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Summary:

I love my Macbook Pro, it’s hands down the best laptop I’ve owned. It is aesthetically pleasing, it runs virtually any operating system, and causes me little grief. There is just one thing that’s annoying the crap out of me, and I’m putting a call to […]

I love my Macbook Pro, it’s hands down the best laptop I’ve owned. It is aesthetically pleasing, it runs virtually any operating system, and causes me little grief. There is just one thing that’s annoying the crap out of me, and I’m putting a call to arms to the first person to fix it.

I’m willing to bet Apple laptop users have accidentally ejected more CD’s and DVD’s when they are trying to press delete quickly. If that’s the case, why does Apple insist on putting this key here? Even more frustrating, there is nothing in System Preferences to do anything about it.

So I brainstormed a few ideas, and of course any creativity is appreciated. If the key can be shut off via Dashboard widget, menu item, preference pane, whatever. I was hoping this tip would help:

Adding an Eject Icon
The prescribed way to eject a CD or DVD is to press the eject (or F12) key on your keyboard. That’s not much help if you have a non-Apple keyboard, if you have more than one drive capable of ejecting, or if, in a fit of troubleshooting, you find yourself without a keyboard altogether. Fortunately, there’s a secret way to do the same thing: install the Eject menulet.

To find the installer, go to the root of your hard drive and open System: Library: CoreServices: Menu Extras. Inside that window, double-click on the icon called Eject.menu.

Now look at your menu bar, and you’ll find the new Eject icon. Use it as a menu and choose the drive you’d like to eject.

Which is great, but gives no more advantage or configuration options. Anyone interested in taking this on?

By Todd Baur

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  1. Well the way I prevent that is by using the “Fn” key to control my F-functions. So I have to hit fn+f12 to eject, as opposed to just eject. This can be changed in keyboard and mouse preference pane, under the keyboard panel.

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  2. Just set your eject key in the Keyboard Preferences Pane. Set it to use CTRL, or SHIFT, or Option, or all of them, if you really always hit the eject key by accident. Pretty simple really. Not much to brainstorm about.

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  3. AbolishTheDevil Tuesday, December 5, 2006

    OK, well I looked all over the Keyboard Preferences and could not find a way to add a modifier to the eject key. I think a simpler way (although I have no idea how to implement it) would be to have to hold the eject key for like 2 seconds. This would take away accidental key presses ejecting a disc and wouldn’t add the need to remember yet another key combination. Apple should really implement this, it is the same principle pretty much as having to hold the power button for 4 seconds.

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  4. I’ve never had this problem… you have to “hold down” the eject key for it to eject a disk… not just hit the key.

    I think you’re just a little too slow. :)

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  5. AbolishTheDevil Tuesday, December 5, 2006

    What I said was that the Eject key should be CHANGED to require it to be held down, that would eliminate the problem of accidentally ejecting discs when trying to hit Delete.

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  6. I also checked the box in the keyboard preferences to “Use the F1-F12 keys to control software features”, and I have not had this problem. No doubt that is the simplest fix. However, this issue is part of a more general problem, which is that users don’t have sufficient control over the key bindings. The most we seem to get is a few click boxes that fix common problems such as switching caps lock with control or whatever. What is needed is something akin to the loadkeys command in Linux, allowing users to customize the keymap to their heart’s content. Maybe I should have posted this to the Leopard wishlist entry. The current capabilities for key remapping are quite well documented at http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~jrus/site/cocoa-text.html, but much of this is only available to Cocoa apps, and otherwise the capabilities are either very limited or not well documented.

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  7. That’s odd. I have to hold down the eject key on my PowerBook G4 to get it to eject. Just quickly hitting the key (as in like typing) does nothing. Same goes for my PowerMac G5 and my iMacs (G3s).

    I wonder if it’s something specific to intel rigs?

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  8. No longer the case Scott. These groovy new MacBook Pros eject with a quick brush of the button on either internal or an external keyboard. Can’t say I have ever accidentally ejected a disc, in spite of this new feature. But good luck with fixing it Todd.

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  9. “Fortunately, there’s a secret way to do the same thing: install the Eject menulet.”

    What? Dude. Just drag the thing to the trash can. Or click the eject button in the finder sidebar.

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  10. “Well the way I prevent that is by using the “Fn” key to control my F-functions”

    I am missing something? On my Macbook the I have F1-F12 keys plus an eject key. Thus changing the preference in the preference pane doesn’t do anything to the eject key. I also am not able to find any option for changing the shortcut key for eject. Luckily, I haven’t really had a problem with accidentally ejecting discs.

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