Magic Trackpad troubles

I have had a love-hate relationship with the mouse since the day I first used the PowerBook 100. It was my first Mac--and one that I won from Apple Computer. Before that, I had an Apple IIc and an Apple IIgs. Although I loved the mouse on the Apple IIgs, I was bothered by having to remove a hand from the keyboard every time I used the mouse.

The trackball on the PowerBook 100 was just so much more efficient! I moved to desktop Macs until I bought the first white iBook. I tried lots of different trackballs with my desktop Macs, but it was not the trackball, but its placement that made me a real fan of the PowerBook 100. I have used an Apple laptop computer as my primary computer since the white iBook. I have always had a desktop computer too, but I found that I do most of my work on the laptops. I think the placement of the mousing device below the keyboard is the reason why I favor laptops.

The buzz about an Apple Trackpad for desktop computers this summer really caught my interest. I have used the Mighty Mouse, the Mighty Mouse with the track ball, and purchased the Magic Mouse soon after it was released. But, I still missed my Trackpad!

When the Magic Trackpad was announced last week, I made a quick trip to the Apple Store. The greeter had no idea what I was talking about when I arrived at the store and asked where to find it. Another employee had read the press release, but said the store would not be receiving their shipments for a few days.

I went back to the Apple Store to pick up the Magic Trackpad on Thursday, came home, installed the necessary updates to my iMac and I was ready to begin a new computing adventure.

It was not a good day. That new Magic Trackpad had a mind of its own--and it certainly was NOT magical! I hated it! How could a similar device on my MacBook Pro be so great while this contraption was a real dud?

When things aren’t working the way you expect, go find the Preferences window. In this case, the preferences for the Trackpad are located in System Preferences.

A look at the Trackpad System Preferences showed me the problem. While the iMac preferences looked like this:

The preferences for my MacBook Pro looked like this:

I had disabled all the One Finger actions on my MacBook Pro. It turns out that I do not like Tap to Click! As soon as I had the Magic Trackpad configured to match the settings on my laptop, I was a happy camper!

I had calls from two of our clients at Bob LeVitus Consulting over the weekend. Both had bought Magic Trackpads and both had shoved them back into the box, ready for a return to the Apple Store.

Whenever things aren’t working as you expect them to, check the preferences.

I like the Magic Trackpad better than a mouse, and even better than the Apple Magic Mouse--but still not as much as I like the keyboard and trackpad combination on my MacBook Pro. I wonder if I could persuade Steve Jobs to make an integrated keyboard and trackpad that mimic a laptop. That would probably be perfect!

However, for now I have the Magic Trackpad aligned with the end of my wireless keyboard and I have the Magic Mouse sitting above my keyboard, at the ready, in case I have a sudden urge to grab a mouse!


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