Touch pads, pointer, or mouse

Touch pads, pointer, or mouse for your laptop...

Which pointing device which do you use?

Which type of  device is your favorite?

Most laptops come with a built in pointing device (yes there are some that don't but that is not our concern they are fairly old) and most of them now are Touch pads (TP).

Your computer may have two of the three, a TP, a pointer (some people call them erasers - they look like a pencil eraser!) or a mini-joy stick (which it really is).

Touch pads - If your internal pointing device fails you can use an external device temporarly.As for a mouse they are an external device that you attach to a port on the exterior of the computer. The port may be a true mouse/keyboard (PS/2) port (more on this later) or USB.

The TP is a material that is conductive sensitive. By conductive sensitive I mean that your body is conductive, the pad is sensitive to the conduction your body creates. To be non-technical, when you touch the pad or move your finger across the pad the pointer on the screen moves. Magic.

The pointer or mini-joy stick in the keyboard also moves the pointer on the screen in the direction you push it. More Magic.

There is good news and bad news about these devices, good news is they seldom break or fail. Bad news is that if the mini-joy stick in the keyboard fails you have to replace the keyboard. If the TP fails sometimes it is only the TP that has to be replaced, but I have seen keyboards with the touchpad attached. So be prepared to buy a keyboard and if you only have to buy a TP you save some repair time and money.

To replace the mini-joy stick or TP you would use the keyboard page for disassembly instructions.

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Mouse, you can attach an external mouse to your computer if the touch pad or mini-joy stick is uncomfortable or you don't like the way it is setup. (I have two mice I carry with my laptop, wired and wireless. Wired for on an aircraft, wireless for any other place). Older laptops had a port that was called a PS/2 Port, had both keyboard and mouse connections, it was wired to accept either device, you can still find the little 'Y' cable that you plug into the keyboard/mouse port then plug in the keyboard to one connector and the mouse to the other, neat.

Newer computers use USB for the mouse so you will have to buy a USB mouse to connect an external mouse to your laptop.

Be aware that Wireless mice are NOT useable on an aircraft because they use a radio frequency that interferes with the Aircraft electronics.

(Note: in 2012 the FAA in the USA allowed the use of wireless devices on an aircraft, it has since disallowed the use of wireless devices on aircraft, they cause interference with the aircraft electronics! Duh...)

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