Selecting a new Thinkpad

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Selecting a new Thinkpad

Joerg Bruehe-2
Dear all,


while nobody can select the "best" model for me, you can provide some
info about which I'm not sure:

1) "Optimus" graphics
I want "Full HD" resolution (1920*1080), but for office stuff only, so
built-in Intel graphics will do the job.
Does Nvidia Optimus hardware pull significant power even if not needed,
or is its presence irrelevant for battery work time?
(let's ignore weight and price for now)

2) Mouse buttons
The new Thinkpad models do not have mouse buttons any more, AIUI
clicking the touchpad shall have the mouse button effect.
Does that work reliably with current Linux distros (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS),
including the middle button?


Thank you for all your hints,
Jörg

--
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Vincent Bernat
 ❦  7 août 2014 22:27 +0200, Joerg Bruehe <[hidden email]> :

> 2) Mouse buttons
> The new Thinkpad models do not have mouse buttons any more, AIUI
> clicking the touchpad shall have the mouse button effect.
> Does that work reliably with current Linux distros (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS),
> including the middle button?

It works but if you want to use the trackpoint to scroll with the middle
button, this is somewhat more difficult to get. There are some modified
drivers for this but this is still not mainstream.
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Leon Weber
In reply to this post by Joerg Bruehe-2
On 07.08.2014 22:27:49, Joerg Bruehe wrote:
> 2) Mouse buttons
> The new Thinkpad models do not have mouse buttons any more, AIUI
> clicking the touchpad shall have the mouse button effect.
> Does that work reliably with current Linux distros (Ubuntu 14.04
> LTS), including the middle button?

There are different configs around in the internet to disable the
touchpad and only use it as mouse buttons.  However, the haptic
experience of these softbuttons is a joke compared to the old-style
mouse buttons.  Performing a mouse click takes much more power, it makes
a cheap sounding noise, and at least with my config, I’m having a hard
time reliably performing right clicks.  It’s really sad.

It took me a long time to get used to that touchpad.  There are rumors
about the next generation of Thinkpads reintroducing mouse buttons.  I
don’t know if they’re true, but if they are, I definitely recommend
waiting for those models.

    -- Leon.


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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Nicole Faerber
In reply to this post by Joerg Bruehe-2
Am 07.08.2014 22:27, schrieb Joerg Bruehe:
> Dear all,
Hi!

> while nobody can select the "best" model for me, you can provide some
> info about which I'm not sure:
>
> 1) "Optimus" graphics
> I want "Full HD" resolution (1920*1080), but for office stuff only, so
> built-in Intel graphics will do the job.
> Does Nvidia Optimus hardware pull significant power even if not needed,
> or is its presence irrelevant for battery work time?
> (let's ignore weight and price for now)

I can not tell you about the Nvidia question but I can tell you that I
am pretty satisfied with the performance of the Intel integrated HD
graphics on the Yoga S1 full HD display. It's maybe not the fastest for
games, but it is definitely sufficient for regular desktop usage and
even full HD video playback.

> 2) Mouse buttons
> The new Thinkpad models do not have mouse buttons any more, AIUI
> clicking the touchpad shall have the mouse button effect.
> Does that work reliably with current Linux distros (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS),
> including the middle button?

Well, I also do prefer the physical buttons - no doubt. Call me
conservative but the single "button" touchpad does not even come close
to the haptic of three independent physical buttons.

That being said, yes, you can make them work pretty realiably but it
takes extra configuration effort. The feature you are looking at/for is
the "ClickPad", which is the area of the touchpad with the three
designated button areas - painted on the pad. You can configure your X
server either through xorg.conf or with the synclient tool at runtime
for proper ClickPad operation. Some hints on doing so can be found in
the ThinkWiki:
        http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Buttonless_Touchpad

But I would recommend finding your own comfort values.

I always found it difficult with touchpads to click. While doing some
tapping gesture to cause a click event you usually also move the pointer
a bit. This sometimes causes the click to be executed in the wrong place
- the next menu item, the button just beside or below etc. Using
synclient you can reduce the active touch area of the pad so that the
upper edge becomes insensitive for moving the pointer. But it still acts
as clickpad! So you basically get three hardware buttons that do not
interfere with the pointer.

