Charles Moore's Mailbag

Multiple Input Bug in OS X 10.5.8, Where to Buy a Cheap USB 2 CardBus Card, and More

Charles Moore - 2009.16.09 - Tip Jar

Multiple Input Device Bug in Mac OS X 10.5.8

From Ken in response to OS X 10.5.8 Update Provides Incentive to Get 10.6:

Hello Mr. Moore,

Thanks for your article describing how the multiple input device bug in Mac OS X 10.5.8 affects your Mac usage. In case you haven't already heard, the same problem is also present in Mac OS X 10.6.

This particular problem also affects users of software that I have written - software that allows users to create virtual mice for various purposes. I have filed reports with Apple to make them aware of the problem. Although I could explain the bug to Apple in technical terms, I did not have a user scenario that adequately demonstrates why it is important to have it fixed. Your article provides just such an example. I hope you don't mind, but I have appended an excerpt from your article to my original bug reports (and provided a link to your full article).

Hopefully your words will help accelerate a fix from Apple for both Leopard and Snow Leopard.


Hi Ken,

Well, that's profoundly depressing news, but thank you for the heads up. As I said in the article, I was already apprehensive that might be the case. The problems with multiple input device support in the early versions of OS X were persistent, and Apple didn't seem very interested in hurrying to fix them. For a while, my only workaround was to use a Wacom tablet mouse with the foot mouse, which for some reason circumvented the problem and allowed tandem input. I suppose it's possible I might have to revert to that, although I am sorely tempted to just downgrade to OS X 10.5.6 until the bug is eventually squashed.

Of course that's not a terribly attractive option, since I would like to be able to write about Snow Leopard non-vicariously.

I'm very pleased that you've brought this matter to Apple's attention, and I have no objection to you appending my comments to your report. Hopefully that might help a bit.

I'm not sure my words carry much weight with Apple, and this is a relatively esoteric issue, but it is one that is driving me batty in practice.


10.5.8 Mouse Issue Also Impacts Trackpad

From Paul:

Hi Charles,

Since installing the 10.5.8 upgrade, if I press the trackpad button and just use the mouse to do the drag, the drag randomly releases after a few seconds. This may related to the same bug. Can this behavior be replicated on your hardware.

Thanks for your response.


Hi Paul,

It certainly seems to be replicable. I just tried the method you describe on the Unibody MacBook using my Logitech V550 wireless mouse and the trackpad button, and the drag does randomly release just as I've experienced using my foot mouse, so this is not just an esoteric issue afflicting foot mouse users.

Unhappily, another reader has just informed me that this behavior also exists in OS X 10.6, so Snow Leopard is not going to be the answer until they get around to fixing this bug. Have you tried OS X 10.6.1 yet?


Cheap USB 2 CardBus on eBay

From Scott, following up on Cheap and Unobtrusive USB 2 CardBus Solution:

[The AKE BC168 card] is all over eBay. Most of the suppliers are in Hong Kong. I only found one in the US, and that's the one I ordered from. Sorry I can't remember his URL - if he even had one.

Scott Cook

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the information. Looks like just a search on eBay's search dialog or even a Google search for the name of the item would do the trick.


Yes, it's not difficult to find. There are a bunch of sellers on eBay, mostly in Hong Kong. The card is still working well. I'm using it now to send this message from my Pismo through a USB Bluetooth dongle, which my cell phone is tethered to. I'm at my mom's house in Maine, and my cell phone is the my only Internet connection here. I'm appreciating my cable connection in Dallas much more as I deal with the near dial-up speed of my cell phone. I guess you deal with that every day . . . I feel fer ya buddy! haha


Hi Scott,

I'm delighted to report that on Sept. 10, I finally got hooked up to a wireless broadband service. They just got the tower operational last week, and I'm one of the first customers in the area. It works extremely well so far.


Multicolor vs. White Apple Logo on PowerBooks

From Rick in response to Mac OS 9.x and Kanga:

Color logo on WallStreet PowerBook
White logo on WallStreet's outside, color inside.

Hello Charles,

You were mostly correct in your reply:

[Kanga] was also the only G3 PowerBook to sport the traditionally colored Apple logo; future PowerBooks would have a plain white logo.

That is true of the Lombards onward. The WallStreet models fudged a bit on the matter with the white logo on the outside while maintaining the traditional version on the screen bezel.


Hi Rick,

You are correct, of course. Must be brain fade that I forgot about staring at that multicolored Apple logo on the screen bezel of my Wall Street for half a dozen years.

Thanks for the correction.


Printer for Older PowerBook

From Nick:


Just got ahold of a 867 MHz G4 PowerBook for a double saw buck - needs a new hard drive.

Anyhow, can I use my old LaserWriters, like the 16/600, with it?

If not, then can you suggest a 'newer' type inkjet or laser printer that the G4 can handle, without a lot of Mickey Mouse?


Hi Nick,

I can't say with 100 percent certainty, but I think your should be able to use the LaserWriters with your PowerBook.


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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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