Tweaking the Thinkpad T580

Like all laptops, the newly acquired Thinkpad T580 came with a trackpad.

The T580 trackpad itself functions as clickable buttons, which at times is annoying. The trackpad also seems too large. The trackpad seems too sensitive and difficult to control the mouse pointer.

After installing Slackware 15.0, accidental touching found the trackpad functioning. Trackpads are are clunky tools. Thankfully, only a little debugging was required. The difference from the Thinkpad T400 is the trackpad device name found by the xinput command is Synaptics rather than Touchpad. Adding that criterion to the shell script disabled the T580 trackpad.

On the T400 the Fn+F11 keyboard shortcut was programmed to toggle trackpad functionality. This shortcut failed on the T580. Running acpi-listen revealed the event key sequence was different. On the T400 the event sequence is button/fnf11 FF11 00000080 00000000 K. On the T580 the sequence is event=ibm/hotkey LEN0268:00 00000080 00001315. Updating the respective /etc/acpi event config restored the shortcut.

Adjusting to a high resolution display is introducing small challenges. KDE supports global screen scaling, but for now adjusting font sizes seems easier. A related example is the font size in the goldendict dictionary tool is too small. The fix is using the Ctrl key and mouse scroll wheel to adjust the font sizes or using the toolbar zoom tools.

On a good note, KDE seems responsive using the intel_pstate powersave CPU frequency governor. This prompted testing on the office desktop and Thinkpad T400. KDE seems responsive there too. Perhaps something was fixed in the kernel after the original governor testing.

Ongoing is acclimating to the different keyboard — both touch and feel and key placement. Undoing years of memory muscle often is a challenge.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Slackware

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