RT Cunningham


I’m not a Laptop Touchpad or Trackpad Commando

computer keyboard - touchpad I’m sure you’ve had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong. Right? Well, I’m not going to talk about all the things that went wrong for me today. I’m only going to talk about the mouse I tried to fix and ultimately threw on the floor and stomped on. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have a spare mouse to replace it with. Until I can get to a store that sells them, I have to deal with the touchpad (or trackpad or whatever people call these things). Never mind that I don’t know how to use one properly.

A Mouse That Clicks

I though it might be dust under the left mouse button or something because the scroll wheel and the right mouse button both worked fine. Earlier in the day, I had to click it a couple of times for it to register as a click. About two hours ago, clicking it a hundred times did nothing.

I pulled out a small Philips-type screwdriver and removed the only screw holding the mouse together. I took the innards out and cleaned them. I put it back together and still nothing. After fooling with it another couple of minutes, I threw it on the floor in utter disgust. Then I stomped on it for good measure. Oh well, it was a cheap mouse anyway. One that served me well for over two years. Who can complain about that?

Learning to Use the Touchpad

Some things were simple. Like moving the cursor around the screen and clicking the left button. It wouldn’t scroll unless I put the pointer on the scroll bar at the far right of the screen, unlike touchpads I’d used before. Swiping up and down on the right edge did nothing.

After fumbling around and finding the settings for the touchpad under “Mouse” in the control panel (what brilliant Microsoft employee thought of that?), I quickly learned that some of the gestures were turned off. I also found out I could do a two-finger scroll gesture. What’s odd is that the two-finger scroll gesture is opposite from the right edge swipe gesture. Both gestures suck, by the way, just because.

The Ultimate Solution

I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I guess my neurons and synapses are misfiring or something. My wife uses a mouse with her laptop computer, just like do, because she hates the touchpad as much as I do. Maybe more.

I wrote most of the above before I decided to steal her mouse. She’s asleep now, but I’m sure she’ll take it back in the morning. I’ll just buy another cheap mouse after that, probably at Wal-Mart, which is only a couple of traffic lights away. If I wasn’t so sleepy, I’d go tonight (they’re open 24 hours).

As for the future, touchpads are something I’m only going to use in an emergency or something.

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By RT Cunningham
August 29, 2014