Dropbox Professional »

Todd Jackson at Dropbox, after some mumbo jumbo I tried reading before blacking out:

That’s why we’re launching Dropbox Professional, a new plan that lets you store, share, and track your work from one place. It’s designed specifically for independent workers, and it comes with two new features: Dropbox Showcase and Dropbox Smart Sync.

The new $19.99/mo plan comes with 1 TB of data, like the $9.99/mo Plus plan that I’ve been using for a while. All of the various plans can be seen here.

Dropbox Showcase is a new way for users to share and publish files for others to interact with. The far more interesting feature is Dropbox Smart Sync, which grants access to every folder and file in your account in Finder, without the need to sync everything to your local disk.

Ultimately, this isn’t a big enough temptation for me to pay twice what I’m paying now for Dropbox. I have several folders un-synced with my computers, and just go to the website if I need to access them. If this new plan came with more storage, I may feel differently, but for now, I’m staying on my $9.99/mo plan.

There’s No i in Keyboard 

As outlined in the most recent episode of Connected, the keyboard on my Late 2016, 13-inch TouchBar-equipped MacBook Pro is not doing well.

A couple of weeks ago, its i key started feeling a little sticky. This keyboard does not boast a large amount of travel, but this key was barely moving at all when pressed.

I assumed a tiny bit of dust or other debris had worked it way under the key. This is a bit of a known problem with these laptops, as Casey Johnston has noted at The Outline in an article titled “The New MacBook Keyboard is Ruining my Life.” She writes:

“Maybe it’s a piece of dust,” the Genius had offered. The previous times I’d been to the Apple Store for the same computer with the same problem — a misbehaving keyboard — Geniuses had said to me these exact same nonchalant words, and I had been stunned into silence, the first time because it seemed so improbable to blame such a core problem on such a small thing, and the second time because I couldn’t believe the first time I was hearing this line that it was not a fluke. But this time, the third time, I was ready. “Hold on,” I said. “If a single piece of dusts lays the whole computer out, don’t you think that’s kind of a problem?”

Like Johnston, I remember that on previous versions of Apple’s laptops, this would be easy to resolve. Simply (and carefully) remove the key, blow out the offending particle, and pop the key (carefully) back into place.

That’s not so easy on the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro and the 12-inch MacBook. The butterfly switches are easily disrupted by tiny intrusions of dust and crumbs.

I, like the good kbase follower that I am, consulted and followed Apple’s directions for dealing with this:

  1. Hold your Mac notebook at a 75-degree angle, so it’s not quite vertical.
  2. Use compressed air to spray the keyboard, or just the affected keys, in a left-to-right motion.
  3. Rotate your Mac notebook to its right side and spray the keyboard again, from left to right.
  4. Repeat the action, this time with your Mac notebook rotated to its left side.

I walked through the process, somehow without dropping my notebook on the concrete floor of my studio. The travel of my i key improved somewhat, but I still had to strike the key with a lot of additional force for my key press to register. I had work to do, so I pressed on, whacking the i key with a bunch of force when I needed to use it.

After a couple days of light usage, the problem got worse.

The bottom lip of the key began to flip up a little bit as the key tried sprinting back up after being depressed. Light was leaking around it, and eventually this happened:

Keyboardlolapplecomeonwhatisthisgarbage

One of the tiny arms that the key cap clips onto is broken. My nearly $2,000 laptop that I bought less than a year ago is now missing a key, as I shared with our Connected audience this weekend before using an iBook G3 for the rest of the show:

LionKingLaptop

I have a Genius Bar appointment set up for the end of the week. I have the i key ready, tucked away in a small plastic baggie, as if it was a piece of police evidence. I’m not looking forward to it.

Newest Mac mini Turns Three »

I would have missed the anniversary without this blog post by Brian Stucki:

It’s been three years since the current Mac mini was released on Oct 16, 2014. “All About That Bass” was the number one song in the land. Four hundred million humans have been born since that day and have never known a new Mac mini. My daughter is one of them. She already walks and talks and just moved to her big-girl bed. Three years is a long time.

It’s not all bad news for MacStadium, as he writes. They have tons of customers using the small machine for a whole bunch of different things. I’m one of them; Relay FM’s live stream is powered by a Mac mini hosted in Las Vegas.

Become a Member of 512 Pixels »

Several months ago, I launched a membership program to help support my writing and other projects here at 512 Pixels.

If you haven’t checked it out, read a little more about the benefits of membership here. On weeks like this, without an RSS sponsor, I’m extra thankful for those of you who have signed up.

Connected #164: My Mother Has a Bunch of Keyboards »

Last night, Federico, Myke and I recorded a live episode of Connected in Chicago to help kick off the Release Notes conference:

The boys discuss the Google Home Mini’s rough launch, the future of AR at Apple and Federico’s baker.

I packed a surprise for my co-hosts as well.

My thanks to our sponsors for this week’s show:

  • Squarespace: Make your next move. Enter offer code WORLD at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • Timing: The automatic time tracking app for macOS. Use this link to get 10% off your purchase of Timing.
  • Incapsula: Secure and accelerate your website. Connected listeners get one month free.

Dejal Time Out for Mac »

Thanks to Dejal Time Out for Mac for sponsoring 512 Pixels this week.

You deserve a break. Time Out allows for easy break reminders, with flexible customization if you want it.