Pointing stick

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Touchpad_-_Trackpoint.jpg
Trackpoint and Touchpad

The pointing stick (trademarked by IBM as the TrackPoint) is a pointing device for laptops invented by research scientist Ted Selker and equips IBM's line of ThinkPad laptops (now made by Lenovo).

The pointing stick has a replaceable red-tip which is often referred to as the cap or the nipple. On a QWERTY keyboard, the stick is embedded between the 'G', 'H' and 'B' keys, and the mouse buttons are placed just below the Spacebar.

The pointing stick operates by sensing applied force (hence it is also known as an isometric joystick), typically by measuring the resistance of a material. The velocity of the cursor is then proportional to the applied force.

The pointing stick seems to be declining in deployment, to the dismay of those who find it to be preferable to either mouse or touchpad. It is especially liked by touch-typists because it is the only pointing device which does not require the user to remove their fingers from the home row.

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