Hard On The Wind – Taming the Sentelic Trackpad

The Trackpad fitted to most of the MSI Wind U100s is from Sentelic and there are no dedicated drivers available within the kernel – it is in theory possible to take a driver available fro Sentelic, recompile the kernel with a patch to include it and compile a control panel to give control over the pad but this is beyond most users and would have to be done every time a kernel update was available which would be a nightmare.

The Sentelic trackpad however offers most of the facilities normally expected and needed such as:

  • Curson movement
  • Tap to ‘click’
  • Tap and hold to drag
  • Tap at top right corner to scroll up
  • Tap at bottom right corner to scroll down

The main problems are:

  • The trackpad is very sensitive and there is no way to turn off tap to click so it is easy to moving ones typing point when entering text.
  • There is no scrolling by movement down the right side as on the Synaptics Track pad because Synaptics have patented that feature, the taping of sensitive areas is however a good substitute.

The simplest way round random movements when entering text is to use an external mouse and toggling the touchpad off by Fn F3.

I have however tamed the touch pad by use of a simple utility called mouseemu which was initially written for use of single button mice on the Apple. Mouseemu enables one to:

  • Inhibit the tap to click for a period after keyboard input which gets rid of the worst problems of accidental clicks.
  • Have a very smooth and controlled scroll by holding down the left or right Alt key (or any chosen key) whilst moving a finger up and down the pad

Mouseemu can be installed by Sytem – Applications -> Synaptic Package Manager and Searching for Mouseemu

It needs a file to be configured to enable the two features by

sudo gedit /etc/default/mouseemu

Remove the # in front of the SCROLL and TYPING_BLOCK entries

Set the delay before the tap becomes active in TYPING_BLOCK – I use 1500 for a 1.5 second block

Change the SCROLL value to 100 instead of 56 if you want to use the AltGr key instead of Alt. I prefer Alt as it can be held by a left finger whilst scrolling with a right finger but some programs such as Firefox use Alt

I have now quite got to like the Sentelic touch pad when using the Wind on my lap but I always prefer to also have a mouse available when I have the space to use one.

2 Comments

  1. Nyssaclaluw

    Until I found this I thoguht I’d have to spend the day inside.

    Reply
  2. Jazlynn

    Gee wiielklrs, that’s such a great post!

    Reply

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