But still I do not like it very much. The old Thinkpad mouse buttons
were silent, also compared to most other notebooks, since they used
almost the same button technology as the keys on the keyboard. Most
clicks were almost inaudible for your environment. The new touchpad's
button mechanic is first of all harder to push (you need to apply more
force) and then it makes some click-clack noise. I can live with that
but I do not like it.

So... for my taste the old style mouse buttons were *much* better and if
I could give one advice to Lenovo, go back to the old style - PLEASE :)
But the new style is OK for me to work with.

> Thank you for all your hints,
> Jörg
Cheers
  nicole

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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Chuck Aurora
In reply to this post by Leon Weber
On Fri, Aug 08, 2014 at 11:10:45AM +0200, Leon Weber wrote:
> On 07.08.2014 22:27:49, Joerg Bruehe wrote:
> > 2) Mouse buttons
> > The new Thinkpad models do not have mouse buttons any more, AIUI
> > clicking the touchpad shall have the mouse button effect. Does
> > that work reliably with current Linux distros (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS),
> > including the middle button?
>
> There are different configs around in the internet to disable the
> touchpad and only use it as mouse buttons.  However, the haptic

I do this.  It's disappointing.  Using it as a touchpad, OTOH, was
unbearable due to stray clicks causing much loss of work.  I never
knew when it would strike.

> experience of these softbuttons is a joke compared to the old-style
> mouse buttons.  Performing a mouse click takes much more power, it
> makes a cheap sounding noise, and at least with my config, I’m
> having a hard time reliably performing right clicks.  It’s really
> sad.

++

> It took me a long time to get used to that touchpad.  There are

I'm still not used to it.  Otherwise the T440p has been a fine
machine, but ugh, I wish the Lenovo people would LISTEN to their
paying customers and do away with this abomination.

> rumors about the next generation of Thinkpads reintroducing mouse
> buttons.  I don’t know if they’re true, but if they are, I
> definitely recommend waiting for those models.

Or start looking at other manufacturers.  I'm afraid that will be the
only way to convince Lenovo to fix the problem: to hurt their sales.
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Steve McIntyre
On Fri, Aug 08, 2014 at 07:47:11AM -0500, Chuck Aurora wrote:
>
>Or start looking at other manufacturers.  I'm afraid that will be the
>only way to convince Lenovo to fix the problem: to hurt their sales.

It's a shame, but yes. For now, I've started stockpiling older
machines from ebay to tide me over for a while, in the hope they'll
change back to sane designs in the future...

--
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

adriandwalker
Maybe a bit off topic, but I'd recommend against the Lenovo X131e for Linux.

Reasons: You have to go into the bios and put the hard drive in "compatibility mode" (or Linux wont find it). 

Also, a hard drive crashed after about 3 hours of use.  (The two could be related?)

                                   -- Adrian

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A Wiki and SOA Endpoint for Apps written in Executable Open Vocabulary English over SQL and RDF
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Shared use is free, and there are no advertisements

Adrian Walker
Reengineering




On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 9:01 AM, Steve McIntyre <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Fri, Aug 08, 2014 at 07:47:11AM -0500, Chuck Aurora wrote:
>
>Or start looking at other manufacturers.  I'm afraid that will be the
>only way to convince Lenovo to fix the problem: to hurt their sales.

It's a shame, but yes. For now, I've started stockpiling older
machines from ebay to tide me over for a while, in the hope they'll
change back to sane designs in the future...

--
Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                [hidden email]
"This dress doesn't reverse." -- Alden Spiess

--
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Kim Blewett (gm)

On 08/09/2014 12:11 AM, Adrian Walker wrote:
> Maybe a bit off topic, but I'd recommend against the Lenovo X131e for
> Linux.
Our project has 10 of these X131e machines, all running a variation of
Precise/Mint. We have not had the problem you describe here. They need
non-standard Broadcom driver but it is working fine. Perhaps, as you
suggest, your new hard drive was defective from the start? Or perhaps we
have a different variation of the hardware?

