Monday, 5 November 2001
Toshiba will no longer produce the smart little joystick named accupoint (

Oh, how much misery can one bear? Last summer I switched from my old beloved Thinkpad to a new Toshiba Portégé.

Fortunately this Toshiba has the same kind of smart stick between its keys, a big advantage. Yes, it's boring grey compared to the exciting red knob of big sister IBM. Still it is a selling feature to me.

  • The stick is right in the middle of the keys, never obstructing, really at hand. A big plus for those who know Fitts's law.
  • The most accurate instrument is the tip of a finger. And yes: that's exactly what you use to steer the stick. Well designed, just using the small muscular movements. Wrist and lower arm won't have to move. It has always been a mystery to me why you have to move your lower arm to operate a mouse.
  • I don't like a touchpad. Continuous switching to and from the keyboard, a double arm move, unnecessary big muscular movements.

    On top of that, I often unwittingly touch a touchpad with my thumbs. Unexpected cursor movements are the result, which I only notice when it is already too late. It drives me mad.

Fortunately the stick remains on the more expensive business models. So the stick between the keys will turn into a luxury for the happy few, only for the experienced professionals.

Till next week,