Instructables

Wenst PC to Mac and I need some help please! Dashboard problems, and I am not even sure what the dashboard is there for!

HELP! Ok I went mac, and I have some unknown "creature" that swipes across the screen and pushes me into the dashboard.  I don't know what it is, what triggers it to happen or how to make it stop. It's done it twice just now, as though  it doesn't want me to get an answer to this question and make it stop.  It also seems to make the screen almost unsteady like the windows are shifting to one side, and hitting escape makes them stabalize again.  Can someone please help me on this??? It's making me a little crazier than I already am.?

jrh0652 years ago
Your trackpad has multitouch enabled most likely. if you swipe two or three fingers acroos the trackpad it should allow you to get to the dashboard. Swipe the other way to go back.
jrh065 jrh0652 years ago
It's similar if you have an iMac along with one of the fancy new apple brand mouse. You should be able to change the setting in system preferences -> mous/trackpad

The dashboard basically holds widgets. Widgets are just little apps that you might want to have quick access to like clocks, calculators, calendars, and notepads for quick reminders and such. You can even add games and a myriad of other stuff to it by clicking the little plus button in the bottom corner(atleast, it used to be there).

Dashboard is useful if you take advantage. it can save a lot of time opening programs that don't do a whole lot. You just swipe over anytime you need it.

Another work flow tool that I really enjoy on my Mac is calle "hot corners". You should google about those and try them out.
barefootbohemian (author)  jrh0652 years ago
I do use the hot corners. Personally I don't find much use for the widgets that are there, and haven't looked to see if there are any that I would use. Think the ones that are there ( like weather) are ones I usually use my iPhone to look up. I know there are some programs that might be better placed there because I don't use them much, and I need to figure those out. Since we are all sharing that computer for now, the programs I use more are pushed to the back ANC I have to go through "finder" to access them when I get on there. It almost makes me wish we had stuck with all the windows based u it's we had, but only "almost". I just wanted to set it up so everything communicated better/easier than it did with 8 towers and 4 laptops that all were running various versions of windows. :((
"pushed to the back"

You can drag the applications folder onto the dock so that they all show up rather than just having the most recent ones. If I'm understanding that prolem correctly. You can also pin apps to the dock so that they are always there.
If you really want you can always use the desktop just like on windows and drag your apps out there.
barefootbohemian (author)  jrh0652 years ago
Going to try and make this quick so I don't loose it again, so hope you don't think its curt or rude. No way anything is touching the trackpad, my keyboard is on my ap and its up on the keyboard pullout shelf. I have tried pinning them to the dock, but my apps get knocked off when other apps are pinned by other ppl. I am looking through the online manual agani to see if i can find something. I almost wish I could disable the dashboard since I don't use the widgets found there (I use those ones on my phone not the computer).
Don't worry. I know you're not being rude!

You can try the following commands one at the time in terminal to disable dashboard. This is at your own risk, and I haven't tried it myself. Doesn't seem too risky though.

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES
killall Dock


I had no idea things could get bumped off the dock. I guess I've never had enough apps.

I always see the arrow when I'm intentionally swiping over to the dashboard. I guess it's just to indicate that I'm moving the screen. It seems your computer is under the impression that you are swiping on the trackpad even though you're not. You might try turning it off and see if that eliminates the problem. Atleast you'll know if it's hardware at that point.

Good luck, and sorry for pointing out silly things. I know it bugs me when people do that, but you unfortunately never know how much the other person knows.
barefootbohemian (author)  jrh0652 years ago
Why Watson I do believe you have solved the problem! Ok so it was sort of a joint effort, in that it required me waking up and realizing I WAS using the mouse when it happens. DUH! I had written this already, started to move the cursor to post the comment and BOOM! There is happened again. And I could have sworn that I wasn't anywhere near the mouse. I guess I never realized that I was just before it happened, because it had only been for a brief second and I had spent much more time with my fingers on the keyboard typing. My hands are shaky from MS, and I can see how that movement was interpreted by the computer as a “swipe” to take me to the dashboard.
So I must say that I feel a wee bit stupid (ok I admit its more than a wee bit). And don’t worry about pointing out the silly things, you don’t know until you ask, and I have definitely done the same, just to other doctors and they have done it to me when they didn’t know who I was or what my credentials were. I freely admit I not computer savvy, with the exception of writing code, and even that I am falling behind in. Thank you for spending your time replying to my idiocy and stubborn denial of this being user error, do apologize for that. but bigger thanks for helping me find the problem. Now I think I will see about changing the sensitivity settings or disabling the dashboard all together, and see how that works. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU ALL! Have a great day! ? ☺
barefootbohemian (author)  jrh0652 years ago
It does it while I'm typing. Right in the middle of typing. So don't think it's the trackpad. Another person here has had it happen and thought it was something to do with downloading that triggered it to happen, however I wasn't downloading and nothing had been downloaded lately. I have searched the online manual and really didn't find anything to explain it.
Odd, is your arm touching it all? sleeves or jewelry sometimes make my trackpad flip out. Could be dirty too.
thegeeke2 years ago
Hmm... from what you are posting, it almost sounds like you might have a virus. I'm not up-to-date on mac stuff... but it does sound very much like a virus.
barefootbohemian (author)  thegeeke2 years ago
I think your bias against Macs might be skewing your thinking. If this were a PC i would agree with the idea of a virus. But the significantly lower risk of a virus infecting my iMac is one of the reasons I switched from a house of windows based PC's to this. but thanks for the input anyways. Have a great day! ☺
The only reason macs are said to have less viruses than PCs is that there are less people using macs. Macs are not immune to viruses... just not as worth it to hackers to build the viruses. (Just look at the major virus Lion had a few months ago...)

