Looks like "Contamination Shields" are back, this time with Apple

Fans of Beam Spring keyboards will be familiar with the "Contamination Shield" - a rubber or plastic sheet covering the switches to prevent dust from getting into the mechanisms.

As some folks may know, Apple's latest keyboards have a problem with dust getting into the 'butterly' switch mechanism, and not escaping due to the switch's compactness. This ends up leading to a situation where most of the bottom half of the laptop has to be replaced due the fact that the keyboard is glued to a whole bunch of other things inside the laptop[*]. Queue angry customers, class action lawsuits, etc.

It seems Apple has come up with a solution to this which involves, you guessed it, wrapping around the switch mechanisms in a thin silicone film.

Image



US Patent

[*] I have had this problem with my work-issued Macbook Pro. Fortunately, it seems I have been able to mash the affected keys enough to make the dust go away :)
daedalus
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Unread post14 Jul 2018, 09:07

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That whole keyboard has been such a disaster. For the company with such a fondness for thinness at all costs, and who already make billions of capacitive touch screens, you’d really think they’d move to capsense by now. If not a full on touchscreen keyboard, then alternatively a physical keyboard but with capsense pads instead of contact switches. I like to think they could sense their way around some of the “contamination” issues with software seeing analogue levels from the keys. But I suppose the problem really is quite mechanical: so little travel that a single flake of finger spooge will jam the whole damn key. Ugh!

Yeah, just go touchscreen already. So long as I can pop my HHKB right there on top of it to type.
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Unread post14 Jul 2018, 09:31

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I'd rather a thick laptop with a proper keyboard, upgradability, and build quality.
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Unread post17 Jul 2018, 12:42

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You’re in for a long wait before Apple brings back the Pismo.

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I’m fine with no built in physical keyboard at all. Nothing comes close to my HHKB. But chunky laptops are ancient history. Even the PC guys all slavishly copy the MacBook now, far as I see out in real world use.
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Unread post17 Jul 2018, 15:06

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My laptop would love a word with you. :lol:

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Unread post17 Jul 2018, 15:13

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As things go, I'd rather have a keyboard-less, monitor-less laptop that I could take around with me and then plug to any keyboard and any available monitor. This could cut down enormously on battery requirements, too, and allow us to carry around something relatively small (say, the size of an 1-cm thick A5 notebok) and be done with it.

And yes, NUCs exist, but they're underpowered and un-upgradeable. So...
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Unread post17 Jul 2018, 15:21

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Well what's the point of a laptop if it can't be used in your lap (not that I like doing that)? If you want a portable PC without keyboard or monitor, just build your own nano-ITX PC and if you need gaming performance, buy a mobile GPU or a slightly larger case which can house a full size GPU.
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Unread post17 Jul 2018, 15:25

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I was using the generic modern term. If I have it my way, we'll be reusing the "portable PC" moniker. :mrgreen:
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Unread post17 Jul 2018, 15:28

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I absolutely hate that all laptops nowadays are flimsy Mac-book wannabes, give me my childhood ThinkPad 600x with a Ryzen APU, I'll be happy. I carried that thing everywhere, (along with a bag full of accessories) I never cried about it being "too heavy," and it's not like I was strong or anything.
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Unread post17 Jul 2018, 16:11

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Why not just revert the keyboard design? It isn't like the key feel was good in the first place due to the short travel. Adding the contamination shield will shorten the travel distance even more.

It also reminds me of a story at Xerox PARC.

According to Geoff Thompson, who was at PARC during 1972 - 81, "You didn't really 'own' a mouse when you had possesion of an Alto, you just checked them out cause they weren't too reliable. They would pick up dirt, get gummed up and not track anymore. When that happened, you would just unplug it, take it into the lab and put it into the box that said 'Dead Mice' on it, grab a cleaned one from the 'Clean Mice' box and you were back in business."

