Talk:Pointing stick

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Damned trademarked stuff...[edit]

Damned trademarked stuff...

To my dismay, the TrackPoint is by far what I think to be the best pointing device ever. Plus it saves space on the keyboard. I was looking for this kind of pointer to appear on ultra-slick laptops, but after reading this article I guess that there is only little hope it can happen.

Was it on a JVC laptop that I saw such a TrackPoint ? Now I wonder if this technology is disappearing because it was patented and nobody wants to pay royalties, or if ergonomists concluded that the touchpad is more convenient.

Any ergonomist around ?

Toshiba has their AccuPoint, Dell and HP/Compaq have their own implementation.
Toshiba's pushed it off of their non-business models, though, and Dell and HPaq never did have it on consumer models, unfortunately.
--Bhtooefr 23:02, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
My IBM ThinkPad has a pointing stick. (Actually, the photo in the article is a ThinkPad ...) And I don't care what ergonomists think, touch pads are awful! dbenbenn | talk 23:48, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
I love it. I find it a bit harder to learn using it than touchpad, but it is my only reason why i will never own a PowerBook. Track point is far more ergonomic for me!
Toshiba has used these on almost every laptop model line, including the Satellite and Tecra series, they may have used them on more laptops than IBM. The only touchpad I've ever encountered that was worth a bleep was the original iBook version that sat *above* the surrounding plastic instead of being down in a hole like 100% of all other laptop touchpads.
It might be that it's harder to get used to than te trackpad, so people don't even try. But, once you learn it, you don't need anything else. I found it quite funny when once I and three of my coworkers put our laptops on the table to start working - they all then got their mouses to connect to their machines, while I just started working. They might have found their trackpads easy to get started with, but they never could do some serious work with; I invested a bit more effort to get proficient with the trackpoint and now I don't need to connect a mouse to my laptops with trackpoints. Indeed, my fingers sometimes look for it even on desktops. :) This is a typical case of an all-finger typist who disdains getting the fingers off the home row to take the mouse. Sometimes that feels almost painful ;) :arny (talk) 00:25, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
For what it is worth I am a touch typist who loves using the touchpad on my Dell Latitude. My right thumb positions the cursor as my left thumb clicks the buttons. Years ago I used the little nib on a thinkpad and didn't like how hard I had to press it in order to get it to move. Perhaps I have just compensated for the difficulty a touchpad offers to a touch typist and I would be better off with a pointing stick.Peter Napkin Dance Party (talk) 18:46, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

trackpoint in other languages[edit]

Shouldn't we start a section called "trackpoint in other languages", a la "@ in other languages"? I'm quite sure trackpoint has some charming names in other languages, just like @ does...

Best name I ever saw for it was Magical Red Nipple of Mouse Control. The person who coined that one was indeed a NetHack fan...
Believe it or not, but many people refer to it as "clit". I've heard it so many times in so many languages that I think it's worth mentioning on either the Pointing stick page or the "Clit (disambiguation)" page or better yet: Both. On the other hand, some second opinions might be desired before changing the article(s). RobIII 11:38, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
It is quite commonly referred to as "clitoris" in Russia, whatever the real Russian name of that device is supposed to be, the public has no knowledge of it, and it is not widely used in practice. Mihara 23:24, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
clitoris in Brazil too. But i can only atest for the geek crowd. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

The only name I know it by is "clit mouse". Every time I want to search the web for it I need to first use Wikipedia to look up other names for it.

in the netherlands the thing is called "clitoris" in informal speak. i think the name *is* common, and i think not including it among the nicknames is unnecessarily prude and hiding useful information. is was also the only name i knew it by until a certain webcomic told me the official name Bewareircd 09:52, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I've never heard it called a "pointing stick"; that sounds like one of those long rubber-tipped dowels that I remember from elementary school 40 years ago. People who find "clit mouse" offensive should also remember that "pointing stick" may be construed as a euphemism for that with which one writes one's name in the snow.

Another name I liked as soon as I discovered it (just now, prompting me to edit this in) is eraserhead mouse. I'd never heard that term before, but as soon as I heard it, I knew immediately what it must refer to. That might be a good name to settle on, just because the word's connection to its referent is so obvious. Reference, good on 2007-03-16=Fr: <>.