I am not saying this because of my bias, but it honestly did sound like phishing if you didn't set up a password on your other problem. That coupled with the fact weird things are happening on your screen... sounds like a virus. Maybe not, but that was my quick suggestion. ;)
barefootbohemian (author)  thegeeke2 years ago
True there are probably less Mac users which would make it more of a hassle to build a virus for them unless there was an intended target. And nothing is immune to virus attacks or similar, but I feel a lot more secure about the protection on my Mac than on any of the several dozen windows based PC's that I have had. Part of why I was certain the problem wasn't from an outside source. Ns I will Dmit that this particular problem was user error, and the other may well be also. Since the other problem is on my mothers computer it's difficult to know exactly what he happened since the set up time until now, but this problem occurred during set up, so very doubtful it has anything to do with an outside source, especially not a virus since it had never been connected to the Internet. I did transfer some files from her PC which could have been infected, but scanning them showed nothing.
I used a Mac in college, yes one of the antiquated box type ones that took a massive disk that was literally floppy. After that I spent years, and mega $$$s on windows PCs that had one problem after another. Just the fact that the last 4 OS have been worthless and riddled with problems was enough for me to say adios windows and let over 12 PCs, laptop and towers, go out the door for free to whomever could use them. I wasn't going to take the chance of the new release OS being Nother windows millennium. Only one I even liked a little was XP Pro, and my programs were no longer compatible with them.
It is just going to take some time and some reading to figure these out as well as I knew windows, but I have no doubt it will be worth the time and effort. Thanks for sharing your thoughts tho
You are absolutely correct... For now. At the moment macs are more secure than PCs, however, the actual base code is actually far less secure than a PCs. Also, you have to consider that Windows has had more experience fighting viruses than Apple. And if the computer was never hooked up to the Internet, then you probably will never have to worry about it.

I am not trying to convert you back to Windows, I was just calling it as I saw it at the time.

Also, a word of advice:
Don't forget how to use Windows. If you ever get a job where you need to use a computer, more than likely it will be Windows. I know people who after a few months of using a Mac, and bragging about how they will never use a PC again, came crawling back to me asking me to teach them the basics of Windows again so they could get a job. Not a good spot to be in! ;)
barefootbohemian (author)  thegeeke2 years ago
Well as far as computer vius's go, they are and will always be constantly evolving. It's pretty mich a never ending thing unless there is some global grid collapse in which case the fact I can use a slider rule might come in handy ;). And as far as needing to relearn a PC for employment sake, that's not a worry. Not too many people willing to hire a crip PhD or not (and luckily not in a computer related field). But that's just me. Nothing against computers and techies, because I really respect what they can do and I'm glad some people can relate to a computer like I can a human body and psyche. I am just not one of those people. iMacs seem to just be a better fit for me.
Ahh... I understand. If you have a PhD, then I sincerely doubt that using a windows computer would be the make or break in an interview. One of my passions has been helping people get back on their feet and get a job after they make big mistakes in life (legal or otherwise). That speech I posted about needing Windows on the job is one I'm so used to giving those people, but it applies to anyone who has a bachelors degree or less. That's why I tend to use it a lot. ;)
canucksgirl2 years ago
I use a Mac, but I have no idea what the problem is (or what this "creature" is). However... can you take a screenshot when it happens and post the pic?

(To take a screenshot, press Command + Shift + 3)
If your volume is up, you'll hear a camera clicking sound and the image should go to your desktop.

Then reply to me and I'll do my best to help. ;)
barefootbohemian (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
It happens so fast that I don't have time to take a screen shot. Wish I could, then I might could see what that box flying past even says. :(
It just did it again while I was typing a reply to jrh065, and of course it was about when I was finished. but i was able to see that it is a black box with a white arrow pointing to the left. Does that help any?
Sorry for not replying sooner (I had to step out)... I'm still not sure what's going on, and without seeing it, its difficult to pinpoint the issue; but you have some options. If I were you, I would post this question with as much info as you can to the Apple Forums. They have way more people online that use Mac's, so there's a better chance you'll get help sooner. Plus, I've been up all night (working), so I'm probably not going to figure this out anytime soon. :-\
barefootbohemian (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
Oh you need some sleep! I worked nights for years, and I know how hard it is to find a good sleep schedule that allows you some time to get things done in the day. I think between you and jrh065 the problem is at least solved in theory. It falled into that 70% rule, wherein one must be at least 30% as smart as the object they are operating in order for it to work right. Thank you though!
Glad to hear the problem was solved. We're all here to help, so don't hesitate in asking if you need help again. ;)
A-Nony-Mus2 years ago
Have you tried looking in spaces? System prefs > spaces (in leopard and snow leopard) System prefs > mission control (in lion). Chances are that there could be a key combination that you keep hitting by accident when you type that keeps throwing you to the dock. Also try looking under keyboard (System prefs > keyboard) to see if there is a key combination there that is throwing you off.