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Re: How I set up my Microsoft Trackball Optical

Thanks for this Kirk ;)

I've had a trackball for sometime (which is the best piece of kit, I've
ever seen from MS) but only use the wheel and two main buttons.
Inspired by your post I'll try this when I find some time.



On (16/07/04 16:37), Kirk Strauser wrote:
> This was kind of a pain in the neck, so I'm collecting my experiences into 
> one Googleable post for the sake of the next person.
> I just bought a Microsoft Trackball Optical for use with my Debian/unstable 
> system.  Installation was a breeze - I just plugged it in to the USB port 
> and it instantly worked, scroll wheel and all.  However, my particular 
> model had two extra narrow buttons on the left and right outside edges.  By 
> default they were set to emulate a middle-click and right-click (left and 
> right "extra" buttons respectively).  Since that was hardly useful I 
> decided to put them to better use.
> *** Step 1:  Configuring X
> I slightly modified the "mouse" section of /etc/X11/XF86Config by changing 
> the "Protocol" from "Auto" to "ExplorerPS/2", disabled "Emulate3Buttons", 
> and set the number of "Buttons" to "7":
> Section "InputDevice"
>         Identifier  "Microsoft Trackball Optical"
>         Driver      "mouse"
>         Option      "CorePointer"
>         Option      "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
>         Option      "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
>         Option      "Buttons" "7"
>         Option      "ZAxisMapping" "6 7"
>         Option      "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
> EndSection
> *** Step 2:  Configuring Xmodmap
> By setting the number of buttons to 7 in XF86Config, the up and down scroll 
> wheel movements got bumped from buttons 4 and 5 to buttons 6 and 7.  
> However, almost all X apps expect them to be on 4 and 5.  I 
> created /etc/X11/Xmodmap with the contents below to reorder the mouse 
> button numbers so that the scroll wheel once again controls 4 and 5, and 6 
> and 7 are mapped to the "extra" buttons.
>     $ cat /etc/X11/Xmodmap
>     ! Re-order the mouse buttons
>     pointer = 1 2 3 6 7 4 5
> Note that I haven't explicitly loaded the new mapping yet; that comes in the 
> next step.
> *** Step 3:  Configuring imwheel
> Now that X sent the appropriate events in response to button presses, I 
> wanted to make them actually do something.  The easiest (only?) way I know 
> of is with the program "imwheel", which intercepts mouse button press 
> events and replaces them with configurable keyboard events.
> First, I ran "apt-get install imwheel".
> Second, I made my own personal ~/.imwheelrc configuration file.  I could 
> have just as easily used (or edited) the 
> systemwide /etc/X11/imwheel/imwheelrc file, but I wanted to keep my 
> modifications to myself to avoid confusing the heck out of anyone else who 
> happened to be using my machine.
> The syntax of this file was a little confusing at first, but it's really 
> pretty simple.  The first line of each section is a regular expression to 
> match the title of the window that the mouse is in when you press a button 
> (so that you can send different keystroke combinations to each 
> application).  Following is a series of lines mapping a keyboard modifier 
> plus mouse button combination to a series of keystrokes.  In my config 
> file, "None" means that I'm not required to hold down any key while 
> pressing the mouse buttons.  This way, you can easily specify one action if 
> the shift key is pressed, another for the control key, etc.  The second 
> field is the name of the button press to match.  "Up" corresponds to the 
> left outer button, and "Down" matches the right outer button.  The final 
> field is the keypress combination to send.
> My file currently looks like this:
>     $ cat ~/.imwheelrc
>     "^konsole$"
>     None, Up, Shift_L|Left
>     None, Down, Shift_L|Right
>     "^konqueror$"
>     None, Up, Control_L|Page_Up
>     None, Down, Control_L|Page_Down
>     "^Firefox-bin$"
>     None, Up, Control_L|Page_Up
>     None, Down, Control_L|Page_Down
> In other words, if my mouse is over a window with the internal name of 
> "konsole", and I'm not holding down any modifier key on the keyboard, and I 
> click the left outer mouse button, then imwheel sends shift+left to the 
> window.  This corresponds to "Go To Previous Session" in my Konsole 
> shortcuts, and acts as expected.  The other definitions are variations on 
> the same theme.
> To see what a window is called, I ran 'imwheel -D -d -k -b "67"' to kill the 
> currently running imwheel daemon, dump debugging information to stdout, and 
> only intercept buttons 6 and 7.  Then I went to the interesting window, 
> clicked either of the right or left outer buttons, and read the debug 
> output to see what the name of that window was.
> *** Step 4:  Running it all at login
> I edited /etc/X11/imwheel/startup.conf to change the lines:
>     #IMWHEEL_PARAMS="-b "67""
> to:
>     IMWHEEL_PARAMS="-b "67""
> Then, I made a symlink from /usr/share/doc/imwheel/61imwheel_load-xmodmap 
> into /etc/X11/Xsession.d (the imwheel packages doesn't install it by 
> default).  Now, whenever any user logs in, the session manager launched 
> imwheel with that users ~/.imwheelrc (or /etc/X11/imwheel/imwheelrc if they 
> don't have one).  Then, it loads the /etc/X11/Xmodmap file I defined in 
> step 2.  You can also execute the scripts in /etc/X11/Xsession.d manually 
> if you're already logged in and you want to make sure that they work as 
> expected.
> *** Step 5:  Profit!
> Now I enjoy the use of those extra little buttons that I'd otherwise be 
> ignoring.  In Firefox and Konqueror, they quickly switch between open tabs.  
> In Konsole, they flip between running sessions.  I'm only owned the 
> trackball for about two hours total at this point so I imagine I'll find 
> more uses for them as I get used to it.
> So, in recap, I made a small edit to XF86Config.  Then I created config 
> files for xmodmap and imwheel.  Finally, made sure that both of those 
> commands are run at login so that my mouse settings are always available.  
> Although each step turned out to be pretty easy and logical, they weren't 
> terribly obvious to me at first.  I thought I'd save others the aggravation 
> by sharing the steps that worked for me.  In a nutshell, if you're 
> considering a multi-button mouse or trackball but don't know if you could 
> use all of the extra buttons, the answer is probably "yes".  For my 
> Microsoft Trackball Optical, that's definitely true.
> Enjoy!
> -- 
> Kirk Strauser

strategies for business

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