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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Mar 08, 2008
    Screen ripple effect

    For several weeks, I have been dealing with a particular issue that is hard to describe. When I put my mouse over the dock items, they jump slightly. Then, when I take my mouse over my screen, the background (or whatever is on my monitor) will also jump. I will move my mouse up and down and the screen jumps with it. As I am on the internet, the mouse will also create a ripple effect with words that are in the middle of the page.

    I thought that it could be the mouse, but when I login as another user, the problem does not appear. It seems like I must have some sort of goofy thing going on with my user account. Naturally, I have not adjusted settings to make anything begin to happen. This is one of those random twilight zone things.

    I upgraded my diskwarrior and backed up all my files with a new external hard drive just in case the worst happened...

    Any ideas or help with this? It's driving me crazy. I do web design and cannot draw lines or see anything without the ripple effect. I am the administrator for the computer and was thinking I would try to create another administrator and delete the old one. That prospect looks pretty complicated but I'm not sure if that would be a "fix" for this problem.

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Apr 28, 2006
    iMac Core Duo 20", iBook G4, iPhone 8GB :)
    Open Activity Monitor
    - Set your processes to arrange with highest CPU usage first (just click on the "CPU" tab)
    - Then continue to observe activity monitor while working on your mac. Whenever the ripple effect takes place, the corresponding app should have a spike in CPU.

    This has all come out of thin air so take this advice just as it is.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Mar 08, 2008
    Hi goobimama,

    Thanks for your reply. I have the activity monitor up and am not sure what I am looking at and what it all means. The ripple thing happens from when I first login and get my desktop. It knows no boundaries and happens in every application. The only significant difference is when I login as someone else and there is no ripple. Does it seem like a corrupted administrator profile?

    Any other thoughts or hints?


  4. #4

    Member Since
    Mar 30, 2004
    12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)
    Is it possible that you've just activated the zoom feature?

    You can turn this off from the Universal Access pane in System Preferences

  5. #5

    dadsgravy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 19, 2006
    Astoria, Or
    MacBook,2Ghz CD,1.5GBRAM,100GBHD,SL.PowerbookG4 12"1Ghz,768MbRAM,40GBHD,Leopard.imac G3 400Mhz,10.4
    If the problem does not appear while under another user, try removing your .plist files.

    Finder>Click the house icon on the side bar>click library>Preferences

    Drag and drop this folder on to your desk top and re-start your computer. Os x will re-create this folder on re-start.

    This will reset all your personal settings back to their default settings. So some icons in your dock might have a question mark, your back round will be reset, etc. etc.

    If the ripple is no longer there, then you know it's a .plist file.

    If the ripple is gone, you can move the old .plist files into the new preference folder one by one and see if it comes back, or use your noodle and go through the old plist files and move back some of the important ones like, or firefox.plist (this will put all of your bookmarks back).

    I think what you're looking for as the offending plist would be any thing that was, or screeneffect.plist or even system pref.plist.

    I had this same thing happen to me and after I moved the preference folder and re-started, it went away. I moved a couple of plist files back but just mainly re-set everything as I went a long over time.

    Anyway, good luck, and with it happening only under your user, it's a setting or a file gone wrong a little work and you'll have it fixed.

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