You don't 'own' a Macbook 2015+, you borrowed one.
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daedalus wrote:Fans of Beam Spring keyboards will be familiar with the "Contamination Shield" - a rubber or plastic sheet covering the switches

Wait, — what? Can you please point me in the direction where I can find this info? I seriously have never seen this sheet in any beamspring teardowns. Either that or I never realized what was being pictured.
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Unread post17 Jul 2018, 19:25

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Wintermute1974 wrote:
daedalus wrote:Fans of Beam Spring keyboards will be familiar with the "Contamination Shield" - a rubber or plastic sheet covering the switches

Wait, — what? Can you please point me in the direction where I can find this info? I seriously have never seen this sheet in any beamspring teardowns. Either that or I never realized what was being pictured.

See the black sheet with the green sticker in the post below:
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45...#msg943238

They are usually removed as the rubber has aged so much it disintegrates when touched.
xxhellfirexx

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xxhellfirexx wrote:Why not just revert the keyboard design? It isn't like the key feel was good in the first place due to the short travel. Adding the contamination shield will shorten the travel distance even more.

Why not? The Right Honourable Knight of the British Empire Sir Jony Ive, that's why. Apple's chief designer. Ever since Steve Jobs died, no one's had the balls to tell Ive what to do. Believe me, I get that he misses his old buddy and co-conspirator deeply. The two of them collaborated in Apple's designs, they were each inside one another's minds, as far as product was concerned. Ive won his reputation back in the days when he and his team, never far from Steve, poured out everything from the gumdrop iMac to the iPhone in less than a decade flat. Those were his miracle years. When Steve died, well, Jony didn't lose his talent but he lost his oversight. There's no one he respects enough to tell him what to do, and don't.

I'd love to see Apple form a second design team, without Jony Ive's day to day involvement, for all the hardware he doesn't give a toss about. That would be the Mac! Punditry loves to opine that the desktop and laptop computer has simply reached its end-state, as all innovation has moved on to smaller form factors. Horseshit. Apple just gave up on it, and the others followed, as they always do. There's a world of talent out there who could breathe new life into the Mac (and therefore PC in general). The trouble is Apple just isn't interested any more.

Microsoft could be well placed, mind.
xxhellfirexx wrote:It also reminds me of a story at Xerox PARC…

You don't 'own' a Macbook 2015+, you borrowed one.

Pretty much. Glad I didn't get one. Couldn't afford it then, and I couldn't have afforded all the grief every time the bastard broke down ever since!
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Unread post17 Jul 2018, 20:15

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xxhellfirexx wrote:Why not just revert the keyboard design? It isn't like the key feel was good in the first place due to the short travel. Adding the contamination shield will shorten the travel distance even more.

You don't 'own' a Macbook 2015+, you borrowed one.


They can't just put the old keyboard into the new chassis. That would require redesigning the entire casing of the laptop. The thin protective layer will honestly probably fix the issue.
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Unread post17 Jul 2018, 21:09

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The old Apple machines were built like appliances, offered good quality (had ALPS switches!) and were a unique and alternative platform. The first-ever machine was even a DIY kit!

Nowadays, Apple machines are soldered-together underpowered Intel computers and an overpriced toy phone that is wrongly called a "smartphone".

Wozniak is responsible for Apple's early success, not Jobs. Jobs marketed shiny toys.
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Unread post18 Jul 2018, 15:21

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No matter what you think of Apple currently, they managed to find their niche in the "Not sure how to use it but it's shiny so I must buy it" crowd. Apple laptops are decent for programmers since they provide a *nix-like environment, but I wouldn't buy one on my own.
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Unread post18 Jul 2018, 15:31

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I proxy anything, including keyboards (キーボード / 鍵盤), from both Japan (日本) and China (中國). For more information, you may visit my dedicated webpage here: https://www.keyboards.es/proxying.html

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Apple knows that the butterfly switch is dodgy from the thin mabook it was fist in , but they put it in the macbook pro anyway as they don't give a shit about there customers.... hell if it fails they can sell the sheep another 3000 USD laptop that hardly lasts a year!

Hell lets put an i9 in the new laptop even tho it cannot cool an i5 properly.... and who cares if it thermal throttles to such an extent that its slower than last years model...... your clearly encoding that video wrong.

Such a joke.
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