nonfunctional keys and why they don't function??

Finally reinstalled operating system and haven't had problem since and soon as I feel brave enough will connect the fan again and see what happens. If anyone has other suggestions or advice, would love to receive.

Thanks
Carmen
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#4 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:06 PM

Interesting.

I actually have an A1048 keyboard :) from the G5 era. Loved it, as with the generation prior, but have since settled on illuminated logitech keyboards that are full size but a bit more notebook like with minimal travel.

Stickey keys can lead to weird stuff, as one might be pressed down / activated internally while you aren't pressing it as holding certain keys during startup initiates a different boot option. Samebthing with a variety of hot key options. But then after the reinstall it seems you have no issue (other than two dead keys)?
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#5 User is offline   carmenoax 

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:56 AM

View Posticerabbit, on 13 May 2013 - 05:06 PM, said:

Interesting.

I actually have an A1048 keyboard :) from the G5 era. Loved it, as with the generation prior, but have since settled on illuminated logitech keyboards that are full size but a bit more notebook like with minimal travel.

Stickey keys can lead to weird stuff, as one might be pressed down / activated internally while you aren't pressing it as holding certain keys during startup initiates a different boot option. Samebthing with a variety of hot key options. But then after the reinstall it seems you have no issue (other than two dead keys)?



Just checked and I was mistaken in number - my KB is really A1048 and I love it. A friend mentioned some time ago that he had switched to logitech KB but since he mentioned its being good for games I didn't pay much attention. Do you have any specific recommendations for logitech if I have to give up this KB?

Thanks for assistance.
Carmen
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#6 User is offline   icerabbit 

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:20 AM

I have an A1048 and M7083 keyboard on my desk, attached to additional systems (dedicated to offloading certain tasks from primary systems and testing). If you are really used to those, it can a pretty big step to adjust to more mobile type keyboards. I never really adapted to the flat chicklet style. I liked the G4 PowerBook keyboard way better; and some traditional mobile keyboards in other brands.

After some window shopping and trials, I settled on the Logitech Y-UY95. As I often work late or early and try to keep ambient light at night to a minimum, and it sits in a desk tray, it has the benefit of being illuminated and has the traditional number keys. I did need to remap one or two keys (ctrl and alt) in OS X as it is a Windows keyboard (cheaper, avoiding the Mac surcharge) It is a slim profile, shallow key travel, ... but close to what I am used to on mobile systems.

It really all depends on feeling, size of hands, needs (lots of touch typing or occasional use). I don't do well on small netbook keyboards. Some people want deep key travel, mechanical switches. Some want clickety-clack vs whisper quiet. More ergonomic vs traditional. Inexpensive, moderately priced or top of the line. One expensive name that rings in my head is Das Keyboard with quiet switches. But you may find something more budget that does what you want it to do.

The best thing to do is shop around a few times. Stop in at office and technology type stores and try out some keyboards on display. Take a few notes.
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#7 User is offline   carmenoax 

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:23 AM

View Posticerabbit, on 16 May 2013 - 05:20 AM, said:

I have an A1048 and M7083 keyboard on my desk, attached to additional systems (dedicated to offloading certain tasks from primary systems and testing). If you are really used to those, it can a pretty big step to adjust to more mobile type keyboards. I never really adapted to the flat chicklet style. I liked the G4 PowerBook keyboard way better; and some traditional mobile keyboards in other brands.

After some window shopping and trials, I settled on the Logitech Y-UY95. As I often work late or early and try to keep ambient light at night to a minimum, and it sits in a desk tray, it has the benefit of being illuminated and has the traditional number keys. I did need to remap one or two keys (ctrl and alt) in OS X as it is a Windows keyboard (cheaper, avoiding the Mac surcharge) It is a slim profile, shallow key travel, ... but close to what I am used to on mobile systems.

It really all depends on feeling, size of hands, needs (lots of touch typing or occasional use). I don't do well on small netbook keyboards. Some people want deep key travel, mechanical switches. Some want clickety-clack vs whisper quiet. More ergonomic vs traditional. Inexpensive, moderately priced or top of the line. One expensive name that rings in my head is Das Keyboard with quiet switches. But you may find something more budget that does what you want it to do.

The best thing to do is shop around a few times. Stop in at office and technology type stores and try out some keyboards on display. Take a few notes.



Thanks for suggestions and advice. May need to start looking around - just in case.

Carmen
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#8 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 02:26 PM

At the end of the day, keyboards are a HEAVILY in the realm of personal preference. As icerabbit said, you should shop around and if at all possible "lay hands on" the keyboards...and if you cannot "lay hands on" the keyboard, buy from a place with a good return policy.

Personally, I have found that I really like Apple's current "chiclet" style keyboards. However, I was VERY leery about them at first when I retired my original 2006 MBP for a "unibody" 2009 17" MBP with the "chiclet" keyboard. I really liked the keyboard on the original 2006 MBP that I had. I found that I got used to the "chiclet" keyboard on the newer MBP and now really like it. It helps that my MacBook Air has basically the same keyboard and the current version Apple external keyboard that I use with the MBP (it is used as a desktop replacement now with the Air as the portable) is the same style. I actually find it awkward to go to my more traditional style Logitech G15 keyboard that is hooked to my Windows desktop...I am so used to the "chiclet" keyboard now.
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