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How does anybody use these things? - Phil's Rambling Rants
July 17th, 2008
10:19 pm

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How does anybody use these things?
So I'm working with the laptop I'm borrowing.  I've never really used a laptop before.  Particularly, I've never used one of touchpad mice for more than a couple of selections before.

God, it's horrible.  It's next to impossible to navigate a cascading menu.  I never really understood until now why those little USB mice are so popular.

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From:blur01
Date:July 18th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC)
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Yep. Laptop + port replicator at the office (actually I have one at home too). Both have USB mice. Its very hard to handle the mouse pad for any real length of time.
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From:alymid
Date:July 18th, 2008 10:18 am (UTC)
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I might be the only person on the planet - but i don't have a problem with mine at all - and even by choice used one on my desktop for a time. I much prefer them to the eraser mouse that most laptops come with. I think that they just take a bit of getting used to.
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From:sraun
Date:July 18th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
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I think it's a matter of what you're used to, and what you're willing to put effort in to. I can't see using a mouse on my home laptop - entirely too often it is the only thing on my lap!

I use the touchpad on my home laptop all the time (Dell Latitude) - it took a little getting used to, but it was no worse than the acclimation I went through for my trackballs. My wife has an IBM Thinkpad with the eraser mouse, and she adores it.
From:exapno
Date:July 18th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC)
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You're not - i have a split keyboard with touchpad built in to the wrist-rest that i LOVE.

That said, there definitely can be a learning curve. Also, the first time i used a touchpad i HATED it. Loathed deeply, couldn't understand why anyone would bother. Then ended up 'stuck' with one (long story), but it wasn't quite as bad as the first...
Then i found the preference settings. Adjusted the sensitivity/etc a bit, played, retweaked. Wow - big difference. The rest was getting used to it.
Those pencil-eraser style? Never did manage to make those tolerable.

**all of the above MY opinion/experience. YMMV, etc. Seriously tho - check for settings options & tweak to your style. May still not make it something you like, but could help take the edge off**
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From:alymid
Date:July 18th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
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Funny - I the one I used on my desktop was also on a split keyboard - in the wrist rest :)

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From:tollers
Date:July 18th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
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Nope, you're not the only one. The touchpad on my laptop is sensitive and accurate enough that I can do image retouching without having to resort to a mouse. I frequently find myself swearing at the mouse on my desktop machine (and there's nothing wrong with it other than not being a trackpad) because I'm so accustomed to "driving" with my thumbs. About the only thing I can't do w/ the trackpad is game accurately in games which require detailed movements going all over the screen... for that, it really is easier to push a rodent around!
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From:alymid
Date:July 18th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
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HEEE!! I used to use the same setup, split keyboard and turbo ball/trackball thing that has more buttons than god. And I'll admit I considered it a significant side benefit that no one would use my computer because of it.
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From:danebassett
Date:July 18th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
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such a friendly person you are....
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From:danebassett
Date:July 19th, 2008 10:30 am (UTC)
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Don't threaten me with a good time....

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From:blur01
Date:July 18th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
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I cant really game effectively without the mouse. Too many of the games that
I play these days are point and click intensive.
From:birder2
Date:July 18th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC)
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You were the one who wanted to borrow it! I don't use the thing enough for its difficulties to bother me much--though I do admit to cussing at it on the Utah trip.
or should I at this point think "Don't swear at machinery, it never does any good..."
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From:danebassett
Date:July 18th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
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I use my touchpad just fine...I have no problems with it as long as the tap is turned off. That is recent due to the fact I tend to drag my hand when typing now which means other wise the pad at the base of my thumb hits it and I find myself typing in random places...

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From:pir_anha
Date:July 18th, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC)

touchpads

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as somebody else already said -- find the settings and tweak; it gets better. it's never my favourite input device, but a well-tuned touchpad is IMO better than most mice. i use a wacom pen for image editing, and a trackball for most everything else, but when i travel or sit somewhere outside with the laptop, or read on the XO, the touchpad rules.
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From:sukaycirquegirl
Date:July 19th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
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I use the touchpad when I have to and have gotten fairly good at it. For lengthy work, I prefer to use a trackball, so I keep an extra one in my laptop case. The nice thing about the trackball is that you can keep it next to you even when the laptop is actually in your lap, since you don't need a mouse-pad.
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