February 08, 2004

Luggage Tags, and the Case of the Drifting Cursor

Taking a break from packing now. It's going really well so far and I'm busy but not panicked (yet).

I am the Luggage Tag Queen! I was concerned about some of the bags that don't have luggage tags, so Kevin did a little digging in the house and found the jackpot. Mom's a travel agent, and the most popular giveaway is a luggage tag. Get it? Travel agent! Luggage tag! (they also give away an inordinate amount of post-it notes, but I wasn't looking for those). So I collected a handful of luggage tags and wrote our German address on one side and our US address on the other. Then I went around happily distributing luggage tags to every bag I think I might take. If they get lost, I've done all I can.

And I have this annoying drifting cursor problem when I don't use a mouse with my laptop. It's a Toshiba laptop and I don't really like the trackpoint mouse so I usually use a regular USB mouse. Well the mouse is packed so lately I've been using the trackpoint, and it has this peculiar problem: occassionally the cursor will drift to the right across the screen. This is driving me CRAZY! Kevin, who claims he's never had this problem, suggested that perhaps there is some dust or dirt underneath the little nub causing the problem. So the last few times I've been pulling it off and blowing on it--no solution. Either that, or I've been pushing down on it hard driving it around the screen thinking that it was stuck or something. Well, as I have now learned, that just makes the problem worse!

I finally typed in "drifting cursor" into Google and immediately found an IBM ThinkPad discussion board with threads on this very topic! Apparently there's some software that checks with the trackpoint and if you happen to be moving it at that time, it records it as non-use, or something. Anyway, the guy's explanation was a lot clearer but basically the solution is to just let the cursor go and the program will check it again and correct it in a few seconds.

Phew! Now I won't be screaming anymore.

Posted by Shelby at February 8, 2004 07:06 PM

I don't think "drifting cursor" is limited to your trackpoint. I have a Logitech trackball at work (I much prefer them over mice) and occasionally, for no known reason, the mouse pointer will just slowly drift down the screen. Once I move the trackball, it stops. Weird.

Posted by: Erik at February 11, 2004 02:27 PM
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