Mouse Keys

Do you ever have one of those days where your brain just seems to cramp up and you could swear your skull had a Charlie horse? Yeah today is one of those days for me. Normally I am pretty coherent and try not to do things that are too stupid.

My wife of course would argue that point and could probably come up with a list of the idiotic things I have done that would stretch for miles. Despite all of her irrefutable evidence, I still claim that I am not quite as dumb as I look. After today though I might need to rethink that theory.

I was working on my Mac today cleaning the 1,148 photos that I shot during my son’s soccer tournament this weekend. Somewhere in the midst of all the editing I was doing, my fingers got lazy and I hit a series of keystrokes.

At the time I was not aware of the exact keystrokes I hit and it went somewhat unnoticed for a while. Soon though I started noticing strange and unusual behavior from the Macintosh. Now given my life and my personality, strange and unusual is normal. This time though it was weird even for me.

My keyboard has been rock solid and working flawlessly ever since I bought it. Somehow today it developed a mind of its own. The numeric keypad, which had been working, was now not doing anything.

I quickly went into troubleshooting mode and began assessing the problem. I knew it had to be a hardware problem and I changed ports for the keyboard, which made no difference. I suspected maybe I had a corrupt file somewhere and began going through each file trying to figure out what could be wrong.

I rebooted the system thinking that would resolve the problem but the numeric keypad still failed to work properly. I sat in front of the screen muttering under my breath at the disruption I had and scratching my head as I tried to troubleshoot the problem.

After what seemed like an eternity of getting nowhere I somehow happened upon the Control Panel module for accessibility. There staring at me was the answer. Through a set of keystrokes I had inadvertently enabled Mouse Keys, which will turn your numeric keypad into a control pad for the mouse.

Pressing the Option Key five times enables Mouse Keys. I honestly have no recollection of doing that but somehow I did. So after a couple hours of troubleshooting and a large piece of humble pie my keyboard was back working the way it should and I learned a valuable lesson. Never assume you know the answer to a computer problem and always look for the simple solutions first.


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