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Old Aug 23, 2004, 05:10 AM   #1
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New 12" PB: Trackpad problems

I recently bought myself a brand new 12" PB, I used to have an old (wallstreet) G3 powerbook and now I am VERY VERY happy
If only that damn trackpad would work better. I cannot get used to it, and despite obviuosly having a mouse, I still often like to use the trackpad.

The trackpad on my new PB feels very inacurate, I often overshoot, sometimes the mouse makes fast moves and sometimes too slow movements. I cannot work very precisely with it. It is not a general hardware defect (well, maybe it is) but it is more a dodgy, murky feeling, when working with it. On my old G3 PB I never felt this way, I was working with high precision and accuracy and whenever I go back to my old machine it feels much more comfortable when using the trackpad than on my new machine. On my new machine, my fingers start cramping after a while because the control of the trackpad is not good.

Does anybody have any comments? Anyone share these impressions, or is there afterall maybe something wrong with my trackpad?
Thanks for replies
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 06:27 AM   #2
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The guy at my local store said that he hated the powerbook track pads because they were rubbish.
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 08:19 AM   #3
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Sounds like a hardware problem to me. Or try the 'Keyboard & Mouse' settings.

I've had a WallStreet, Titanium and now a 12" PowerBook (1.33 GHz).

The WallStreet had a great trackpad, but after 2 years of intensive use the surface became shiny and worn and from then on performance deteriorated for me.
The Titanium's trackpad was OK, but not as good IMHO.
My 12" trackpad is as good as the WallStreet's (when it was new). Very precise. No overshooting, no positioning problems.

Mine is set to:
'Tracking Speed': Fast (all the way to the right)
'Double-Click Speed': Fast (again, all the way to the right)
Set to do 'Clicking', 'Dragging' and 'Drag Lock'
I have also set it to 'Ignore accidental trackpad input' as I found that I accidentally touch it very easily, as it is so close to the keyboard - a physical limitation due to the 12" PB's small size. But that checkbox works wonders!

With those settings my trackpad works absolutely fine. No issues. I don't even use my mouse anymore as I don't see the point.

Try my settings, make sure the trackpad is not wet or dirty and things should be more than perfect. If not, I suspect a hardware issue.
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 08:43 AM   #4
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I know how to fix that just temporarily. I think that is because the case is made of metal and because the trackpad is heat detected, when you rest your palm too close to the trackpad, it "double detects" and the mouse jumps around. If you warm up the whole trackpad by placing your palm over it, it will start working again. I use my pb sometimes in an really a/c cooled room and therefore the trackpad starts acting up. This advice may sound a bit wierd but it works for me.
Umax S600
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 09:38 AM   #5
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thanks for the input, but I have the 'Ignore accidental trackpad input' turned on as well and also the other settings just like you have (apart from the "clicking" which I turn off, but that shouldnt make a difference should it?), but it doesnt change the quality of the trackpad. The heat might be an issue, but then again, I dont have a/c where I work (hey, I am in europe) and it all seems to have same temperature.

How can I check wether there is a hardware problem or wether this is just the standard poor quality of the trackpad.

btw, I used my old wallstreet for three years very heavy use, every day, & there surely is a worn-out patch on the trackpad, but its still better than my new one.

any advice?
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 02:58 PM   #6
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Bring your PowerBook to the dealer where you bought it and compare the trackpad to a model on display. Or go to any dealer if you bought the PowerBook online. A side by side comparison should immediately show whether your trackpad works any worse than the others. If so, it needs replacement. It could easily be that there's a cable bent or broken inside that causes malfunctioning.
Your PowerBook is protected by warranty which any Apple dealer has to honor, even if you didn't buy the PowerBook there.

One last thought. You didn't by any chance install any third-party trackpad/mouse drivers? Worth de-installing them as some do interfere.
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 03:54 PM   #7
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I've got a 12"er ( ) and I love the trackpad, it's much nicer to use than my Vaio and I've never had any problems. If you've played around with the Trackpad settings and it still isn't right, I would definitely take it in to be looked at.

Otherwise you could go the opposite route and actually install third party software and see if they make your trackpad more usable. I use Sidetrack as it adds some nice functionality to my trackpad...maybe give it a go.
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