Monday, November 30, 2009

Linux: Help, my Mouse is Possessed!

I have a MacBook running Ubuntu 9.04. Every once in a while, the mouse moves by itself. I always assumed it was my palm grazing the trackpad. If you have VertEdgeScroll turned on (which is the default), it's really easy for your right hand to touch the right side of the trackpad and cause your window to scroll. I figured OS X was just better at palm detection.

However, I recently bought a really nice external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I was sitting reading some code. I was nowhere near my trackpad. In fact, I wasn't even typing or moving the mouse, although my hand was resting gently on my mouse. (If you're in the mood for a good conspiracy theory, keep in mind that it's a Microsoft mouse and an Apple keyboard.) All of a sudden, my mouse started moving. It's not a bluetooth mouse. None of my friends are around to be playing tricks on me (that I know of). It moved three inches right, and then down and to the left, and then all the way to the right. What the heck?!?

6 comments:

Sunny said...

Which MacBook are you using. I have a MacBook 4,1 and I installed Ubuntu(8.10) on it once. I had similar problem with the mouse for example I would slide up just a little bit and it would slide up much more.
Also the sound was terrible so I eventually gave up Ubuntu on MacBook and use VMWare when I have to really use Ubuntu.

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

I have a 4,1 as well. The sound issue is supposedly fixed in 9.10. Thanks for the tip!

elarson said...

I've had a couple laptops that all started showing odd mouse behavior that seemed to be associated with the trackpad going out. Hopefully that is not the case, but it might be, even with your external mouse plugged in.

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

Thanks, elarson. I've never seen this behavior when I'm using OS X, but I haven't booted into OS X for over a month.

Heikki Toivonen said...

Two or maybe three of my Dell laptops have experienced that. In one the pointing stick became stuck in bottom-left direction, so I had to disable the whole device. I was using Windows XP then.

Now my Dell Latitude D820 and D830 occasionally show the mouse pointer wondering around. It seems like resting my left hand on the lower left hand part of the hand rest can cause this. It is not too frequent yet to be too annoying, but it definitely feels creepy when it happens. I might need to see if disabling the pointing stick or trackpad would help.

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

That would corroborate my wife saying it happens to her on her Dell.