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Teaching the Trackpad New Tricks? 110

Posted by Cliff
from the at-least-it-isn't-an-old-dog dept.
An anonymous reader asks: "I'm seriously considering buying a PowerBook. The design is gorgeous and OS X will give me a Unix-based operating system without having to sacrifice main-stream comercial applications. What's holding me back? The trackpad. I'm a fan of the ThinkPad-style joystick, but my Dell laptop came with touchpad drivers that provide useful features like the ability to scroll by sliding your finger along the edge of the pad. That was enough to make me switch to the touchpad on the Dell, but, I can't find anything similar for the PowerBook. I found references to Overdrive, but it appears to only work with USB devices. Are there any other drivers out there that add more functionality to the trackpad? If not, is that because no one has done it yet, or is it because the APIs do not exist to do such a thing? Thanks."
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Teaching the Trackpad New Tricks?

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  • mouse (Score:3, Informative)

    by liquidice5 (570814) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:02PM (#4027511) Homepage
    well, i dont know about the scrolling capabilities on the mac, but i say buy a mouse

    I know it isnt what you are looking for, but even the scrolling drivers that i have for my synaptics pad dont do that great of a job, and end up being more hassle than they are worth

    there are a lot of nice mice out there, including mini mice that do a nice job

    Kensington pocket pro [kensington.com] this mouse has a retracting cord, and it works perfectly
    • Re:mouse (Score:2, Informative)

      by BoBG (9969)
      I too have this mouse, and purchased it because of the retracting cable. I have noticed, however, that there is some issues with either the device or driver that interferes with dragging. I have a tendency to think it's the driver, but have not been able to confirm it.

      The problem is that when I hold the mouse button down, it occaisionally 'forgets', and behaves as though I just clicked again. This happens both in aqua and when I am in rootless X, and does not happen when I use my logitech mouse. =\

      I wish I could get it fixed.
      • My brother's five(?) button Kensington mouse (can't remember the model name) does the same thing!! It's very irritating to be dragging an icon and have it suddenly plop down, then act as though I'd double-clicked. Strangely, my plain-vanilla Kensington two-button optical scroll mouse has absolutely no issues. I guess the more exotic you get, the more problems...
        • Kensington mice have their microswitches in a somewhat silly place, which is what causes this phenomenon. You have to have you finger all the way over the front of the mouse, otherwise the switch doesn't get completely depressed. Move your hand forward (that is, away from you) on the mouse and you'll see an improvement.
  • by Apreche (239272) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:05PM (#4027547) Homepage Journal
    Whatever happened to the track ball? (or atari trak ball). I remember laptops used to have an actual ball built in you could spin around to move the cursors with a button on either side. This was beautiful it allowed perfect control without adding a lot of space or forcing me to carry a real mouse around with my laptop. The mid keyboard "foam nubs" and the touch pads I find horrible. I can't control the mouse cursor with great accuracy at all. If it isn't sensitive and accurate enough to play a round of quake then it isn't much of a mouse or mouse replacement. Anyone know a modern laptop that still has the ball?
    • by pudge (3605)
      Integrated track balls were great, but were the source of too many hardware problems. They constantly needed cleaning and the mechanisms were fairly fragile.
      • Although I can only argue from my own experiences, my integrated trackball was wonderful, hardly got dirty, and NEVER broke. In fact, I used it so much that the click-button snapped right off, yet the track ball components never failed.

        Maybe Apple just made a better one than the competitors.
    • The last laptop I had with a trackball (I use an optical trackball on my desktop now) was in an AT&T Globalyst 250P. It still runs all my DOS games perfectly.
    • by maol (177620)
      Panasonic still makes a laptop with trackball, the Panasonic A3 [dynamism.com].
      I quote: "The Pansonic A3 has been introduced to replace the Panasonic B5. Its appeal is to people who have always remained partial to a trackball pointing device. (To that end, a set of five different colored trackballs is included with the package.) Although there is nothing wildly exciting about the A3, it is a product of Panasonic Japan. And like all notebooks from Panasonic Japan, quality is impeccable."
    • I think it's worth noting that the quality of the trackpads on the iBooks and Powerbooks are much better than the quality of the typical Wintel notebook... In my experience, the typical Wintel touchpad is overly touchy and choppy.

