Wulf's Webden

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Swipe!

I have now been in my job long enough that the two computers I started with have both stopped working. In both cases I think it was down to a power supply fault. The more important one died last autumn and I swapped the power supply from the other one into that, which gave it a few more months before the PSU went again in February. By that point I had replaced the first machine with a laptop and the portability has been a real asset, not to mentioned the reduced noise levels; both of the original machines were noisy beasts from the start.

I have started to feel a bit nervous about just having the laptop though; my work depends on computer access, hence why I had two machines in the first place. I recently got round to getting another computer and this one was a Mac Mini: small, quiet and efficient. I’ve used a Mac a lot in the past so it hasn’t taken me long to get used some of the foibles of they keyboard (like the ” and @ keys being displaced despite selecting a UK layout) but, rather than getting a mouse, I requested a Magic Trackpad.

No regrets on that one. I love the way that a range of different gestures can conjure up all sorts of effects, from standbys like selecting, dragging and scrolling to tricks like showing all the programs running on the different desktops supported by the machine. The only downside is that now, when I turn to my laptop, I am instinctively trying to swipe across the trackpad on that in the same way! Time to get Synergy running again so I can use the new interface tool whichever machine I am trying to interact with on the physical desktop.

  • The trackerpad has interested me as expanding the mouse world on a desktop 
    Does it play nice with linux?

    • basswulf

      It works very well with a virtual machine hosted on the Mac. I’m still getting used to using it to control a second computer (the laptop) with Synergy, as some of the gestures seem to get disabled. I’m not sure if you can use it directly on a native Linux desktop although I suspect there is probably evidence out there that someone has tried.

      • What is your VM? Ubuntu?

        • basswulf

          Ubuntu 12.04 at the moment although I’m thinking of swapping to Xubuntu 12.04 (I tend to use the XFCE based versions as I’m happy with the lighter weight interface)