When talking someone through their choices in choosing a new laptop, I explain that then have a choice of Pointing Devices: An Eraserhead, a Skating Rink or both. Later on, if they buy a machine with both, I encourage them to turn off the Skating Rink, in order to avoid problems with accidental contact.StevenAlls 17:15, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

So is this actually trademarked?[edit]

It seems that very few laptops nowadays incorporate trackpoints, even in the ultraportable market where a trackpoint is optimal. Does IBM/Lenovo have a patent on a trackpoint design, or do we simply have a case of betamax/vhs on our hands? --Qviri (talk) 04:47, 25 June 2006 (UTC)`

I'm pretty sure it's patented by IBM --Froth 19:16, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Can you dig up patent numbers? Based on Pointing stick#History, it can't have been patented much later than 1987, when it became a product. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 01:18, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Let's keep this article on topic[edit]

When I ran across this article last night, I was dismayed by some of the offensive and irrelevant content. I've cleaned it up, and I would like to ask other editors to refrain from adding such material in the future.

That said, I apologize for my note in the edit comments for this talk page, "Removed offensive and idiotic content." That comes close to being a personal insult, and I did not mean it that way. "Removed offensive content" would have been sufficient.

Michael Geary 17:03, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored. The nomenclature may be offensive to you but that is not a justification for deleting it. --Dgies 00:28, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
And now we have *ten* references for these obscure terms? Sorry, but that is way over the top. It makes it look like Wikipedia is obsessed with trivial and scatological names for things. What is notable about those names? --Michael Geary 04:25, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
In fact, a full 25% of this article is now devoted to these terms! --Michael Geary 05:12, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
All we needed was one line, but you and that other guy seemed to think they were uncommon or unreferenced. Pick your poison. --Dgies 05:22, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Moved other pointing stick definition to a disambiguation page[edit]

Since this article covered two completely different topics, and by far the most incoming links to this page are about the TrackPoint, I moved the non-TrackPoint content to a disambiguation page.

Could we now keep this article to the TrackPoint and similar pointing devices only?


Michael Geary 03:03, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

"It has also been observed on computer mice"[edit]

The current article says this, no documentation. Really?

Really. Follow the link to the IBM TrackPoint page, then the TrackPoint Mouse link. (SEWilco 05:11, 14 July 2006 (UTC))
That is cool! Also the idea of two cursors is brilliant, though personally I would miss the scroll wheel --Froth 19:17, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I had one of these about eight years ago. It was called the ScrollPoint mouse. [1] New versions here: [2] [3] It wasn't an additional cursor, but it took the place of the wheel. It wasn't any harder to pick up than a scroll wheel, and sometimes I with I still had it.
And i've been wishing that someone would make one. —überRegenbogen 09:30, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Home row[edit]

Sharcho, I'm curious about your edit that changed:

It is especially liked by touch-typists because it is the only pointing device which does not require the user to remove their fingers from the home row.


It is especially liked by touch-typists because it is one of the few pointing device which does not require the user to remove their fingers from the home row.

Is there another pointing device that you can use without moving your fingers from the home row? I am not aware of one, but I'd be interested to know about it.

Thanks! --Michael Geary 05:18, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I didn't make that change, but there are pointing devices which are used with the thumbs (which do not use the home row). A head-movement pointing device also does not affect hand positioning. (SEWilco 15:39, 13 September 2006 (UTC))
also, remember that there are input devices where the home row is more unconventional, like —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:02, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Other names[edit]

Ok, so here's the quote: Pointing stick devices are sometimes referred to as a "nub", "eraser", "nipple", or "clit."

And the references, let's discuss them:

I'm moving the quote to the top, it belongs there with the other names. The only AKA that has been adequately referenced so far is nipple. I'm also going to add the word "informally" to the quote. -- Norvy (talk) 16:25, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

eraser head has no references and should probably be removed if there's any degree of objectivity in Wikipedia. --ToobMug 11:46, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

References for clit-mouse:

In my view, it is relevant as an informal way of calling trackpoint. At least more so than "nub" but not as much as "nipple". Erasing only it using the excuse of "(Nobody has ever called it this!)" isn't aceptable. And "being objectionable" is generally not sufficient grounds for removal of content. Should clit mouse be re-added? I hope that it is the definitive discussion about this topic. -- Manabu (talk) 18:12, 2 February 2009 (UTC) XKCD is not an adequate reference. (talk) 20:14, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Disable Calibration[edit]

Is there any way to disable the auto calibration of the trackpoint? It disrupts my work when I draw, it gets me killed in games and it frustrates me while trying to select icons at times. In short, it mistakes my on-purpose movements for accidental drift and re-calibrates in error causing difficulties. It might be included into the article if it is or is not possible to disable that feature - I cannot plug in another external mouse to avoid the issue as I have no ports to plug it71.112.206.197

no cramps[edit]

I use the accu point on my notebook every day, even on my desk. I never expirienced cramps. I rather get them with by using the touch pad. But I too accelerated pointer speed. Then you need not to apply as much pressure. You need some time of training to use it correct and to judge this device. 09:56, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Comparison with touchpad[edit]

I've removed the following from the comparison with touchpads:

"Unlike a touchpad, a pointing stick allows a user to move the cursor large distances without the need to pause to reposition their finger."