      The reason that trackballs stop being included in laptops is because they were more of a mechanical liability. They were magnets for dust, dirt, hair, etc. -- just like the ball on a mouse. Trackpads, by comparison, are a much lower liability.
    • I don't mean to be down, but the track pad on most modern apple (and even wintel)portables are far superior to any of the trackballs I have ever used. I've been playing around with a PB 150 (possibly one of the worst mac computers), which has a trackball. The computer is almost not usable because of it. Also, a track ball in a laptop is a very bulky, space consuming item. If they make it too small, you have pathetic control, if they make it nice and big, the laptop has to be huge (certainly not the trend currently).
    • First, since they tended to be mechanical rather than optical devices, the wheels in trackballs tended to get constantly gummed up.

      Second, it added an inch to the thickness of the machine. A PB1xx trackball, when placed beside a TiBook, is taller, I believe. At best, it's about the same height.

      Recall that a trackball requires at least a little space below the ball. It also requires that the case be completely inflexible with a pretty sizable clearance above the ball to prevent the trackball from shattering the LCD panel. Either that or go back to huge borders around the LCD, your choice....

      Long story short, the trackpad is a big part of why modern laptops can be half as thick and weigh a quarter as much as their trackballed predecessors. :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:25PM (#4027766)
    Uh... I don't know about the laptops ( I suppose I should ask some co-workers ), but I thought I'd throw this out there before too many comments went by :

    I have an Adesso "TruForm" keyboard with a built-in trackpad, under OS X, and it has the feature you describe. I threw me off at first, I was a little miffed that I couldn't use the full area of the pad for movement, but now I'm with you- being able to scroll via the right hand side of the trackpad is a great feature!

    Note that "It Just Works". There are/were no drivers to install, nothing, just plugged in the USB keyboard and trackpad away...
    • That it 'just works' would suggest either of the following:

      - mac os x automatically downloads the relevant drivers as it 'recognizes' the device

      - said functions are already part of the os (eg. plug in a two-button mouse and it 'just works' w/o needing to dl. anything (the mouse-wheel scroll function is a bit questionable though)

      in any event, either option is very promising in terms of realising this 'properly'

      .
      • That would be B. The side scroll feature on the trackpad works because the hardware remaps it into scroll wheel messages.

        There's a group of devices called USB human interface devices (referred to as HID devices for short) that includes mice, keyboards, etc. Any USB device that acts like a keyboard or a pointing device should fall into that category.

        USB HID devices have a set standard for communication that includes things like multiple buttons, scroll wheels, etc. Since the requirements for a driver for such devices are clearly spelled out, any keyboard or mouse or similar should "just work" out-of-the-box, OS bugs or device firmware bugs (or both) notwithstanding.
        • To follow up on my own post, when I described those things as HID devices, I should probably have noted that the internal keyboard and mouse on PowerBooks aren't USB, and thus are not HID devices. The trackpad and keyboard are pseudo-ADB devices controlled by the PMU chip (the same one that handles sleep/wakeup).

          I'm about 99% sure that there's no way to add this support at the driver level. I don't know about the electrical interfaces and whether there's enough information at the PMU level to add such support by changing the PMU firmware or if you'd actually have to change the firmware of the trackpad itself (assuming that it has firmware to update... I have no idea).

          To make a long story short, though, it's very unlikely that this is something that could be done by anyone other than an Apple engineer (and possibly not without hardware changes). It would certainly not be as simple as creating a new driver.
  • I've got a G3 (Pismo), and find that the track pad is ok for general use. However, If I'm going to be doing a lot of word processing, spread sheet work, etc. I'll hook up. my Logitech Marble Mouse (Part Number 904360-0403) as I prefer a trackball to the track pad, or to a mouse for that matter.

    The nice thing about OS X is that it supports two button mice/trackballs natively, so the second button will function ! right out of the box. I have a G4 Sawtooth at home. I'm using a Kensington Turbo Mouse PRO with it. The software that Kensington makes for it gives it functionality I find quite helpful when dealing with large projects using productivity software. The only reason that I've gone with the Logitech Marble Mouse for my Pismo is that the Turbo Mouse is just two bulky for convenience when transporting a laptop.

    To conclude: I prefer a trackball over all other similar input devices. I find that I've no preference when it comes to mice, and track pads.

