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I am encouraged to see that I am not alone thinking the same way! I have been into computing for over three decades now and things have been seriously going downhill for the past 15, and I am now at the end of my string as far as patience with Microsoft and modern operating system paradigms and programming principles are concerned. I mean, come on, whose bright idea was it to make it more difficult for users to maintain their own computers? Copyright reasons and the power of greed? or the elitism of a class of people who are intent to keep the control they gained away from users for reasons of control and power, based on the very basic but mistaken concept that people are basically stupid? Frankly, I simply can't find any logic to this argument and the basic paradigms it promotes. And I say that from the perspective of someone who has been using computers since the days of punched card systems when getting something done meant using logic and the power of electricity as leverage to accomplish much more mental work than a single human could accomplish. So to me, the whole concept behind the registry is purely based on the politics of power and control and nothing else. Just look back 15 years ago and how clean and clear everything was under Windows 3.11, who itself was a pretty much half baked operating system because of the constraints of technology imposed by the DOS model and its original memory addressing specifications. If only they had kept its clear principles and expanded them to profit from the advances in technology (can you say "Instant ON", anyone?)! No, instead, architects and developers in their paranoia decided it was much better to install a supplementary layer of obfuscation and frustration to specifically prevent users from taking their responsibilities for their own actions and take charge of their own life. Here lies the root cause of the problem: the flawed concept that this is all done for the 'user's own good' (the modern buzzword is 'security'). Great idea, and so was fascism and communism. Funny how software design so well reflect the trends in society, wouldn't you think? Billions of people's rights trampled for reasons of 'security' on the pretext of the action of a few dozens causing a few thousand victims... That doesn't seem right, doesn't it? I thought so! Enough said! I'm going back to Windows 3.1... Maybe my old mother had it right all along... Using that old 486 for all her work, and the fancy new one just for emails and going online ;)
It may sound as blasphemy to some of you here that would only use Trackpoints like myself, but if there is any lesson to be gained from this, I will be happy. As I previously stated, at the time that this site did not require registration, when I posted under the name "Chris", back in November 2008, I came from a long time of Trackpoint use and hated the Touchpad literally for years before finally getting used to them (at least on my now three year old laptop). Back near the end of 2009, I was looking for a replacement for my laptop. It was getting long in the tooth so to speak, after all, typing away for hours on end every day doesn't help keeping it in great condition. Every thing was starting to rub away, the case developed some small cracks and I was getting ominous disk errors. So, for a replacement, I refused to consider any other laptops than those that had Trackpoint like devices and eventually settled on the HP 8730W, a top of the line at the time Workstation laptop. Guess what happened: in the time that it took me to investigate getting a new laptop and the time I actually got it (4 months later), without noticing it, I finally got used to that darn Touchpad!!! What happened? After extensive tweaking so it would respond in an acceptable manner to my natural gestural behaviour, use and habit finally got the best of my reservation and, after having forgotten my portable mouse once too many times, I finally got used to the Touchpad and can now pretty much use it for everything without having to concentrate on it at all! Talk about a complete reversal! And guess what happened when I got the HP: I found out it was easier to use the Touchpad than the Trackpoint, even after extensive tweaking! I do admit the Touchpad on the HP was a bear to adjust, because with a WUXGA screen, it is impossible to zoom from one side of the screen to another even with settings maxed out. It had to go into obscure windows acceleration algorithms to make it work in a decent manner (for more info, see this excellent Japanese site, translated here from Kanji to English, )... Another thing on the HP, you cannot set the Touchpad and Trackpoint speed and acceleration parameters independently... It may well be that the whole issue is due to the quality of software drivers, hardware and hardware revisions, especially when comparing vendors and revisions such as an old IBM and a newer HP, In any case I tried the Trackpoints on both my old Toshiba and my old Thinkpad and wouldn't you know... They felt just as clumsy... Bottom line? It boils down to how close you can get your device to work in the most natural way possible, and use and force of habit, just like one can become proficient in a foreign language simply by using it everyday! Have I come back to the Trackpoint after 6 months with the HP? Frankly, I haven't felt the need, and I don't even use a mouse anymore, even when making technical drawings! And the nice IBM nibs I bought to go with the HP Trackpoint? They've been sitting, unused, in their packaging ;) Moral of the story? In reality, what's best for anyone is dependent on two factors: how you feel about a device when you first use it and how comfortable you have become with it. Just like one prefers one's old worn shoes than the shiny new ones that looked so good in the store ;)
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2010 on Touchpad vs. Trackpoint at Coding Horror
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Oct 3, 2010