Touchpads these days typically have some sort of cursor acceleration enabled, so it's now quite normal to be able to move the cursor all the way across the screen in one movement just by moving your finger faster across the touchpad. - Mark 15:45, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Even if a touchpad only requires one movement across it to move the cursor all the way across the screen, you are still moving your fingers and hands significantly more than you would on the Trackpoint. Moreover, you have to remove your hands from the home keys. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any ways in which a touchpad has a greater economy of movement than a trackpoint. (talk) 02:52, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

first sight-picture is showing touchpad[edit]

maybe different angle would be better. or illustration ;) this picture wants you to know the differnce or look it up. better would be hand + trackpoint + arrows ;) (talk) 01:41, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

idea - similar to modal X non-modal editors[edit]

both need you to keep doing something. trackpoint to develop constant pressure, touchpad to simulate movement. it felt somehow similar as to vi-like emacs-like editors work. in one you are changing states "less rapidly" (pressing/not presing) in other it is instances (strokes) + lot of finger "combos"? (talk) 02:01, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

TrackPoint Hijack?[edit]

Article begins by pointing out that IBM's Trackpoint is only one type of pointing stick, but by the first section (Features), all references are to Trackpoint only. Technical details seem to apply to Trackpoint. No mention of how other types of pointing stick might vary.

Don't know enough about the subject to sort this out myself.Centrepull (talk) 18:25, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

"Nub compatibility?"[edit]

This might be hard to document given the obsession with avoiding 'original research,' but it's sorely needed - it seems there are "a few" popular dimensions for the mounting post and "a few" popular diameters of nub. Thus, I can order replacement nubs which claim to fit the Dell D-series, only to find out they're designed for something with a stick about 2mm wider on each side.

Anyone care to create a compatibility table or by-manufacturer dimensions for these essential consumable parts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:06, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


Never heard it referred to in any way with the word clit...and I am a retired IT manager responsible for hundreds of Thinkpads. Inclusion of such a schoolboy joke term makes wikipedia look like a joke. By the way, I'm not offended by the word clit (or fuck or anything else)....the word, clit, is just never used for the trackpoint and it's inclusion is simply erroneous. If jokes, wisecracks, or comedy routines become the standard for reference material, the quality scale will sink well below "C". N0w8st8s (talk) 21:24, 4 May 2011 (UTC)n0w8st8s

The offending section has been removed. As is usual, it's simply a matter of the idiotic XKCD fandom shitting up any article tangential to one of their comic's subjects. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:14, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

I've restored the content you deleted, as there's no reason not to include it (one person's claim that they've never heard this doesn't count). This subject has been discussed above, and no consensus for the removal of the informal names was reached. Whether or not you find the content offensive is irrelevant as Wikipedia is not censored. Furthermore, your personal dislike towards xkcd doesn't disqualify it as a reference. Indrek (talk) 19:45, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Well yes, censorship is a strawman here. But the xkcd source is indeed a joke in a cartoon. All we can conclude from that is that the pointing stick has at least once been the subject of a joke. I own a laptop with one, and never heard those names either, but given the off-color terms used for other technologies, it sounds pausible. The other search results seem to be mostly blogs. The Jargon file I suppose can be cited, although it is somewhat user-contributed too (but edited a bit). At the least we need to clarify what these sources are. I would further propose we compromise by saying something like "... various informal and sometimes sexist terms have been invented." or somesuch instead of giving the specific examples. W Nowicki (talk) 23:00, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