    Your kilometerage may vary.
  • While we're at it... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shunnicutt (561059)
    I almost never use the button on my track pad. I either tap the track pad to click or I'm using an external mouse.

    What I'd like to see is a way to map the track pad button to a right-click so I don't have to use a finger to hold the control key down when I'm not using my external (two-button, natch) mouse.
    • Well, i want it the other way, but I want it too. Either that or having the left side of the pad be left mouse button and the right side of the pad be right mouse button
  • Some advice... (Score:4, Informative)

    by BitGeek (19506) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:23PM (#4028383) Homepage

    I may be wrong but the "scroll area" on the side of the dell is a hardware feature, rather than just software. As such, I doubt it will make it to the powerbook, as it breaks the metaphor, and apple does not like to break metaphors.

    However, I do suggest you rent a powerbook for a month. Should cost you a hundred dollars or so. This is a good investment because if you spend $2,000 on your next computer you don't want to get the wrong one (where wrong may be the powerbook or may be another dell.)

    I think you'll find after a period of adjustment that the advantages in usability (much of which is from not breaking the metaphor) and other nice things about OS X will far outweight the lack of the "scroll touch pad".

    For what its worth, I use an external 3 button mouse (Even though it breaks the metaphor-- I like it for games that don't have the metaphor to be broken) and the scroll wheel works fine.

    In Jaguar there's even a new UI for setting the sensitivity of the scroll wheel. Apple totally supports three button and complex mice, but won't ship them for good reasons.

    If there isn't a hardware component to the scroll-trackpad, then you could, theoretically, write a kernel extention to add this functionality.

    I think,though, you'll find other things compensate for lack of this feature while mobile. (While not mobile, an external trackpad or trackball can be plugged in.)

    • In Jaguar there's even a new UI for setting the sensitivity of the scroll wheel. Apple totally supports three button and complex mice, but won't ship them for good reasons.

      OK, I'll bite. What are the reasons?

      -margaret
      • Completely new users to computers are less confused by one button mice than by two button mice, for one.

        I also read somewhere (sorry, don't recall where) that two button mice are subjectively faster, but objectively slower.

        dalamcd

        • Re:Some advice... (Score:2, Insightful)

          by walt-sjc (145127)
          ... So if you want a Mac laptop, you are fucked. You are FORCED by apple's opinion that everyone is a fucking idiot. As the owner of a titanium G4 mac, and a couple g4 desktop's, I'm offended. Of course I was forced to buy new mice, but the built-in trackpad on the laptop is not replaceable.

          I can probably find a study that says that alphabetically organized keyboards are faster too, but it doesn't make it true for people who know how to use qwerty. The fact is that a person experienced in multi-button use is going to be more efficient using one compared to a single button mouse.

          Thinking of the simple "cut and paste" in X-windows, I don't see how the heck a "mouse highlight" command-c two-step three-key/button operation on the mac is faster than X's one-step operation.

          Back in the days of the original PC keyboard layout, I explained to a one-armed co-worker that you needed to do a ctrl-alt-delete to reboot - A task that required him to use a pencil in his mouth for the final button. He was not pleased. Four letter words were heard throughout the office whenever the PC locked up. He would NOT enjoy using a system with a single mouse button.

          My Sony vaio had a touchpad with the scrolling feature, and that would be nice to have on my g4 mac. If only apple didn't know more about what I want / need than I myself do, things would be better.
          • Stupid moderators don't know the meaning of "troll".

            How is being a mac user (as well as linux and windows) but hating some of the moronic decisions (one button mouse) apple makes being a troll? Considering that almost EVERY SINGLE third party mouse for the mac has more than one button, and EVERY die-hard mac fan I know has a multi-button mouse, my opinions are NOT the minority.

            Maybe if I replaced "apple" with "microsoft" my post would be labeled "insightful"?

            • Hmm. Let's try it:

              ... So if you want a Mac laptop, you are fucked. You are FORCED by microsoft's opinion that everyone is a fucking idiot. As the owner of a titanium G4 mac, and a couple g4 desktop's, I'm offended. Of course I was forced to buy new mice, but the built-in trackpad on the laptop is not replaceable.

              Nah, that would just be confusing.
          • > You are FORCED by apple's opinion that
            > everyone is a fucking idiot.

