Alternatives to PowerBook's TrackPad?

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by Lyle, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #1
    I am hoping to "switch" soon and buy one of the new 15" PowerBooks that will be announced within the next few weeks (if I repeat it enough, it must come true, right?). But I already know that I don't like the feel of the TrackPad as a pointing device. It's not just the PowerBook, it's true for every notebook I've tried. I used to work on an IBM ThinkPad and really got spoiled to using the little "TrackPoint" (is that what it's called?) in the middle of the keyboard.

    Yes, I am already planning to buy a mouse to use for the times when I do have access to a sturdy, flat surface on which to use a traditional mouse. But I'm also wondering what my options are when I'm using the notebook as a true "laptop" computer, i.e. when using a mouse isn't an option. Does anyone here has recommendations about much smaller pointing devices that I could investigate? Perhaps something functionally along the lines of a trackball?

    Thanks in advance for any tips...
     
  2. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030

    mnkeybsness

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Location:
    Moneyapolis, Minnesota
    #2
    Re: Alternatives to PowerBook's TrackPad?

    you answered your own question.
     
  3. applemacdude macrumors 68040

    applemacdude

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
    #3
    Yeah a trackball...maybe you'll get used to the powerbook's trackpad.
     
  4. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #4
    ouch, i always hated those dots in the middle of the keyboard. always hurt my finger. but yeah, pick yourself up a trackball or a mouse, simple as that. of course they will be external, no replacing anything inside the powerbook.

    iJon
     
  5. losfp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #5
    I've used both the trackpad and trackpoint and to be honest, once you get used to either, it's not a problem. Definitely get a mouse for most times, and try out the trackpad for a while and see how you go. On the go, I'm willing to put up with a little discomfort for a while - maybe the trackpad won't seem so bad after you get used to it. IMHO.
     
  6. Alte22a macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    back in London
    #6
    Well since doing more work on the go I've go use to the 15" Pb trackpad. But it wasnt so painful. Just did alot of finger exercise :D But what sucks is that you are without the vital mouse but also without the right apple key which is sometimes a little annoying. One of my friends bought one the those new PB12" The keyboard and the trackpad is much improved.. I'm jealous!! Sorry to Babble on and absolutely being not help what so ever. Here is my tip get a pro mouse. Works on most surafces.

    Oh if you are about to get one of he newer PBs one would assume that they're gonna be blue tooth built in, so maybe get your self a wireless/optical blue tooth option.... that would be quite cool.
     
  7. cbseven macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    #7
    Has anyone considered/tried the Fingerworks products? They look interesting and innovative, but potentially useless!

    Fingerworks
     
  8. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030

    mnkeybsness

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Location:
    Moneyapolis, Minnesota
    #8
    "RIGHT apple key"? i don't think i've ever used the right command, control, or option keys on a keyboard. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Alte22a macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    back in London
    #9
    I use the right apple key quite alot for opening files and printing. Man if you use FCP its all break dance with your fingers, it has so many short cuts and they are all use full.
     
  10. Schiffi macrumors 6502a

    Schiffi

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Missouri
  11. FriarTuck macrumors 6502

    FriarTuck

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago area
    #11
    That looks like something out of the "Adam and Eve" catalogue.

    I imagine. Since we definitely don't get that kind of catalogue at my house. I must have seen it in my neighbor's mail when they went on vacation. Right. Anyway...
     
  12. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #12
    Oh yes, wasn't looking to do any surgery on the PB itself. Thanks for the reply.
     
  13. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #13
    Ah, interesting that you've used both the trackpad and the trackpoint. I will take your (and others') advice and give the trackpad a chance for awhile to see how it goes. Really, my experience with them is limited to briefly playing with the iBooks and PowerBooks at CompUSA. As you say, once I get used to it it may not be a problem.
     
  14. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #14
    Good grief! Thanks, but I was really looking for a solution in the "not costing hundreds of dollars" genre. ;)
     
  15. Lyle thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #15
    Thanks for the link (just bookmarked it for later). Yes, this is along the lines of what I was thinking about. Based on the advice of other posters I think I will at least give the TrackPad a chance and see if I can get used to it. If not, I will probably check this out -- thanks.
     
  16. losfp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #16
    For a while I liked the trackpoint quite a lot better! I have an IBM ThinkPad 600E (great machine btw!) which I've recently given to my dad, and each pointing device has its benefits and disadvantages. The trackpoint is IMHO a little more accurate and your fingers are closer to the keyboard for typing.. The trackpad is easier to move long distances, but can be prone to weirding out depending on what you've got on your fingers (the trackpoint can weird out sometimes too!). In the end, IMHO there's not much difference between the two as long as you get used to it. On my GF's Dell laptop (which has both pointing devices), I find I will use either one interchangably.

    One thing that I never thought I'd get used to is not having a second mouse button! However, if you're using the PB's keyboard, you very quickly learn to ctrl-click. A couple of essential mouse-related apps to look for are USB overdrive (to accelerate and customise your mac mousing experience) and uControl, which lets you remap keys etc. One nice thing it does is allow you to set a key as a scrolling key. hold that key down and your trackpad becomes the scrolling control thingie.
     

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