The xkcd comic is not necessarily a joke. In fact, one could argue that it's a perfectly serious attempt at documenting some of the more common names for the pointing stick, and is simply presented in a comic form because that's the author's preferred medium.
Furthermore, as I said before, saying "I haven't heard these names before" doesn't mean that no one has. Read through some of the previous discussions on this page (for instance, trackpoint in other languages), and you'll find such terms are more common than you might think.
Removing the specific examples from the section seems pretty pointless to me. If the official names that different companies use for this are documented, then why not informal names? As it is, the only reasons for the removal of the specific examples I've seen are "I haven't heard this" and "it's offensive", neither of which strike me as valid or objective.
As for the validity of the references, I'd say in this particular case certain compromises will have to be made. As the terms themselves are informal and colloquial, the references are, by necessity, same. You're not going to see a technical paper or patent application refer to the pointing stick as "clit", so forums, blogs and the like are actually the best options for documenting the terms' use. As such, perhaps we could also add the xkcd forum topic as a reference (possibly replacing the comic itself)? Indrek (talk) 13:11, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Forums and comics do not constitute WP:Reliable sources in the vast majority of cases. An exception would be referencing a comic in a "in popular culture" section. OhNoitsJamie Talk 20:26, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
As I explained above, I believe this is an exception that doesn't fall under the "vast majority of cases". In fact, your example of "in popular culture" is actually a subset of "informal names", so by that logic the comic should be a perfectly valid reference. Nevertheless, in the interests of reaching a consensus, would you agree to replacing the comic with the link to the forum topic (see above) as the reference? It's an excellent example of the various informal names in actual, informal usage.
Also, a few related points. First, even if you think the comic isn't a valid reference, that doesn't mean you should remove the actual statement as well. It's preferrable to tag the statement and call attention to it on the talk page (or in this particular case, contribute to the existing discussion).
Likewise, while I'm sure you meant no harm, you should be aware that continuously reverting an article to your preferred version constitutes edit warring. Especially seeing as there's an ongoing discussion on the issue, of which you were made aware. Consensus should be reached on the talk page, not in edit summaries. See this section for more information on this. Indrek (talk) 21:07, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
No objections, so I'm going forward with my proposed change. Indrek (talk) 06:45, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Responding to Ohnoitsjamie's edit summary:
"there are still no reliable sources for this, and you are the only one on the talk page that I can see pushing for it; that's not a consensus"
Likewise, you are the only one that I can see objecting to it. The previous editors have stopped responding and have thus, I assume, conceded their respective arguments. Therefore there is no consensus for removing the content either. We thus have a dispute, which should be resolved here on the talk page. Please refer to my previous links about edit warring for more information on Wikipedia's policies on this.
As for your argument about the validity of the reference, as I have explained several times now, I believe that this case should be an exception to the usual requirements for reliable sources, just like the "in popular culture" example that you yourself provided. If you disagree with this, please explain why here on the talk page. Your current approach of simply removing everything you happen to disagree with is not conducive to resolving this dispute in a civilised manner. Indrek (talk) 09:32, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Update: actually, looking at the Jargon File entry for "nipple mouse" (an existing reference, and approved by you), it actually gives "clit mouse" as a variant of "nipple mouse". I'm not sure why I missed that before; perhaps it was added only recently. In any case, I trust that reference is sufficient to justify the inclusion of "clit mouse" in the article, putting this particular issue to rest. Indrek (talk) 11:44, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

People stopped contesting the point because they thought you were an adult and were capable of understanding that you are wrong. the term does not exist in any google record before 2007, which is when the comic was made, and the references since then have been incredibly sparse, almost universally taking the form of references to the original comic.

Clit Mouse is not a valid term, it never has, and I would bet real money that, considering the startling dearth of hits given by google when searching for that specific string, neither you nor anyone else has ever used the term in actual conversation, though we all know you're going to immediately claim otherwise once you read this. do not attempt to bring up the Jargon File, as though it is BASED on the New hacker's Dictionary, it contains extraneous information added at later dates. (and indeed, the term "nipple mouse" does not appear in the original, and neither does "clit mouse.")

Clit mouse is not slang for a pointing stick, and it never has, its existence as a term has been nothing more than a punchline. the only person vandalizing the article is you, for forcibly adding juvenile and immature references to a terrible webcomic and refusing to admit that people with taste see the reference for what it is, namely, unnecessary and irritating. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Firstly, Google searches for frequency of usage amount to original research and thus that argument of yours is invalid. Also, when you say that no one has used the term "clit mouse", what you're actually trying to say is that you have never heard or seen that term used. That doesn't mean no one else has, and drawing conclusions from your personal experience again borders on original research.
Secondly, yes, I'm going to claim that I use the term "clit mouse" in informal conversation, because I do. So do several other people, if you look at previous conversations on this talk page. Also, on a related note, I'm not the one who originally added the term to this page. I simply added it back after it was removed for no reason.
Thirdly, a quick online search shows the term "clit mouse" used in forums, blogs etc. as far back as 2001 (possibly more, I only looked around for a couple of minutes). That's 6 years before the xkcd comic. Also, that comic is no longer used as a reference. If you think the New Hacker's Dictionary isn't a valid reference for the term, then feel free to start a discussion about that, but don't let your personal dislike towards xkcd get in the way.
Finally, even if your removal of the term "clit mouse" was justified and met with editor consensus (which it isn't), there was no reason for you to remove the entire section, seeing as neither you (nor other editors) have expressed any dissatisfaction with the rest of the informal terms. Such section blanking, combined with your refusal to discuss the issue and your use of offensive language in edit summaries and on the talk page pretty much reduce your contributions to plain vandalism. And as you can see, appropriate counter-measures have been employed.
If you wish to contribute to Wikipedia in the future, I advise you to acquaint yourself with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, especially those about civility, good faith, dispute resolution and general etiquette. Other people have been able to discuss this issue in a civilised manner before, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to do that. Indrek (talk) 22:49, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
I first heard the term "clit mouse" in 2004; before xkcd was launched. That's what I called it (where it wouldn't jeopardise my employment) thereafter because I didn't know any better name for it until the xkcd comic. -- (talk) 12:53, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Also, just so we're clear, Wikipedia documented the term before XKCD: [4] [5]
-- (talk) 12:13, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Pointer drift at high temperatures[edit]