Kim
>
> Reasons: You have to go into the bios and put the hard drive in
> "compatibility mode" (or Linux wont find it).
>
> Also, a hard drive crashed after about 3 hours of use.  (The two could
> be related?)
>
>                                    -- Adrian
>

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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

cesar mena
In reply to this post by Chuck Aurora
hello guys,

the clickpad situation is a little more bearable with the new xf86-input-synaptics and a newish kernel.  that said, it is still unacceptable (as tested on a co-worker laptop).

this is surely off-topic for this list, but given the circumstances, does anyone know of any other vendor that sells something comparable to the t4xx?  i'm thinking Dell, but they do have a lot of options and having used thinkpads for so long i'm a little lost.

thanks for any help.




 


On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 8:47 AM, Chuck Aurora <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Fri, Aug 08, 2014 at 11:10:45AM +0200, Leon Weber wrote:
> On 07.08.2014 22:27:49, Joerg Bruehe wrote:
> > 2) Mouse buttons
> > The new Thinkpad models do not have mouse buttons any more, AIUI
> > clicking the touchpad shall have the mouse button effect. Does
> > that work reliably with current Linux distros (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS),
> > including the middle button?
>
> There are different configs around in the internet to disable the
> touchpad and only use it as mouse buttons.  However, the haptic

I do this.  It's disappointing.  Using it as a touchpad, OTOH, was
unbearable due to stray clicks causing much loss of work.  I never
knew when it would strike.

> experience of these softbuttons is a joke compared to the old-style
> mouse buttons.  Performing a mouse click takes much more power, it
> makes a cheap sounding noise, and at least with my config, I’m
> having a hard time reliably performing right clicks.  It’s really
> sad.

++

> It took me a long time to get used to that touchpad.  There are

I'm still not used to it.  Otherwise the T440p has been a fine
machine, but ugh, I wish the Lenovo people would LISTEN to their
paying customers and do away with this abomination.

> rumors about the next generation of Thinkpads reintroducing mouse
> buttons.  I don’t know if they’re true, but if they are, I
> definitely recommend waiting for those models.

Or start looking at other manufacturers.  I'm afraid that will be the
only way to convince Lenovo to fix the problem: to hurt their sales.
--
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Vincent Bernat
 ❦  3 septembre 2014 09:01 -0400, cesar mena <[hidden email]> :

> the clickpad situation is a little more bearable with the new
> xf86-input-synaptics and a newish kernel. that said, it is still
> unacceptable (as tested on a co-worker laptop).

When you say new xf86-input-synaptics, is that the one hacked together
available in Arch Linux
(https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/xf86-input-evdev-trackpoint/) or has
support for something similar landed upstream?
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Theodore Ts'o-2
In reply to this post by cesar mena
On Wed, Sep 03, 2014 at 09:01:08AM -0400, cesar mena wrote:
> hello guys,
>
> the clickpad situation is a little more bearable with the new
> xf86-input-synaptics
> and a newish kernel.  that said, it is still unacceptable (as tested on a
> co-worker laptop).

Have you tried with something like this?  It makes the trackpad work
more like buttons (since I prefer using the J-stick to control the
mouse pointer anyway).

                                        - Ted

# modified from stuff taken from:
# https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Touchpad_Synaptics#Synclient
# https://stuffivelearned.org/doku.php?id=os:linux:general:synapticstouchtricks

synclient RightButtonAreaTop=0
synclient RightButtonAreaRight=4858
synclient RightButtonAreaBottom=5000
synclient RightButtonAreaLeft=3500

synclient MiddleButtonAreaTop=0
synclient MiddleButtonAreaRight=3499
synclient MiddleButtonAreaBottom=5000
synclient MiddleButtonAreaLeft=2800

synclient coastingFriction=50
synclient coastingSpeed=15

#synclient areaTopEdge=0
#synclient areaLeftEdge=4858
#synclient VertEdgeScroll=1
#synclient HorizEdgeScroll=1

synclient areaTopEdge=6000
synclient areaLeftEdge=0
synclient VertEdgeScroll=0
synclient HorizEdgeScroll=0
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

cesar mena
In reply to this post by Vincent Bernat


On Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 4:07 PM, Vincent Bernat <[hidden email]> wrote:
 ❦  3 septembre 2014 09:01 -0400, cesar mena <[hidden email]> :

> the clickpad situation is a little more bearable with the new
> xf86-input-synaptics and a newish kernel. that said, it is still
> unacceptable (as tested on a co-worker laptop).

