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When I hit F3 to go to expose (or fn + F9), it pops up for a fraction of a second then disappears again.

I have only had my iMac a week and have not installed anything beyond a couple of widgets and iWork.

I have to hold F3 down to view it - is that normal? I am sure it did not do this before.

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seems to be intermittent, meant to say that – adolf garlic Jan 12 '10 at 12:47
That's not normal, you should be able to hit the expose key (by which I mean the "all windows" option and have all the windows lined up ready to be chosen from. Have you tried switching it to a different Fn key? You can do so in the sys pref pane for Expose & Spaces. – Bryan Schuetz Jan 12 '10 at 13:33

You say it seems to be intermittent. This happens for me if I haven't used Exposé for a long time. Then when I pop it up, it's as though it's reading the hard drive pulling Exposé into RAM. In cases like that, I've noticed that OS X interprets short keyboard entries as long ones due to that extra delay in reading from swap. Thus, Exposé only pops up for a fraction of a second. (The same thing would happen if you held down the F3 key for a second or longer, then release.) On the second try, Exposé is fresh in RAM and comes up like it should. Is this what you're experiencing?

I could be totally wrong about what's happening, and this is just my interpretation. Sorry, I have no fix for this.

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Even more: holding down any Exposé button for 1 second or longer will already yield this effect. (So: are you really hitting the key just very shortly?) – Arjan Jan 12 '10 at 15:01
i'm on a quadcore imac with 4gb of ram, with not much running, so i'd be surprised...i am unable to spot a pattern as to why it occurs, it's very annoying though – adolf garlic Jan 13 '10 at 11:28
@adolf, just to emphasise it a bit: are you very sure you're not holding down the key too long? – Arjan Jan 22 '10 at 9:11
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Has not occured since reboot, and no, I wasn't holiding the key down too long.

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