I’ve got a nice little treat for you today: a response to a shitty article! When I first saw the title of this article (and even worse, its subtitle), I had a brain aneurysm. My brain was in just in serious pain from the thought of coming across yet another shitty, dumb, trashy article – one that merited a response.
Perhaps the most painful part of all this is that this article is targeted at a feature from my favorite computer in the world: the ThinkPad. The feature that’s being smeared, you ask? None other than the TrackPoint, of course! Because there just isn’t enough of that already!
Today, I’m going to be responding to some guy called Juan Buis. He wrote a nice little article about the TrackPoint titled “We Need To Talk About The Nipple Mouse” (the title alone gives it away). If you don’t know who he is, lucky you! Trust me, you don’t wanna know who he is after you read this horrible piece of trash ‘article’ he has put out…Well Actually, I’m going to do the reading for you so you won’t have to go through all that torture (and trust me, its torturous). Consider me taking one for the team!
So with that out of the way, lets get started, shall we?
“This is the nipple mouse.”
What are you? 5?
“If you’ve never seen one before, it’s pretty hard to guess what it actually does.”
Here’s an easy way to know what it does: move it around (especially with the computer on)! Any dummy can do that.
“The pointing stick, as it’s also called, is a way to control your laptop. Developed by IBM in the 80s as an alternative to the trackpad and mouse, it was designed to keep your hands hovering above the keyboard. This way, you could switch between typing and moving the cursor faster, without moving your hands.”
“Sounds great, right?”
“If you’ve ever used it, you know it’s pretty much the worst thing ever.”
I beg to differ. As someone who has used one of these “nipple mice” (as you so eloquently put it) for 13 years, I can tell that its THE best thing ever! The TrackPoint (as its actually called), lets me keep my hands on the keyboard, while moving the cursor, at the same time. It saves me a lot of time and energy. This is great, not just for typing, but also for working in Photoshop or Illustrator, doing 3D modeling, and working on a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).
Trackpads just can’t compare. They’re absolutely horrible for productivity. They’re very clunky and constraining. In fact, every time I have to use a laptop without a TrackPoint, I absolutely need to use a mouse, because trackpads just give me nothing but endless frustration. If anything, trackpads are the worst thing ever.
“The nipple mouse isn’t just incredibly ugly — it’s also very hard to use.”
I’m assuming you’ve used the pointing stick (known as the TrackPoint on ThinkPads) on non-ThinkPad laptops. If you’ve ever used the TrackPoint on a ThinkPad, you’ll know that its very smooth. Its really not that hard to use a TrackPoint. You just gently slide your finger on top of it and move it to the direction you want. Its sort of like the joystick on a game controller (because the TrackPoint is really just that – a joystick). You don’t need to press it hard (something that I can just tell you’ve done).
Believe it or not, when I first used the TrackPoint, I got the hang of it on my very first try! I originally thought that it was going to take some time to get used to it, but apparently I was wrong!
And newsflash: not everything is about looking ‘pretty’. Sometimes, you have to prioritize function over form – especially when you’re making something that is more on the utilitarian side of things.
“To move the cursor, you need to firmly press your finger on the dot and wiggle your finger around in the direction where you want it to go.”
No, you don’t. I just explained it earlier: you don’t need to press it hard.
“This nipple is extremely sensitive, however, which makes it hard to land the cursor where it needs to go — instead, it tends to fly across the screen uncontrollably.”
That’s whole point! (No pun intended!) The TrackPoint is supposed to be sensitive, that way, you won’t need to press it firmly! If you press it firmly, guess what? The cursor is going to fly across the screen uncontrollably! Go figure! The TrackPoint is really no different from the joystick found in game controllers.
And also, can you quit calling it a “nipple”? Its extremely annoying (you’re already annoying enough).
“After IBM’s invention, they refined the technology and put it on its laptops. Now called TrackPoint, throughout the 90s millions of consumers got to know the dumb dot — it was stuck on the keyboard of the company’s popular line of ThinkPad computers. Lenovo then acquired the ThinkPad line in 2005.”
WHAT!? DUMB DOT!?!?!? Could you be any more of a fucking child!?
Where the fuck are you getting this stuff from? The TrackPoint has ALWAYS been called the TrackPoint. IBM came up with the term. Lenovo didn’t refine the TrackPoint. The TrackPoint came along when Lenovo acquired IBM’s PC Division (which, of course, included the ThinkPad). If anything, the TrackPoint has always been constantly refined – ever since the launch of the first ThinkPad (the changes are so subtle that you can’t notice it unless you use one).
