Ubuntu Touchpad toggle tweak

I've been getting irritated with the touchpad on this new Dell Vostro 1400. I type for a while, and then my palm touches the touchpad, sending the pointer skimming into the line above, or clicking on buttons I don't want to click on. So, I looked around and figured out a solution. Over the past two years, I've had to update this post for every single new version of Ubuntu, which has been a pain, so look for the heading below which corresponds to your version of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Hardy 8.04

First of all, you need to edit your /etc/xorg.conf file, for which you'll need root privileges – use sudo.You just need to add one line in the input device section, which is the one in bold below. (Intrepid 8.10, see below)

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Synaptics Touchpad"
        Driver          "synaptics"
        Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/psaux"
        Option          "Protocol"              "auto-dev"
        Option          "HorizEdgeScroll"       "0"
        Option          "SHMConfig"

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Audio Ping Feedback.

Step back a few years … I've often thought when I'm under a desk somewhere jiggling wires, is that some kind of audio feedback on ping would be useful: your server isn't responding, but when you re-seat the ethernet connector it comes back online; you have a messy, unlabeled switch to work through, so you unplug wires until the audio feedback stops, and you've located your machine. That kind of thing.

I've occasionally looked around the internet for such a tool and uncovered a couple of scripts and tools which don't quite work. I've even thought of writing my own script, but never quite got around to it.

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All Change. Mandriva 2008 to Ubuntu 8.04

As I noted in a previous post I was recently the victim of a Random Kernel Upgrade Hell (RKUH). Maybe I should trademark that acronym, although its not particularly prounounceable like SNAFU, or PEBCAK. Anyway … the fact was that I was spending several hours trying to fix various problems with wifi drivers, VMware server, truecrypt and the sound in Skype, when it suddenly occured to me that a re-install was probably quicker. The double edged sword of Linux: quick to reinstall, but then again why should you need to do it so often? Well I guess in my case I push the OS pretty hard with some esoteric applications, but even so …

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Ubuntu version of chkconfig

I always forget this one when I'm setting up a new Ubuntu machine, so this is as much for my benefit as anyone else's … I've used a lot of OSes and have always found the chkconfig command on Redhat / Centos very useful for changing runlevels of services. The equivalent on Ubuntu is the … Read more

Trust Scanner Success

My girlfriend turned up this morning with her scanner, a Trust Flat Scan USB 19200. Its an old model from around 5-6 years ago, and she'd lost the driver disk. This was clearly a challenge for Linux …

I plugged the thing in (its a USB scanner, which pulls all its power from the USB bus) and the light went on. However the scanner application which comes with both PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu wouldn't start up. Time for some investigation. I got a root terminal shell and tried poking around

lsusb showed that the scanner was recognised.

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