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I HATE the touch bar.

I simply H A T E it.

I hate it so much that I started to carry an TKL keyboard all the time with me just to avoid using this piece of sh*t touch bar and internal keyboard (MBP 2017).

As a developer it is crucial that I can use my keyboard without any looks but as there is no way to tell which function key you press on the touch bar the bar itself is completely useless for me.

Beside the butterfly switches one of the worst things Apple has ever introduced to their computers.

I just purged Apple from my life largely because the touchbar continues to live on. Love my new Lenovo, btw.

As a workaround for the touchbar that worked pretty well, I bought a silicon keyboard protector for the Apple Magic Keyboard, cut out the area for the function keys, and used hot glue to glue it over the touch bar.

Prevented the touchbar from activating at the slightest touch and did return some of the feel of actually having a row of keys.

Plus, the hot glue causes no damage to the aluminum and does hold for a good period of time.

Turn this into a product people could purchase and you'd become rich :)

The original Apple ][ had a reset key in the upper right corner of the keyboard that was WAAAAAY too easy to press.


They eventually put a stronger spring under it so it was harder to press, but it was still terrible. There was actually a thriving after-market for $3.25 "RESET KEY PROTECTORS": square plastic tube shields that fit over the reset key so you had to stick your finger down inside of it to press reset.


RESET KEY PROTECTOR, which prevented accidental RESET on the earliest models of the Apple II, was available for only $3.25 from Special Systems Design. This was necessary because the RESET key, on the upper right of the keyboard, was easy to press because it had the same spring action as the other keys on the keyboard. Various methods (like this product) were used to stiffen that key, and make it harder to press.


Special Systems Design ad for Apple ][ Reset Key Protector, from Apple Orchard v1n1 1980 Mar Apr, page 107.


I swear on my Apple ][ (which had the stiffer spring under reset) you had to press ctrl at the same time. Mine had an after-marked Videx keyboard controller though, and maybe that was a feature of that controller?

edit: indeed, yes it was:


I forgot how amazing this controller was:


It had macros:


There is a switch on the keyboard interface card inside the ][+ that allows you to toggle between requiring CTRL be held down, or just pushing the reset key. I would assume that this was added later, and wasn't available on the earlier models.

This brought back memories of using my first computer, a Mac IIci my dad gave to me and my brother. We had the mouse set up in front of it in a way that it was way pretty easy to hit the reset and debugger buttons, which seemed to happen more often in the middle of a spited game for some reason...

Reminded me of how many times we'd accidentally kick the front of the nintendo on the floor and reset it.

Around 1994 or so One mac model (system 7) was notorious for having a power switch next to the floppy drive that looked like the eject button.

Those of us from a windows / unix back ground where for ever pushing the power button when we wanted to eject a floppy.

I admire your resourcefulness and dedication, but it hurts me that people are resorting to literally cutting and pasting hardware workarounds just to recreate what had been a standard part of computer keyboards for decades until some highly paid, well-meaning design team decided to screw with it completely unnecessarily.

Hey Apple laptop division, if you or your social-listening analysts are reading this: I hope the price inflation permitted by inclusion of the Touch Bar helped offset the lost lifetime value of the customers that it continues to repel.

They didn't do it unnecessarilly, Apple's whole thing has been always shipping something different for the sake of being different. Sometimes it works fine, and sometimes it flops hard.

See - gems like the iMac hockey puck mice. I still wonder - who thought that was a good idea..?

Well, your take on the infamous puck mouse perfectly summarizes my attitude toward the Touch Bar: who thought this was a good idea?

Different for the sake of being different is raison d'etre for strong brands.

My GF has a 2019 macbook pro and is using a silicon keyboard protector to avoid the touchbar as well.

I want to upgrade my macbook, but I've laughed so often at its 30$ fix for its 2000$ laptop that I just can't update to a macbook with touchbar with a straight face anymore.

I hate the Touch Bar as well, and I am very happy with my 2020 Air with a fixed keyboard and no Touch Bar. But can't you just remove the icons from the Touch Bar or set it to display the Fn keys?


The problem is that it is too easy to accidentally touch. Even if you set it to the Fn keys, a slightless faint of electrical conductivity between a side of your finger and the touchbar while you are pressing a number suffices for a key press. With a real key, you actually have to properly press the key. That might happen by accident, but is definetely harder.

Yes. It's the moments when you're carefully editing something really important... precisely pasting some line into a new location... you double and triple checked that everything is right.... and then BOOM your window is gone and replaced by some other app, or a control panel or... some weird thing happens and you're not sure what.

It's ridiculous.

You wouldn't have any pictures of that silicon keyboard fix, would you? Or even a short tutorial?

I use Karabiner Elements to map space+1 through space+0 to F1 through F10.

I believe macOS sets up ^[number] shortcuts to do exactly that as well?

I believe the default for Ctrl-1 is to go to the first space.

But what I meant is to hold down the spacebar, then hit 1, and to make that be the same as hitting the F1 key. Because with a touchbar, there is often no F1 key, or you have to look to find it.