This really proves that, you sir, really ARE the dumbest person in the world. BUT, I will give you credit for getting that last fact right.
“The pointing stick never became a commercial success — today, trackpads dominate the laptop market.”
While its true that the TrackPoint doesn’t have the type of success that the trackpad has, have you ever considered that maybe the reason for the TrackPoint not having that type of success (i.e. mainstream success) is because its more of a niche product? These things are typically found on business/professional laptops. Professionals require more precision and value utility more than form. The TrackPoint – unlike the trackpad – is more about function over form. Consumers (or at least, typical consumers), on the other hand, don’t really care about function and so they don’t mind sacrificing that in order to have more form.
To call it a failure is just going too far. “Failure” is so far from true. It has certainly found success, just not in the mainstream. You just need to look around you, but for that, you will need to get out of your little bubble and actually use your brain (which I can see you’re not comfortable doing).
Let me tell you something: a Lamborghini isn’t a hot-seller like, say, a Toyota Prius. By your logic, Lamborghini is a failure because it hasn’t achieved the type of commercial success that the Prius has. But what you fail to realize is that its not all black and white. The Lamborghini is a niche product, so of course its not going to have the type of commercial success that a Prius (or other mainstream car) has. But just because it doesn’t have mainstream success doesn’t mean its a failure. If you take a closer look, you’ll see that the Lamborghini is certainly doing well in its niche (the same is very true of one of my other favorite cars – and my most favorite car – the Ford Econoline [a.k.a. the Ford E-Series]. The Econoline is another niche product and did very well back when Ford was still making the van models, in fact, it was the best-selling van in America for a long number of years before being discontinued in 2014 – despite how successful it was in its targeted demographic).
Bottom line is: both the TrackPoint and Lamborghini are indeed successful – just not in the mainstream…and there’s nothing wrong with that. That, right there, is just the reality of having a niche product. Don’t go out and call something a failure just because it has achieved mainstream success. What you’re doing right there is just dumb, lazy, and disingenuous. All this just goes to show you that you don’t understand marketing and how target demographics work.
“Apple used to make the best ones — they’re big, made of glass and support multi-touch — but in recent years other manufacturers caught up, and most laptops sold today feature a great trackpad.”
Nah. Trackpads still suck. I don’t care how good trackpads are, they still suck.
“All the while, companies are constantly coming up with new ways to interact with our devices. Microsoft’s Surface Studio introduced the Dial, a funky puck-shaped controller that’s great for creatives. Apple’s new iPhone X comes with an impressive array of sensors that map the muscles in your face to enable things like Animoji.”
And that’s great! Microsoft’s, in particular, interests me. I think its great that companies are coming up with new ways to interact with our devices. Having all these options at our disposal is just great. However, that doesn’t mean that the TrackPoint is “outdated”, as you so claim it is. Its just another tool available at our disposal. What pointing device you use really depends on your needs, as well as personal preferences.
“All the while, for some reason, the pointing stick is still alive and well.”
Wait…Hang on a second. “Well“?
Didn’t you just call it a “failure”? Is it doing well, or has it failed? Which one is it?
And the reason the TrackPoint is still kicking is simple: its because people still want AND need it. (Just take a look at what I wrote a little while ago if you need a refresher.)
“You read that right — this 2017 Lenovo ThinkPad has it front and center. You can buy a new laptop today and it’ll still have one of the worst pieces of technology ever baked in.”
What the fuck is it with you and this TrackPoint hate boner of yours!? Like, what the fuck is wrong with you? The TrackPoint is one of the BEST pieces of technology ever invented. Trackpads, on the other hand, are one of the WORST pieces of technology ever invented. Get the fuck outta here with this shit!
“And it gets worse—on September 25, the 25th Anniversary Edition of the ThinkPad leaked. Guess what it still has.”
Oh no! The horror!
Man, you really are a child. I don’t think you understand what the word “retro” means, so I highly recommend you look that word up in the dictionary. Take the time to learn something new today.
“When Lenovo’s chief design officer David Hill was asked why the hell some of the company’s laptops still ship with a nipple mouse, he replied:
Some people get it and some people don’t; some people acquire the taste. It’s hard to explain, but I still think there’s a use for it.”
Maybe, just maybe, you should listen to what he has to say and take his advice.
“David, are you serious? Come on dude, it’s time to retire this… thing. Call it the nipple mouse, call it a TrackPoint™ Pointing Device, I don’t care. It’s old technology, it’s incredibly ugly and nobody wants it.”