            Nope. It's NOT the result of some random and arbitrary opinion of some miscelaneous yahoo at Apple. It's the result of Jef Raskin's research [vwh.net] on human interfaces when he was at Xerox PARC.

            You about know Xerox PARC, Right? The place that invented the GUI, and inspired Apple, in the first place. And Raskin's research there showed that even the PARC researchers routinely had difficulty with the original three-button mouse. They regularly made mouse-button errors, causing Raskin to actually do the research, and develop a superior alternative. And remember, we're not talking about "joe blow at CompUSA" here. PARC was filled with computer scientists and PhDs. And even THEY routinely had those mouse button errors.

            From the article I linked:

            I was the 31st employee at Apple (joining in January, 1978), but I had first met Jobs and Wozniak in their garage in 1976, and told them of the wonderful work being done at PARC. Working on the Apple I at the time, they weren't interested in human factors. While I was the first PARC-savvy person at Apple, Larry Tesler was the first PARC employee to join the company. At first he was strongly opposed to the Mac's easier-to-use mouse methods, and I eventually wrote a memo that showed, point by point, that the one-button mouse could do everything that PARCs three-button mouse could do and with the same number or fewer user actions. It was faster and more efficient, and much easier to learn and remember how to use. I had observed that people (including myself) at PARC often made wrong-button errors in using the mouse, which was part of my impetus for doing better.

            Apple is not ALL smoke and mirrors, contrary to what the MS drones would have you believe. They're one of the VERY few computer companies out there that actually bothers to do human interface research. Try reading the "Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines" sometime. They're the result of a LOT of research in human factors; rathar than some random programmer deciding on his own how he'd like the interface to work THIS time.

            cya,
            john


          • Back in the days of the original PC keyboard layout, I explained to a one-armed co-worker that you needed to do a ctrl-alt-delete to reboot - A task that required him to use a pencil in his mouth for the final button. He was not pleased. Four letter words were heard throughout the office whenever the PC locked up. He would NOT enjoy using a system with a single mouse button.


            Er, there's a perfectly good control and alt within one-handed reach of the delete key.
            • Er, there's a perfectly good control and alt within one-handed reach of the delete key.

              There is now, yes. But twenty-or-so years ago, there wasn't. I forget the exact details, but one or the other of CTRL and ALT was only on the left-hand side of the keyboard, while DEL was only on the right. IBM probably picked CTRL-ALT-DEL because, with that layout, it was very hard to press that combination accidentally. Bear in mind that in those days, CTRL-ALT-DEL didn't bring up a dialogue box asking which program you wanted to kill. It rebooted straightaway, no questions asked, so pressing it accidentally wasn't something you could recover from.

          • Back in the days of the original PC keyboard layout, I explained to a one-armed co-worker that you needed to do a ctrl-alt-delete to reboot - A task that required him to use a pencil in his mouth for the final button. He was not pleased. Four letter words were heard throughout the office whenever the PC locked up. He would NOT enjoy using a system with a single mouse button.

            So tell him to turn on Easy Access, or whatever Apple's "disability-assisting" software thingie is. In your friend's case, he can just presses the Control key once, and it stays "held" so he can use the mouse to send right-click signals to the computer.

            Geez, bitching because someone wants to make things easy and consistent for newbies. How original. I imagine you go to auto dealerships and grouse that you can't put the accelerator on the left because you drive better that way, eh?

        • Even experienced computer users can be confused by multi-button mice. I can't tell you the number of times I've been using Windows, when all of a sudden I hit the wrong mouse button and the damned mine blows up. :)
          • I think part of the problem with multi-button mice is that it is entirely too easy to hit the wrong one, not because of carelessness, but because they were built, not designed.

            Having two or three buttons on top of a mouse is nuts. Your finger slips, and you're pulling down a contextual menu. You move the wrong finger and... blam.

            Having one button on top and one on each side, however, works nicely. Since the thumb and pinkie finger are naturally dormant during mousing, your brain is much less likely to inadvertantly cause one of them to click when you meant to click with a normal clicking finger on top of the mouse.

            It's all about design, design, design.
    • I like your idea, but where can you rent a Powerbook? Or more accurately, what retailer will rent you a notebook short term, so that you might evaluate the hardware? The only way I've heard of doing something like this is to lease a PC, but in that situation, you're locked into at least a 12 month term.
  • Not gonna happen (Score:5, Informative)

    by MasterVidBoi (267096) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:36PM (#4028511)
    About a month ago I thought about writing a shareware product that would do things like that (scroll area on the side of the pad). After a lot of research, I've concluded that it can't be done...