When you say new xf86-input-synaptics, is that the one hacked together
available in Arch Linux
(https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/xf86-input-evdev-trackpoint/) or has
support for something similar landed upstream?
--
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Vincent Bernat
In reply to this post by Theodore Ts'o-2
 ❦  3 septembre 2014 16:40 -0400, Theodore Ts'o <[hidden email]> :

>> the clickpad situation is a little more bearable with the new
>> xf86-input-synaptics
>> and a newish kernel.  that said, it is still unacceptable (as tested on a
>> co-worker laptop).
>
> Have you tried with something like this?  It makes the trackpad work
> more like buttons (since I prefer using the J-stick to control the
> mouse pointer anyway).

Well, I have just turn the clickpad into a giant button area. I have
also patched synaptics driver with this patch to disable move but keep
gestures to get scrolling with two fingers:
 http://lists.freedesktop.org/pipermail/xorg/2014-June/056689.html

But I am missing the wheel mouse emulation. I will try with 1.8.0 if it
works.
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Ted Frater-2


On 03/09/14 23:13, Vincent Bernat wrote:

>   ❦  3 septembre 2014 16:40 -0400, Theodore Ts'o <[hidden email]> :
>
>>> the clickpad situation is a little more bearable with the new
>>> xf86-input-synaptics
>>> and a newish kernel.  that said, it is still unacceptable (as tested on a
>>> co-worker laptop).
>>
>> Have you tried with something like this?  It makes the trackpad work
>> more like buttons (since I prefer using the J-stick to control the
>> mouse pointer anyway).
>
> Well, I have just turn the clickpad into a giant button area. I have
> also patched synaptics driver with this patch to disable move but keep
> gestures to get scrolling with two fingers:
>   http://lists.freedesktop.org/pipermail/xorg/2014-June/056689.html
>
> But I am missing the wheel mouse emulation. I will try with 1.8.0 if it
> works.
>

Ive limited experience of the s/ware you describe, but I can imput the
following.
  I Used a Dell Latitude D800 for some 3 yrs, came to me in a part ex.
It was well made tho in the Dell ethos, not anywhere as good as a IBM
thinkpad.  It had its processor limitations so found after much
searching a T61P by lenovo Thinkpad. I have used this for  around a year
and it has been an excellent replacement. Tho the s/ware im using is
quite ordinary, its Linux mint.
Now my son who is involved in IT has just bought a s/hand Dell. The
highest spec tho as its with him currently in China i cant say exactly
the model. Its a real step up and is better than the current Thinkpads
for build quality. He said the new price was in the region of 1500 gbp.

Ted.

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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Richard Neill-2
In reply to this post by Theodore Ts'o-2

> Have you tried with something like this?  It makes the trackpad work
> more like buttons (since I prefer using the J-stick to control the
> mouse pointer anyway).
> - Ted


Thanks for this (below) - it's really helpful.
[The clickpad acts *only* as 3 big buttons (L,Mid,R) over the entire zone;
it ignores any form of 1/2/3 finger movements or taps].

Is there any way to combine it with EmulateWheel, so that a middle-button
press, combined with a trackpoint-movement will give Hor/vert scrolling?

I normally use xinput to do this, but it isn't supported:
THE_ID=11   #use xinput list to find this on your machine.
xinput set-prop $THE_ID "Evdev Wheel Emulation" 1
xinput set-prop $THE_ID "Evdev Wheel Emulation Button" 2

Thanks,

Richard


P.S. Also, I've appended my own trackpoint.sh, which may be helpful to
those who would like to make the pointing stick a bit more sensitive. The
negative-inertia setting is worth experimenting with: it effectively
prevents overshoot.