Anon added the following paragraph, which I have removed pending discussion:

"Temperature Effects: Another problem may occur during increased operating temperature, i.e. in warm climates and/or if the computer is operating at high power for extended periods. The pointer will drift way to a corner of the screen by itself, from immediately after the stick is released. Workarounds to this problem range from using fan coolers to placing icepacks under the computer."

If these problems at high temperatures are endemic to the design of a pointing stick, it's notable but should have a citation, though workarounds to the problem of high temperatures have nothing specific to do with the pointing stick. However, if Anon simply had a laptop overheat in a way that affected the operation of the pointing stick, it shouldn't be in the article. Laptops do a lot of strange things when they overheat. Spike-from-NH (talk) 20:30, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Do we really need a list of specific laptop series?[edit]

While it makes sense to include a list of what various manufacturers have called their particular pointing sticks, most of them have such a long history of devices that it doesn't seem useful to list them. IMHO it'd be better to have the table include the manufacturer name, their term for the pointing stick, and perhaps the company's brands plus roughly the years they were in use for each if known, like "Accupoint | Toshiba | Libretto, Tecra (xxxx-yyyy)." I don't want to be the one to wipe out such an extensive table, but if anyone else agrees and wishes to do so, be my guest. —Xyzzy☥the☥Avatar 08:56, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

I sort of agree, but don't want to be the one to do so either. It is like a concordance, which seems to me outside the scope of Wikipedia. If I were researching a car and wanted to know if the model came with a factory radio, I might look up that model on Wikipedia but would not go to Car radio expecting to find a complete list. Spike-from-NH (talk)
I also tend to agree that the table is overburdened with detail, but it seems like the problem is mostly with Fujitsu, Dell, Toshiba and maybe Acer. On the other hand, HP, IBM/Lenovo and Sony for instance look pretty good to me - the table lists entire model lines and individual models only where absolutely necessary (i.e. when they are exceptions). If the entire table could be rewritten like that, I think that'd be enough. Indrek (talk) 22:50, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
The difference in complexity in the various rows of the table might be a result not of the differences between Wikipedia editors but of hundreds of product and component decisions at companies around the world. If our goal is setting down a complete list, then whether we do so "by connotation or by denotation"--that is, by stating a rule or by giving an exhaustive list--we will have some rows of that table bizarrely longer than other rows. To have rows describing different manufacturers be the same length or amount of detail ought not be the goal. Spike-from-NH (talk) 00:02, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't see why having the same level of detail for all manufacturers couldn't be the goal. In fact, I think that should be the goal. Or what did you have in mind? Indrek (talk) 02:00, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
To be clear, the same level of detail of scholarship is a goal; not the same level of detail in rows of a table that describe decisions of different complexity. I don't have anything more subtle than that in mind. Spike-from-NH (talk)
I suggest a list of names used for the pointing stick, plus the manufacturers using that name plus the series name, but no more. In addition, an up-to-date list of manufacturers currently including pointing sticks in some of their models would be good. This latter would now be a very short list, but it is one I have been scouring the web for. 2A02:A03F:68:C000:D468:A9F3:1520:C586 (talk) 18:41, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Edits by[edit]

I do not endorse Anon's edits to this article--as this is an encyclopedia, not a diary--nor his histrionics on my user page when I reverted the first batch. I leave the disposition to editors with more longevity here, but believe it requires more than mere typo corrections. Spike-from-NH (talk) 00:12, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

User contributions: Special:Contributions/ -- ToE 13:29, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

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