    Unless a lot of secret Apple documentation suddenly falls into my lap... if you have such secret documentation, please don't hesitate to send it to me ;)

    A little background:
    The Trackpad on apple laptops (as well as the keyboard), are pseudo-ADB devices. Still. Even after ADB was supposted to be dead years ago.
    I say pseduo because Apple employees claim that the hardware really isn't ADB, but it acts like one as far as the OS is concerned (at the mouse/trackpad driver level. lower down, the situation may be different).

    Because of this, from the level of the ADB Mouse Driver, it looks and behaves exactly like those old Apple Extended mice (except for a few additions, such as tap-click, drag, etc). The standard ADB Extended Mouse Protocol, (as documeneted in the Apple Technote 'Space Aliens Ate My Mouse'), only reports relative movements of the pointer, as a normal mouse would.

    There is no mechanism for getting the absolute location of the users finger, rather than the relative movement. Without that, you can't remap part of the trackpad to be a scroll area.
    • Re:Not gonna happen (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      the last powerbook to have an ADB trackpad was the powerbook G3 firewire.

      everything since uses USB
      • my g4 ti reports the trackpad as an adb device (the keyboard too). Whether it is or it isn't, I don't know. But it is reported as an adb device
    • What about some combination of keys and the trackpad?

      hold "fn" and move your finger. This would not require you to know the position on the pad, just the x,y movement (or y, for vertical only scrolling).
    • Unless a lot of secret Apple documentation suddenly falls into my lap... if you have such secret documentation, please don't hesitate to send it to me ;)

      I understand Joy [aaa-plus.com] can be a decent substitute sometimes.
    • There is no mechanism for getting the absolute location of the users finger, rather than the relative movement. Without that, you can't remap part of the trackpad to be a scroll area.
      Maybe, maybe not. I asked this same question on Macintouch some time ago, and got this response:
      Luke Pacholski is disappointed that the trackpad on the TiBook doesn't have any of the nifty software features that other notebooks have. This software is made by Synaptics, which manufactures almost every OEM trackpad out there. (My Pismo has a Synaptics touchpad - took it apart a few weeks ago and the IC on the trackpad had the Synaptics logo on it.) Anyhow, Synaptics has made most of the APIs for the touchpad public, and there are Linux drivers available - so all it needs is someone willing to write a driver for OS X or 9, and Mac users would probably have the same functionality.
      [from http://www.macintouch.com/pbg4reader10.html [macintouch.com]] Now, I'm not terribly familiar with this stuff, but the possibility *seems* to exist. Anyone?
  • Get the drivers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SIGFPE (97527) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @06:01PM (#4028716) Homepage
    (I think the MacOS X trackpad drivers are open source in Darwin).

    Have a look at the code the reads x and y values from the trackpad. If they values sent from the trackpad are absolute x,y locations then it's trivial to patch the code. If they're relative you may still be able to set the trackpad into absolute mode. (I wrote code to do this for the Versapad under FreeBSD after obtaining details on setting it to absolute mode from the manufacturers - but the Versapad may have been unusual to support absolute mode).

  • Create a holdable pen that can make the trackpad think it's my finger and I can use it in Inkwell next month...

    What, you think I'm going to tote my iBook *AND* a graphire? Nope.

    I won't even ask for credit for the idea - no way this is an original thought.
    • does a palmpilot type stylus --not work? I'm curious -I'm going to check now.

      Hey it doesn't --- Why is that?
      • does a palmpilot type stylus --not work? I'm curious -I'm going to check now. Hey it doesn't --- Why is that?

        I believe it's because the trackpad works by electrical conductivity. When you touch the pad, you reduce the resistance of the pad in that area because your finger conducts electricity slightly, and the pad uses that to work out where your finger is.

        Annoyingly, something metal doesn't work either, presumably because the pad ignores partiularly low resistances on purpose.