The Karabiner Elements profile called SpaceFN has the spacebar do double duty: If you hold it down and then press another key, then it acts as a modifier (like shift and ctrl and cmd). If you just hit the spacebar itself then it acts as the normal space key.

Wow, is there no software setting to simply disable the touchbar inputs?

Yes, you can customize and remove all the buttons so it effectively does nothing. I only have volume control on mine. This thread is a little odd with the heavy-handed touchbar hate.

You're missing the point. People don't want "nothing" up there, they want the keys that belong there.

It's great that it doesn't bother you, but some of us use those keys.

It have an easy solution, though... I just won't buy one.

Yeah, I don't like the butterfly keys, but the touchbar seems neutral to me. I've never accidentally hit the touchbar while typing. And while it has always seemed a bit gimmicky, I do appreciate some of the controls (sound, brightness, etc.).

Honestly, this is a pretty regular occurrence and, in my opinion, just stems from people not even giving the Touch Bar a fair shake. As someone whose job is split between software/web development and media production/design, I'm incredibly happy with the Touch Bar. The only places I see people complaining about it is here on Hacker News and other developer-heavy sites where people just refuse to change their workflows even the slightest. I get that they don't want to and feel like they shouldn't have to but it's so ridiculous to me.

I would be upset if Apple removed the Touch Bar now. Sure, offer a Touch Bar-less option for these Luddites who won't even consider an alternative option but don't regress for their sake.

It’s not just that. Where’s the tactile escape key? I’ve had my 2019 for a couple of months and this is the most frustrating change over my glorious 2015 mbp

On the new MacBook Pros?

Thanks for sharing, knew there had to be something easier than hot-gluing stuff on the laptop!

That said, I would choose physical keys over a touch bar myself.

Can you get rid of the persistent `esc`? I haven't been able to figure out how.

So many homemade tweaks to fix glaring issues in expensive, premium products...

Remember the iPhone 4 where you had to hold your phone in a certain way so it wouldn't block the antenna? It's amazing that Apple can pump out products with issues like this year after year and still be a top dog.

You make it sound like Apple is the only one making hardware that has issues sometimes. They simply have to be better than the competition, and most of the time they seem to be.

Signal strength would be better if you hold it in a certain way and this was true for some other phones as well. I had an iPhone 4 and never paid attention to how I held it, and it always worked perfectly fine. Maybe it's because I used a bumper most of the time (like most people, at least here in Europe).

The return rate of the iPhone 4 was much lower than that of the 3GS [1], so apparently it did not affect many users in practice.

It's still bad design, but when I compare it to widespread issues I had with other tech devices relatively minor (e.g. spontaneously resetting Moto X 2013, self-destructing Moto 360 smartwatch back, etc., constant BlueTooth headphone drops on the Nokia 7 or 7.1).

The (by far) worst Apple design issue that affected me and people I know was the butterfly keyboard. It has left me sour for years and I considered to stop using Macs. I am very happy they have finally resolved that now. But many of the butterfly MacBooks were simply defective products. Only the later generations with seals hold up pretty well.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_4

+1 to TouchBar hate. It was a major factor in "upgrading" my personal machine to a 2020 Air, which is the best (least-worst?) of all worlds: Touch ID + F-keys. Luckily the size/performance tradeoff works for me; but anyone who needs the fastest Mac portable is boned.

My work machine is the new 16" MBP, and while the new keyboard is the best they've ever made, and the return of Esc is welcome, the goddamn TouchBar still drives me up a wall (especially when tweaking audio volume, which is something one wants to do instantly and reflexively).

The UX for volume and brightness on the touchbar isn't as intuitive as I'd expect from Apple, but you can press and slide to adjust them. Took me a few weeks to realize I didn't have to tap the volume or brightness button and then adjust using the up or down buttons.

Whoa. I've been on the 16" MBP for a few months now and didn't know that. This reduces my hatred of the touch bar by double digit percentages, for sure. Thank you!

Yes, that helps, but I still have to take a beat and look down, as opposed to muscle-memory and not even thinking about it.

It's easy to change this behaviour

Open the System Preferences app. Select the Keyboard option (third row, sixth item) On the first tab (also called Keyboard), locate the dropdown for "Touch Bar shows" and choose "Expanded Control Strip".

While I'd still prefer keys, this is quite helpful, thanks for sharing!

The touch bar forces you to look at what you're doing in a place that should strictly be muscle-memory, and it's a flat surface that isn't safe to touch in an area where you rest your hands.

More than once I've hit the "back" button and inadvertently evicted myself from a browser video call, just by putting my hands on the keyboard.

tl;dr - Glad they brought back the escape key, now get rid of the rest of the touch bar.

My wife bought a MacBook Air last year, and the row of function keys with Touch ID sensor at the end is perfect. I'm so jealous, and hope they add the option to get that keyboard layout on the next iteration of the MBP.

I'm using the F-keys to switch workspaces on the fly. I can't imagine going back. Pass on Mac.

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