I have an Apple Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad for my MacBook Pro that I keep in my upstairs bedroom at home. I leave it on all the time. When I’m at home, my MBP automatically connects to it, and disables the touchpad on my MBP. This would be useful if I was only using a bluetooth TouchPad and was using the MBP keyboard, as I could use the MBP keyboard without worrying about accidentally touching the TouchPad on the wrist rest on my MBP. With my external keyboard the disabling of the MBP TouchPad isn’t all that useful, but I still like it, except for one minor issue.

The issue is when I come home and decide to use my MBP on the dining room table, or the couch downstairs. Bluetooth works across that distance. When I did this I had to go upstairs and either grab my bluetooth keyboard and touchpad or turn them off. I wasn’t able to turn off bluetooth on my computer because I can’t use my MBP’s TouchPad to click the Bluetooth icon in the OS X Menu Bar, when the bluetooth TouchPad is enabled and the MBP’s TouchPad is disabled.

I no longer have this problem, since I found a way I can disable the bluetooth with my keyboard. All I have to do is install blueutil, which I can do with homebrew.

brew install blueutil   # install it
blueutil power 0        # turn bluetooth off

Once I turn bluetooth off, my MBP’s TouchPad becomes enabled, and I can start using it!


After I talk to someone I meet at a coffee shop or while traveling and help them with a small technical issue like getting photos transferred or getting on a wireless network, I’m sometimes asked for advice on becoming tech savvy. My advice for someone struggling with their PC who I won’t see again and won’t be able to help in the future is to get a mac. I point out that it really is totally different from a PC, and once they get a mac they should be able to figure out how to do a lot of stuff by themselves, instead of asking for help like they do now.

There is one thing, besides not wanting to pay extra money for a mac, that keeps people from empowering themselves by getting a windows-free computer that they can actually learn to use and maintain themselves — either they or someone they know has had hardware problems with a mac.

In my opinion, even if a mac breaks several times, it’s still worth it to get a mac (and an extended warranty) if you can’t figure out windows and need a computer for your career. I’m reminded of this by a comment by an editor on The Consumerist, an extremely popular and successful blog. He says that he’s had issues with three different macs and an iPod, but it’s still worth it to him to have a mac. Of course it is. He built a successful career with macs.