>
> # modified from stuff taken from:
> # https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Touchpad_Synaptics#Synclient
> #
> https://stuffivelearned.org/doku.php?id=os:linux:general:synapticstouchtricks
>
> synclient RightButtonAreaTop=0
> synclient RightButtonAreaRight=4858
> synclient RightButtonAreaBottom=5000
> synclient RightButtonAreaLeft=3500
>
> synclient MiddleButtonAreaTop=0
> synclient MiddleButtonAreaRight=3499
> synclient MiddleButtonAreaBottom=5000
> synclient MiddleButtonAreaLeft=2800
>
> synclient coastingFriction=50
> synclient coastingSpeed=15
>
> #synclient areaTopEdge=0
> #synclient areaLeftEdge=4858
> #synclient VertEdgeScroll=1
> #synclient HorizEdgeScroll=1
>
> synclient areaTopEdge=6000
> synclient areaLeftEdge=0
> synclient VertEdgeScroll=0
> synclient HorizEdgeScroll=0
> --
> The linux-thinkpad mailing list home page is at:
> http://mailman.linux-thinkpad.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-thinkpad
>


--- begin trackpoint.sh --

#Find and configure the trackpoint.
TP_SENSITIVITY="/sys/devices/platform/i8042/serio*/serio*/sensitivity"

#Find the device. It's usually serio1/serio2, but look for the sensitivity
control for a positive ID.
if [ ! -f "$(echo $TP_SENSITIVITY)" ]; then
        echo "Error: cannot find trackpoint at '$TP_SENSITIVITY'; giving
up"; exit 1
else
        tp=$(dirname $TP_SENSITIVITY);
fi

#Set trackpoint sensitivity to highest.
echo "Making trackpoint more sensitive..."
sudo sh -c "echo -n 255 > $tp/sensitivity"      #Makes it a very light
touch. Default: 128
sudo sh -c "echo -n 255 > $tp/speed"            #Not much effect.
sudo sh -c "echo -n 3   > $tp/inertia"          #Negative inertia.
Default: 6. Prevents overshoot.

#Note that the TP also supports an optional "press-to-select" feature,
where tapping it acts like a left-click. This is the "press_to_select"
control in the same directory.

--- end trackpoint.sh ----
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

cesar mena
In reply to this post by Theodore Ts'o-2
thanks theodore,

this helps ... a little. 
i hadn't realized how much i did used the trackpad before.  
*sigh*



On Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Theodore Ts'o <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Wed, Sep 03, 2014 at 09:01:08AM -0400, cesar mena wrote:
> hello guys,
>
> the clickpad situation is a little more bearable with the new
> xf86-input-synaptics
> and a newish kernel.  that said, it is still unacceptable (as tested on a
> co-worker laptop).

Have you tried with something like this?  It makes the trackpad work
more like buttons (since I prefer using the J-stick to control the
mouse pointer anyway).

                                        - Ted

# modified from stuff taken from:
# https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Touchpad_Synaptics#Synclient
# https://stuffivelearned.org/doku.php?id=os:linux:general:synapticstouchtricks

synclient RightButtonAreaTop=0
synclient RightButtonAreaRight=4858
synclient RightButtonAreaBottom=5000
synclient RightButtonAreaLeft=3500

synclient MiddleButtonAreaTop=0
synclient MiddleButtonAreaRight=3499
synclient MiddleButtonAreaBottom=5000
synclient MiddleButtonAreaLeft=2800

synclient coastingFriction=50
synclient coastingSpeed=15

#synclient areaTopEdge=0
#synclient areaLeftEdge=4858
#synclient VertEdgeScroll=1
#synclient HorizEdgeScroll=1

synclient areaTopEdge=6000
synclient areaLeftEdge=0
synclient VertEdgeScroll=0
synclient HorizEdgeScroll=0
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Re: Selecting a new Thinkpad

Theodore Ts'o-2
In reply to this post by Richard Neill-2
On Tue, Sep 09, 2014 at 10:23:51AM +0100, Richard Neill wrote:
>
> Thanks for this (below) - it's really helpful.
> [The clickpad acts *only* as 3 big buttons (L,Mid,R) over the entire zone;
> it ignores any form of 1/2/3 finger movements or taps].
>
> Is there any way to combine it with EmulateWheel, so that a middle-button
> press, combined with a trackpoint-movement will give Hor/vert scrolling?

The only thing that I could get to work was to mess with the synpad to
provide scrolling by sliding along the left and bottom edge.  If you
uncomment the lines in the shell script I sent out, it attempts to do
that.  It didn't work well enough for me, so I gave up on it.

                         - Ted

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