touchpad woes: quick fix?

Paul Fox pgf at
Fri May 14 17:05:26 EDT 2010

hi all --

we've had reports from the XO-1 deployments in haiti of a
technique that kids are using to make their touchpads more
reliable.  since it's notoriously hard to recreate field
conditions here in the rarified environment of the OLPC world
headquarters corporate penthouse suite [1], i'm wondering if
folks on this list might give this trick a try, and see if you
think it's an improvement.

there's no rush on this -- try it, give it a while, and report

the thing the kids are doing is simply covering the touchpad
with...  scotch tape.  really.  just that.  so the thing to try
is that, or maybe a sticker, or maybe even a Post-it note of the
right size, affixed on top of the active area of the touchpad. 
(there's some basis for this having an affect, in that increasing
the gap between one's finger and the touchpad will change the
capacitive coupling between the two.)  i'm told the kids are using
the glossy kind of tape, but i don't know if that's due to
preference, or availability.

please give it a try, and let us know your impressions.

[1] just kidding about the "rarified" and "penthouse" parts.  but
the touchpad do, unfortunately, work reasonably well in our
typically climate-controlled office.
 paul fox, pgf at

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