Of Mice and Men

So the
Alps touchpad in my M1530 doesn’t act right in certain games if I have its
add-in driver running. Big deal, right? Well actually, yeah, because it also
affects Windows features for accessibility for disabled people. I’m
talking about Drag-Lock, which I’ve mentioned to you before.

 

Drag-Lock
is an absolute necessity for any one-handed person who’s interacting with a
graphical interface. In Windows, it is an option to have the left mouse button
"lock" if held down for a second. This allows the user to drag things
around the screen without holding the mouse button down. Unfortunately, the
first thing the Alps add-in driver does at start-up is to turn off Drag-Lock. I
must manually go into the Control Panel’s mouse applet to turn it back on. Not
acceptable, Rich.

 

What
makes this situation more important now is that, as you know, I’m beginning the
process of selecting my next primary laptop. At this moment, any candidate
laptop with an Alps touchpad would be immediately disqualified because of this
problem. something tells me that the M1730 could be the only laptop Dell still
makes with a Synaptic touchpad, and that model is simply too power-hungry. However,
the good news is that I don’t intend to complete a purchase until Windows 7 is
released, and the current industry buzz puts that around early September. 
The point of starting the selection process this far in advance is exactly to
identify and deal with potential show-stoppers. We know Dell is the opposite of
Apple in that it is changing its laptop line-up obsessively.  That works
to our advantage in that it creates almost a continuous opportunity to
influence a change for the better.

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