  • Use the Command key (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Decimal Dave (411182) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @09:05PM (#4029836)
    A good substitute for the simulated scroll wheel feature is to hold the Command key and then drag with the mouse/trackpad. In some applications this will allow the cursor to "grab" the page to scroll both vertically and horizontally. I use it quite a bit in IE and the Finder (under OS 9, haven't tried it with OS X). Unfortunately, many applications don't work like this.
  • I've recently went from using mostly Linux and some winbloze to using OS X on an older G3 Powerbook. I had it for about a month. I've since went on to a different job and no longer have that machine. I'm also suffering withdrawls. Anyway, for the most part, I found the single button, non scrolling track pad thing very useful. If I ever found myself in true need of more mousing capability I just simply plugged my MS trackball into the USB and got what I needed. The more I used it the less I needed the external mouse. At first the UI seemed kind of lacking and odd but that went away after about two days. It's not just a mouse thing, it's getting used to the entire UI. apple-click gives you all the right button stuff and fortunately there's not much of it. The UI makes sure that everything is always in the same place for all software. It takes some getting used to but it's a very short and intuitive learning curve and once I found myself forceably without it I found just how much sense it made. Man do I miss that Mac. Guess it's time to lie in wait outside an apple store for the slow, fat and unwary shoppers ;-) Oh, and as for scrolling, it's already there, kind of. All windows have an up/down button combo in the lower right corner. As for a web browser the arrow keys work well too. And when you're on an external mouse the scroll wheel and right buttons work as one would expect. Get on OS X man, you won't be disapointed. Don't worry too much about the mouse, it's really not much of an issue.
  • Not what you are directly asking for, but:
    The arrow keys on the powerbook are on the lower-right corner of the screen, and pgup/pgdn are the fn modified versions of them.

    Because IE supports scrolling the view by just holding down the arrow key, and it's so darned easy to use fn+up/down arrow to page up/down in other applications (or IE for fast 'scrolling') I think you may find that you can live without that mini mini scroll area.
  • I would really like to see Apple or anyone implement this. Until then here is what I do: use the up and down arrow keys. The arrow keys aren't very far from the trackpad so it will just require some re-education of your hands. Which just goes to show how hard it is to switch from one platform to another.

    I'll take this moment to rant a bit on Apple's lack of attention to keyboard navigation. At first I thought the problem was my newness with the platform but after six months I still find myself relying too heavily on the mouse. Anyone know how to cycle amoung open windows from the keyboard?

    • Anyone know how to cycle amoung open windows from the keyboard?

      In both OS9 and X, you can just hit apple(command)-tab. similar to the windows alt-tab, except that OS9 will switch as soon as you hit tab, and X will wait until you release the apple key.

      Interesting thing is that it seems that Apple ~ (actually, it's really the ` key) is becoming the standard for switching between windows within a an application.

  • The trackpad on older Apples could be put into absolute mode by third party utilities, but as one reader commented, just get the Darwin source and have a look at what gives.

    I use a $9.95 (on sale) handheld (well finger held) trackball from CompUSA The "trigger" is button one and buttons two and three are on top, the trackball being manipulated with your thumb. With practice you can type while still maintaining a grip on the thing, but I usually only do short sequences that way, puting it down when large amounts of typing are to be done (finger RTS otherwise?). It shares the bag with my Auto/airline lind power supply nicely. It is quite convienient. Overdrive and it should give you what you want.

    Thank the USB organizations definition of the HID devices protocol for giving you the seeming mirical of "it works right out of the box without any drivers" as the default drivers often work "good enough". I am typing away on an unsupported Logitech wireless keyboard (and using a wireless trackball) through my USB KVM switch and it all "just works". Standards good. Beer bad.
  • and it cured my carpel tunnel! It's very light and fits well in my computer bag. It doesn't seem to use too much juice and is hot swapable. You can sit back and use it anywhere.
  • Both the TrackPoint and the various track pads have their own microprocessors and firmware. That's so that they can present the OS with a standard mouse-like interface. Otherwise, there would be constant hassles with drivers.

    Some pointing devices can be switched into other modes ("absolute", "pressure", etc.) with non-standard protocols. I somehow doubt this can be done for the Mac, though.

    Too bad that Macintosh comes with only one pointing device and a single button. Most people I know would much prefer something else, as well as a three-button mouse. With a desktop, it doesn't matter since people just plug in whatever keyboard and mouse they like (I can't remember the last time I actually have seen anybody use an Apple mouse), but with a laptop, there is no choice.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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