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We created probably two dozen haptic feedback Trackpoint designs. So we added a steep “turbo charge” gain segment to the transfer function where you press hard to make the cursor goes super-fast. While my father knew that the tops were going into product, he never got to see it as he died that week. The force space made the cursor feel like it was on spring so you had to press a certain hardness to get it to the circle. Bill Buxton’s Notes The Trackpoint is a little device with a big story.

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Retrieved from ” https: The Trackpoint is a little device with a big story. We made a program to test finger force control. During later years, they faced a decline in popularity as most laptop-producing brands switched to touchpads, although as ofsome manufacturers like Lenovo still produce laptops tginkpad pointing sticks.

ThinkPad TrackPoint

The pointing stick can be used in ultra-compact netbooks [10] where there would be no place for a touchpad. The mouse buttons can be operated thinkapd or left-handed due to their placement below the keyboard along the centerline. It felt so much like two actions, a coarse motion and a fine motion, that I even looked to no avail for literature about different kinds of muscular control.

Button configurations vary depending on vendor and laptop model.

Fine motion was also a concern, and we went back to our 5 bit force resolution result and thought that if you don’t have much control at slow speeds then tremor would increase inaccuracy and maybe a constant speed would be easier to trac,point on a dime with….


I thought, now a knee has no big representation on the pre- central gyrus of the central sulcus for perception or on the post-central gyrus for motion like the hand does….

Another challenge with pointing stick design is identification of the zero position the position where no motion is desired. The first thing I do when I get a new laptop is make sure I have the latest Synaptics drivers. I went to PARC for a year… and did many fun things there with automatic graphic design to a narrow-waisted mouse that can be held like a pen….

The people in Austin, Lexington and Boca seemed disorganized around our innovation. He looked at me think;ad, let the moment stretch and then said, “Get two”. And, the dual-screen thing I thought was very useful. At that time a student at Stanford started trying to prototype it based on my ideas but it was time to go off to Atari.

So, it kind of had this personality, and the three colors were kind of playful — and it suggested the trzckpoint there was a color display. So we hummed and hawed and decided that the pain stopped you from pressing the cursor to go faster than you could control it. While typically employed on a computer keyboard, IBM included one on its Trwckpoint Mouse product; suggested uses included scrolling as with a scroll wheel or a dual-cursor system.

We did the really important piece; we built a human factors testing maze that ran on a discarded PC. Based on The New Hacker’s Dictionary. I was vocal and in the end I may have been the reason that the people causing friction for new technology in EST were disbanded the following year. Wow was this weird… we discovered you could only hold the finger in the circle with like 5 or so bits of resolution.


The PC division had us show the device to the people making a laptop; they couldn’t be convinced it was necessary or would be reliable. They had a code name for the project, “Castaway”, and that’s what they tried to do.

ThinkPad TrackPoint: Computers/Tablets & Networking | eBay

It was one of the scariest moments ever. This time we were told that it would go into the product.

We made an electormechanical design used by one special user. On certain Toshiba Libretto mini laptops, the pointing stick was located next to the display. Like other pointing devices such as micetouchpads or trackballsoperating system software translates manipulation of the device into movements of the pointer or cursor on the monitor.

We need to talk about the nipple mouse

But choice is good, I suppose. Still, the fact that I can use any kind of alternative input device and not feel compelled to immediately plug in an external mouse is pretty amazing to me. Toshiba thlnkpad concentric arcs.

A number of ergonomic studies to compare trackpoint and touchpad performance have been performed. Yamato assigned a Michio Suzuki full time to report to us the bugs he found with programs … and he found problems daily for months.