Getting Touchpad to Work with Windows 7

I’ve been using Windows 7 on my Toshiba M700 Tablet since the RTM was available on MSDN a couple of months ago. And it’s been great! No kidding. There were a handful of drivers I needed to download from Toshiba, but everything just works, except for the mouse.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The mouse works just fine. It’s all the special features that don’t work. And that’s not the fault of Microsoft, it’s the fault of Toshiba for not having the needed drivers.

Today though, I got sick of it. One of my biggest issues is that while I’m typing, my hands are very near the touchpad, practically on top. And more often than not, I’ll ever so gently catch the touchpad with my palm, and reposition the cursor. It drives me nuts. Fortunately it hasn’t been an issue because most of the time my tablet is docked at home. However, now that I’m on vacation and using it on the go, it’s been a huge issue.

The solution was easy though. After searching through some forums, several people noted that version 7.2.303.107 of the Alps Pointing Device Driver was working for people using all sorts of laptops with Windows 7 (including Dells).

The best place I found to get it was from the Toshiba Drivers Download Site for the Portege A600. Select “Touchpad” from the categories and click “Alps Pointing Device Driver (32/64bit) (v7.2.303.107; 10-06-2008; 7M)” from the results. It’s designed for Vista 32-/64-bit, however I’m using it on Windows 7 64-bit just fine.

Problem solved!

Looking at Getting a New Tablet

Forward: Many people ask me for my help in purchasing a computer. Here’s a sort of a behind the scenes of what I go through when purchasing a computer for myself.

In October, it will have been four years since I got my Toshiba M200. I think for most people, four years for a laptop would be pretty good. For me, that’s an amazing amount of time to have the same laptop. In face any laptop that survives four years with me should be nominated for some sort of award.

Originally, I wanted to wait until I graduated before I got a new computer. However, there have been some tell-tale signs that my current system is on it’s way out the door. Faced with that impending doom and reality that technology has bettered itself significantly in the last few years, I’ve spent the last couple of months looking for a replacement.

I’ve had a Toshiba for the last 8 years and there is a strong incentive to stay with them. I’m pretty apt (and comfortable) with opening up their systems, I have several Toshiba accessories (including no less then four power cords), and know for a fact there is a certified Toshiba Repair center with 45 minutes of my houses (both in Seattle and Colorado). However, the game was was open to all and in addition to Toshiba, I looked at Lenovo, Dell, HP, and Gateway.

There were some basic things that were pretty non-negotiable. Fortunately, every manufacturer was able to meet them: Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM installed.

I was appalled by Dell’s offer: $2880 for a basic system with a 1.33GHz Core 2 Duo and 2048MB of RAM, max. HP’s bid was a much more reasonable price, $1749, but only 1.2 GHz and still 2048MB of RAM (although I think you can get up to 3GB in the HP).

Gateway offers a pretty reasonable system, however I’ve had issues with them in the past that I still haven’t gotten over yet. They were also the heaviest system and the lowest ranked tablet by Laptop Magazine. So Gateway was out too.

This basically left it between Toshiba and Lenovo. Between the two, Toshiba wins on the processor and price. Battery life is a bit tricky to gauge, however I believe that Lenovo has . Lenovo has a 3-year 9×5 next day on site warranty while Toshiba I’d have to bring to Lone Tree to get it repaired.

While not a huge downside, the Lenovo does not have an internal optical drive (which Toshiba does). The Toshiba also has a 7-in-1 media card reader, which is nice because I transfer quite a bit of photos via CompactFlash and Secure Digital.

Both PC Magazine and Laptop Magazine gave the Toshiba M700 4/5 and the Lenovo X61 4.5/5.

I’m leaning pretty heavily toward the Toshiba and I’ll probably make my final decision within a month. I gotta also figure out money.

Trade study after the jump…
Continue reading “Looking at Getting a New Tablet”

No Such Luck

Paying 5.4 cents per a gigabyte seems like it’s going to have to wait for another day. Dell canceled my order:

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your recent order.

We regret that, because of a pricing error, we have cancelled this order as it relates to a SimpleTech 1.5 TB Hi-Speed USB/eSata-300 Duo Pro External Hard Drive.

As you may have noticed, Dell specifically indicates on our web pages, catalogs, advertising and order-confirmation that Dell cannot be responsible for pricing or other errors, and reserves the right to cancel orders arising from such errors.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We truly value our relationship and reputation with our customers. Please be assured that we are working hard to avoid similar issues.

We invite you to visit or call 1-800-999-3355 if you wish to place an order for this product at its correct price.



Personally, putting that part about “Dell cannot be responsible for pricing or other errors” is really just a load of crap. I know they have the technology to verify the prices before they go live. I think that all companies should have to honor posted prices no matter what.

Besides, if they really “truly value [their] relationship and reputation with [their] customers,” they would have eaten the cost and sent them out anyway. Or maybe just offer to sell it to us at cost.

But only if they “truly value[d]” us.

1.5 TB for $76

I just bought an external 1.5TB hard drive for $81.38 from Dell.

You heard me right, for $67.99 + $7.99 shipping and $5.40 in taxes I got my hands on a SimpleTech 1.5TB SimpleDrive Pro Duo USB 2.0/eSata External Drive (FP-UFE2/1.5TB).

That’s 5.4 cents per a gigabyte, which is crazy low!

Amazon says that they should going for closer to $600.

I think that someone at Dell made a typo and instead of typing in 679.99, they punched 67.999 (and the computer just truncated the last digit).

Get’em while they hot and not sold out:

Dell/SimpleTech 1.5TB external HDD

Thanks to Matt for finding the link on Slickdeals