Being less touchy

My Dell laptop has been behaving better the past week. However, one thing which has constantly annoyed me, has been the fact that as I type, my hand sweeps against the trackpad, accidentally selecting a body of text, and then wiping it out with my next keystroke.
For most applications this can be easily remedied by clicking ‘undo’. However, for Lotus Notes (version 6.5 at least), it only has one level of ‘undo’. I do send a lot of emails using Lotus Notes. I’m sure many other enterprise users do, too.
Being a post-Grade 8 pianist who has played vigorous pieces like Dave Brubeck’s Blue Rondo, I type rather fast. Which means that I hit several keys within 1 or 2 seconds. Which means that the ‘undo’ button in Lotus Notes is almost useless, because I would have erased my previous paragraph several keystrokes before that.
Another distraction is the fact that as I’m typing on a web page that has many fields (such as this Movable Type powered blog), and the mouse cursor is hovering over another section of the page, any heavier pressure from the base of my palm on the trackpad, results in a shift from one field to another (where the cursor is). Or, if the mouse cursor is hovering above a blank portion of the page, the last several keys I’ve hit, don’t get registered anywhere.
All this happens because the trackpad cannot be deactivated – even if I plug in a mouse. I couldn’t find the command to disable the trackpad, so I Googled for help and found a few links. One site advised me to look for the company producing that trackpad component, and download the driver which would allow me to customise my trackpad settings. I was pointed back to the Dell Support website which had specific info on each laptop model.
For my laptop, the Dell Latitude D620, I learnt that the trackpad and stickpointer were manufactured by a company called Alps. Happily, the enhancement coming with the driver read as follows:

“Adds the feature where the touchpad/stick is disabled when a USB mouse is plugged in. This feature is disabled by default but can be enabled via a checkbox on the Devices tab in the Touchpad. When a USB mouse is plugged in a pop up message informs the user that a USB mouse has been detected and that the touchpad/stick has been disabled. A red ‘X’ appears over the touchpad icon in the systray when it is disabled.”

Brilliant. Just what I want. Updates to follow…
[Update: It works! Woo hoo. Now when my mouse is plugged in, the trackpad will be disabled. No more accidental erasures.]
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  1. M J

    Check here first:
    START -> Control Panel -> Printer and Other Hardware -> Mouse -> (Here you can enable/disable trackpad and pointing stick)

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