[Jani] directed us to his tutorial on making a laptop touchpad work with an Arduino. After seeing the recent post on touch pad and VFD hacking, he couldn’t resist finding one of these to play with. He shows us how to connect it all up and offers two methods of using the data from it. The first method is to determine the direction of finger travel and the second, shown above, is to use it more like the volume control on an iPod. Source code for both is available on his site.
Surprisingly, one of the most common complaints we hear from people trying out macs are the fact that there isn’t a right click. The latest version, the unibody, has an option that remedies this, but older versions are stuck without. While you could always plug a USB mouse in, that is hardly a hacker’s solution. [spiritplumber] sent us this mod he did, adding right click functionality to his Macbook Pro. It is worth noting that this is meant for the 2006 to 2008 version of the Macbook Pro. You’re on your own for different ones.
[spiritplumber] points out that there are test points on the back of the track pad that emulate certain events. One of wich, just happens to be a right click. He shows us how to wire this, to a home made contact button under the right corner of the track pad. This can be potentially hazardous to your macbook, so be careful and follow his tips for soldering. If you want, you can do the same to the opposite side for your left click, or just leave it the way it is. You can see a video of it in action after the break.