Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My conversion to a Magic Trackpad

Even though I type rather fast, when I was introduced to the computer mouse, I could instantly see the advantage of being able to point-and-click. I have never warmed up to track balls or touch pads, primarily because both required a clicking button or two to operate. I was always frustrated with the track pads on laptop computers, because is was awkward to click and drag items on the screen. I know some people can do this with one hand, but for me, it always took two hands and didn't work well even then.

For some time now, Apple computers such as the MacBook Pro have had touch pads that used pressure from a finger to click and did away with the one or two buttons still evident on Windows laptops. At first, the touch pad system worked OK, but it was still awkward. When the Apple Magic Trackpad was introduced, I was frankly uninterested.

Later, I bought a MacBook Pro laptop which I used whenever I was traveling or when I needed to move to a different room with the computer. Finally, I got enough practice on the Magic Trackpad to see the advantages of using it regularly. The biggest advantage was that the Magic Trackpad put much, much, less strain on my fingers and wrist. I was not nearly so tired after using the computer for an extended time. I also found that, with use, the Magic Trackpad was more efficient that using a mouse. Since the MT had a number of gestures available, I got used to using two fingers to right-click and swiping to change pages or scroll. It just worked more efficiently than a mouse.

But there was still one major limitation. It was very difficult to click and drag anything more than a short distance. It also lacks the fine control necessary to do some types of editing. So I compromised and set up the Magic Trackpad next to my mouse. As time goes on, however, I find that I am using the mouse less and less. Still not enough to do away with the mouse, but enough to make it almost obsolete.

Some technological innovations are not really an improvement on the past. They seem different but ultimately they are abandoned as inefficient. Most of the laptops now have the ability to bypass the buttons and click by tapping the pad. I find this almost as useful as the Magic Trackpad, but less responsive. I have a new Windows laptop and the trackpad works well, but is buggy because it picks up stray movements when I am typing. I do have to admit, that on occasion, the Magic Trackpad can be frustrating when you try to drag something or drop some file in a folder. It is quite a bit more difficult to use than the mouse.

Since I mention using the Magic Trackpad, I thought you might want to know why I switched.

1 comment:

  1. James,
    I use a MT and mouse combination with my iMac, and I find the MT to be much more naturally suited to computer use. Learning gestures, and then practicing those moves is essential to avoiding frustration in the early stages of use.