I hate you so much right now. You cannot be fucking serious right now. You have pushed my last buttons. IT’S NOT “OLD” TECHNOLOGY. It’s a CLASSIC, TRIED AND TRUE technology. It’s NOT ugly, It’s just a TOOL! YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO USE IT! If you wanna use a touchpad, then use it! If you don’t want to use a TrackPoint, then don’t! Its that simple.
I don’t give a shit about what you use. What I do give a shit about, however, is when scumbags like you go out and smear something (or someone, for that matter) that you don’t understand – without even taking the time to understand it. You sound no different from a schoolyard bully. I also cannot fucking stand it when people intentionally spread around misinformation and are being disingenuous.
The TrackPoint is something (perhaps THE main thing) that makes a ThinkPad, a ThinkPad. If you were all of a sudden get rid of it, it just wouldn’t be the same…Not to mention that you would be feeling the wrath of ThinkPad diehards like myself. There’s a saying around ThinkPad circles that goes along the lines of: “No TrackPoint, No ThinkPad”. The TrackPoint is a very crucial piece to the ThinkPad’s identity. Not to mention that it makes it stand out from all its competitors. If it didn’t have it, it would be ‘just another laptop’.
You are just dead wrong here. There are PLENTY of people out there who still use AND WANT the TrackPoint, including yours truly. Just take look around you and ACTUALLY take the time to understand us and the TrackPoint, instead of doing all this smearing.
“After 3 decades, just take your loss. Trackpads won.”
What an enticing argument you have there, Juan! Great job! You deserve a gold star for that!
But in all seriousness, what you really deserve is an award for “idiot of the year”, because you really ARE this year’s biggest idiot – not to mention, biggest asshole. This is such a weak ass argument you’re making. The fact that trackpads are more prevalent than TrackPoints/trackballs/pointing sticks doesn’t mean anything (see my previous arguments earlier in this post). I also love the fact that you don’t even bother to go into more detail on WHY trackpads are so great compared to the TrackPoint. All you’re doing is talking shit on something that you don’t understand and clearly don’t want to take the time to understand. You sound like nothing more than a whinny-ass little bitch.
Just admit it: you have no real argument, which is why you have to resort to writing garbage like this. In writing this piece of shit post, you made yourself look like a total jackass. Congratulations!
Unlike you, I can tell you exactly why the TrackPoint is so much more superior to the trackpad. I can also tell you why trackpads are inferior compared to the TrackPoint. So with that in mind – and to wrap things up – here some reasons why TrackPoints are so much better than trackpads:
– Its versatile
– Its quick and efficient
– Its simple
– Its ergonomic & comfortable to use
– It allows me to keep my hands on the keyboard without moving my hands, allowing me to finish my work quicker and saving a lot of time and energy
– Its great for graphic work, as well as music production and DJing (which requires me to turn a lot of knobs, move a lot of sliders, etc.)
– Its precise
– It just works
And here are some reasons why trackpads suck:
– They’re rigid and constraining
– They’re clunky
– They’re slow
– They’re imprecise (seriously, have you tried working in Photoshop with it?)
– They’re not very ergonomic
– They make me more prone to making errors
– They make my hand tire out much more quickly & are generally uncomfortable to use
– They feel unnatural to use & are a general pain-in-the-ass to use
Juan, do us all a favor and stop making pieces like these. This only makes you look like a total jackass and I can’t take you seriously, as a result. You really sound like a child doing this kind of shit. This is nothing more than sensationalist, clickbait-y, garbage.
Unlike you, I understand why people use trackpads (even though I don’t agree with them, or like trackpads and think they’re garbage). I just don’t go around demeaning people who use them and writing slanderous articles about them. Why? Its because there’s a little something called personal preference. You might want to go look it up. Next time, take the time to actually understand something before you write a negative piece on it. I know that if I were to write a critical piece on the trackpad, it would be, well…critical! I would be making well thought-out, coherent arguments, instead of downright trashing it.
As you can see, this piece is just another shitty, generic, TrackPoint-bashing article. Its making the same arguments (or lack thereof) as other negative pieces about the TrackPoint. Unlike others however, this one was particularly bad – and infuriating – because it was really nothing more than childish banter. It basically amounts to: “Waaahhh!!! This thing isn’t new and shiny and I don’t understand why people still like it, therefore its bad and icky!”
Well, that’s all for now everyone! Thanks for dropping by and reading this! Feel free to share this wherever you want and I’ll see you all next time! Take care!