Sometimes it really does pay to RTFM

I bought an Apple magic trackpad yesterday, and I’ve been driving myself and some of my Apple Fanboy colleagues round the bend trying to work out why it wasn’t doing something very fundamental.

One of the key things that I need the trackpad to do is wake my MacBook Pro from sleep in closed clamshell mode when it’s plugged into an external monitor. All bluetooth input devices (keyboard, mouse, trackpad) can do this and I’ve had success running this at work with a magic mouse and external keyboard.

So why the hell won’t my trackpad do the job?
I went through the manual, @sharl and @chimerax chipped in with ideas and pointers for key steps I may have missed. 

We all missed the fundamental step. The literal fundamental step. The first step in the process. Apple did tell me.

Really, truly, RTFM


A colleague just told me this was stupid design. Actually it makes sense – the MBP needs to keep seeking Bluetooth while it’s asleep, that will cane the battery. So it’s a good thing. The manual could be clearer though. Apple has spent lots of time and money engineering amazing batteries which last for 9 hours plus, and yet they always ask me to plug into the mains to do things. I ignored this step because I’ve grown accustomed to “plug into the mains” being a meaningless box tick. I didn’t feel I had to. It’s a shame the manual doesn’t make this more urgent.

By Jon Hickman

Hi, I'm Jon. I teach and research digital culture, social media and new media practice at Birmingham City University. Find out more about me with this lovely CV: Find out about my work at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research: