Disabling Your Touchpad In Slackware (KDE)

Every been typing along somewhere and have your cursor jump across the page because your thumb hit the touchpad on your laptop accidentally?

Well, on some of those high priced commercial operating systems like Windows or MacOS there might actually be a setting or a keyboard shortcut that disables your touchpad. Us Slackware users are made of stronger stuff than most. We don’t want no silly buttons and keyboard shortcuts. We want scripts and command line stuff, right? We like to do things down at the nitty-gritty level of computing.

So, with that in mind, if you’re running Slackware/KDE, you can make yourself a nice little script that will disable your laptop’s touchpad and you’ll never have to cuss again when that cursor goes zooming across the screen while you’re typing that flaming post on USENET to that know-it-all Ubuntu dev.

Here’s what you do…

First check to see if you have a /home/<username>/.kde/env directory. If you don’t, create it:

you@your_system ~:$ cd .kde

you@your_system ~:$ mkdir env

You can also do this graphically, if you prefer, but we know you hardcore Slackers don’t do things graphically now, do you? ;)

Anyway, once you’ve determined that you have the directory or have created one, you can now create the simple little script to place in there that will KILL that annoying touchpad.

Using vi, vim, or whatever editor you like, create this small file:

#!/bin/bash

synclient TouchpadOff=1

Save the file as “myenv.sh” in your /home/username/.kde/env directory. Make sure it is executable:

you@your_system ~:$ chmod 755 myenv.sh

Log out of your current KDE session and log back in. The touchpad from HELL is now as dead as weird uncle Bob’s hairpiece. WOO-HOO!

For those of you who occasionally use your laptop sans an external mouse, you can always revive the touchpad by changing the permissions on the myenv.sh file or just renaming it to myenv.inop. Since “inop” is an extension that the operating system does not recognize, it just ignores it. I’ve used “inop” to kill executables since way back in my Windoze daze. It works fine.

Anywho, I hope this little trick will make your Slackware/KDE computering that much more enjoyable. Oh, and I cannot take credit for this at all. A member of the kde.org forums called google01103 posted this tip in a thread over there about disabling that pesky touchpad. Credit where credit is due. That’s my motto.

Have fun…

~Eric

Image credits: toilet laptop user – source/ownership unknown = If you own this image, please contact me regarding permissions/copyrights. ~Eric


Playing w/ My Conky

Some friends over at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux got me started playing with Conky the other night.

I used to be a Gkrellm fan until transparency failed to display properly a while back. I didn’t feel like messing around with feh and lib workarounds, so I just quit using it. Sad. It was a wonderful system monitor app, too.

The past  couple days, I’ve wasted hours of my life tweaking and experimenting with Conky config codes and colors. Yes, it is addictive. I was warned. Here are some of the results of my descent into Conky tweaking oblivion:

I haven’t even scratched the surface of what can be done with this neat little app. It was fun, though, but I really need to go back to studying now. You folks can have fun with your Conky, too. Just go to SourceForge and read all about it. Oh, for you Slackers, there is a SlackBuild for Conky. :)

Well, I’m off to go stick my nose back in this baby for a while:

Later…

~Eric

Addenda I: I just had to make a blue version of that dragon. ;)


Slax 7.0? It’s About Time!

Many of us have patiently waited for this:

New Design for Slax.org, Preparing Final Release

at 17:40 Posted by Barnaby |

Just in time for the expected final release of Slax 7.0 on Monday after all this time the web site has had a makeover as well to serve as a visual reminder that a new age for Slax has truly arrived.

Read the article at Linux, BSD, and everything else…

Hmm… KDE, huh? Well, I’ll deal with that if necessary. ;)

Happy Slaxxing! :)

~Eric


Today’s Featured Distribution – Ark Linux (Revisited)

As you can see from the Linux Family Tree, Ark Linux is a main branch distribution (with a little inbreeding from cousin Redhat) that’s been around since 2003.

I ran Ark as an experimental on my system a couple times in the past few years. I was always impressed with it. It’s simple. It’s not bloated or overloaded with fluff. It’s a working man’s (or woman’s) Linux. For those of you concerned about these things, Ark is a 100% FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) distribution.

The Ark Linux team is a small group of dedicated souls working to keep the distribution viable and as pure to their goals as possible. I’ve noticed that there have been inconsistencies with updates and upgrades over the past year or so. There is still an active presence, so I know Ark is alive and well. It’s just that I’ve become used to some of the more “commercial” distributions that update and upgrade every time their lead devs change underwear. Ark’s foundation is solid. They may not need to do as the others do in this regard.

You can download current and older versions of Ark from Oregon State University’s server (osuosl.org). The information you need to download is on Ark’s download page.

You’ll find Ark familiar and easy to use. It comes with KDE as the default desktop environment. It uses the familiar RPM and Apt as package managers. Most of your favorite Linux apps and tools will run fine on Ark. Their repos have the standard fare found in most distributions’ repositories.

Give Ark Linux a try, folks. You might find something here you really like. I did.

Until next time… learn something, and have FUN doing it!

~Eric

Note: This article originally appeared on my Nocturnal Slacker/Lockergnome blog (now defunct).


Mate – an Alternative Desktop Environment

So, you’re not too thrilled with Gnome 3, Unity, or KDE 4. Well, here’s another option…

MATE is a Gnome 2 fork started by Arch Linux Forum member Perberos. I like the description: MATE Desktop Environment, a non-intuitive and unattractive desktopHeh! Can’t get much more honest than that.

Christopher Tozzi at varguy.com wrote a nice article about MATE. Here’s a snippet or two:

Right or wrong, plenty of Linux users — such as this guy — have been less than happy with the interface changes wrought by the advent of Unity and GNOME 3. Lucky for these people, there’s hope in the form of MATE, a fork of GNOME 2…

To be perfectly upfront with my readers here, I have never tried Gnome 3 or Unity on any of my systems. I do have some experience with KDE 4, as many of you know; none of it was pleasant. My main desktop environment is Xfce. I’ve been using Xfce primarily in my main (Slackware) and secondary (Arch) installations for quite some time now; ever since KDE 4 first came on the scene, actually. I was a big KDE fan up till then. Oh well… the world moves on.

Tozzi continues…

GNOME 2 may not have been ideal for touchscreens or tablets, and it wasn’t the most visually dazzling interface out there. But it got the job done without giving me a headache or turning every mouse click into a surprise by eliciting totally unpredictable behavior.

A surprise with every mouse click. Hmm… that sounds a lot like my KDE 4 experience. ;)

Seriously, folks… as I always say, whatever works best for you is what’s best for you. If you would like to go back to the older, more stable, less visually orgasmic Gnome 2 days, give Mate a shot.

Have fun!

~Eric


Linus Likes Xfce

Just a quickie here, folks.

Check it out –> Linus Ditches KDE and Gnome (so what?) | Linux Journal

Xfce – the little mouse that roared. :)

Later…

~Eric


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