geek, cont.

Okay, so I’m back in OSX (Tiger, iBook G4 pre-USB trackpad). Still, I’m tinkering. No, no, Apple’s amazing OSX 10.4 is just not enough for me. I’ve got to f*ck with it. At least on this poor little laptop.

SideTrackSidetrack, the one utility I found indispensible (so much so I paid for it, and sent the author laudatory emails), has been dispensed with — for the time being. In its place, I’ve installed iScroll2, the eagerly-named rival to said utility, which also replaces the default trackpad driver with a tweak that enables scrolling and right-clicking (in a sense) from the trackpad. In a sense, because the right-click is achieved via the Button itself, cued by leaving two fingers resting on the trackpad when you click it. Differentiating the right-click like this is intriguing (i.e., using the Button, which I never, ever use).

iScroll2I actually had one of the newer PowerBooks, for a while… 29 days, to be exact. I returned it (gotta love Amazon), since my laptop serves as a writing machine, and I found the trackpad (touchpad, whatever) unusable. Like I said, I never, ever use the Button (I prefer to tap-click), and the tapping just wasn’t clicking with this guy, at least not with any predictable accuracy. Selecting text became a maddening exercise, and repeated emails to Apple and others produced “yeah, me too” comments, but no assurances it was being taken seriously.

But I did like the two-finger scrolling, though… Using the one damn finger (index) for everything is tedious, and feels like a setup to some sort of RSI. With the two-finger solution, different fingers (middle/ring) do the scrolling. So now, it would seem, I have the best of both worlds. Time will tell. It’s when I’m actually working that problems are laid bare (see “Ubuntu,” below). When all the geeking is said and done, all I really wanna do is capture ideas in writing with as little interference as possible from my tool. Yeah, that’s right. I said “my tool.”

sidetrackAnd it’s SideTrack, by a nose. A little more than that, actually… Spent some time working/playing, configuring iScroll2 to my liking, then put the iBook to sleep. Later, upon waking, functionality was gone… No scrolling. Tweaking, deactivating/activating didn’t help. Sent a note to the author, we’ll see, but there was a nagging problem with the “click button with two fingers on the pad” right-click solution: Trying to right-click links meant holding those two fingers VERY steady, to aim the cursor precisely. Rocking my hand down slightly to use my thumb to click usually moved the cursor enough to miss the target. Use two hands? I don’t think so. Uninstall, put in the new SideTrack, lovin’ it. Okay.