Very cool (once I figured it out)

So, I’ve had this Wacom tablet for a while–a couple of years now, I think. Haven’t done a whole lot with it, though it’s been connected into the USB hub pretty much the whole time.

Now, my desk has become a hellhole over the last few days–packaging stacked up from my new router/wireless gateway (about which more in another post), CD’s waiting to be ripped, my big Thinkpad docking station–the one that has a PCI slot in it–which I think I’ve more or less permanently traded for the little port replicator at this point, comic books, wall-warts, you name it.

Anyway, as a result of all this other stuff being on the desk, at some point the mouse pointer that comes with the Wacom ended up getting set on the tablet–it’s generally sat off to once side. I certainly didn’t think anything of it.

Several hours followed in which the Trackpoint on my Thinkpad would act, um…erratically. You try and go in one direction, and it’d let you go for a bit, and then you’d be dragged back to the point you were at, or thrown off in a random direction–all sorts of flakery.

The scary part is that the only thing that really annoyed me was Firefox–tabbing through Google search results is tedious. Pretty much everything else I can (and often *do*) control from the keyboard anyway.

Still, the Firefox thing was a big pain in the ass, especially since I was doing a lot of googling to try and figure out why my new wireless card wasn’t working (new router/gateway, remember?).

I must have rebooted thirty times, poking at various BIOS options, and trying different kernels (new wireless card, and I’d made a couple of other changes earlier in the day, and generally had too many changes in play at once) and pretty much any other possibility–however remote–that presented itself.

Finally, by this morning, I had pretty much decided that this all meant the Trackpoint was dying, which pretty much meant I was going to be getting a new notebook very soon–which is fine, I’ve been planning to get one since before I went to DC, and I know basically which one I want, and I should even be able to play a good game of Doom III on it.

And then I bumped the Wacom mouse, and the cursor on the screen moved. And if I moved the Wacom mouse off the tablet entirely, the Trackpoint started working again.

So I did some googling, and generally poked at things in my XF86Config-4 file–that I set up when I got the machine three and a half years ago and pretty much haven’t touched since–and lo and behold, I now have the Wacom up and working when I want it, and the Trackpoint for the other 98% of the time. Just as long as I don’t set any of the Wacom pointers on the tablet, I’m golden.

Now to get pressure sensitivity for the Wacom pen working in the GIMP.

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Michael Alan Dorman

Yogi, brigand, programmer, thief, musician, Republican, cook. I leave it to you figure out which ones are accurate.