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IBM UltraNav

IBM UltraNav

The classic integrated pointing device in ThinkPads was always a trackpoint. With the T30 IBM introduced UltraNav, a combination of both the classical TrackPoint coupled with a programmable touchpad. The technology for this combined pointing device comes from Synaptics. The TouchPad features all kind of customizable ways of input, from standard pointing over scrolling by movement along the edges, tap zones, to ignoring accidential touches.

Linux Support

Both the TrackPoint and the TouchPad work with the standard ps2/psaux driver of linux kernels.

To get advanced configurability for the touchpad working there are several drivers for Synaptics TouchPads available for X:

To get advanced configurability for the TrackPoint, look at the TrackPoint kernel patch. (Since 2.6.14-rc5 this patch is included in the mainline kernel)

Windows Support

The UltraNav driver from IBM is based on the Synaptics driver. It contains a bug leading to "defective pixels": If the scroll-function of the touchpad is used (moving finger on right border of touchpad), often taskmanger shows an application/window on its first tab named "Syn Visual Window". Sometimes this stays on the screen and in task manager. It is a 1x1 pixel large window that is usually white. If you move the mouse directly over this pixel, a little icon appears like if the middle trackpoint button is used to scroll. This pixel can be removed by terminating SynTP* processes in taskmanager. Some claim that it can be removed by using the middle trackpoint button, althought this is not always the case. So far this problem has been reproduced on T60P and T41P, but only by scrolling large wegpages in Firefox. After Firefox was closed, the pixel is still there. IBM was able to reproduce this by installing Firefox on a fresh recovery image in their labs. But they refuse to fix this or pass it to Synaptics or their driver developers, because Firefox "is not supported". Guess IBM only wants you to use IE. This bug is quite annoying because people think it's a wandering defective pixel

Recently, A T42 with Windows XP and Internet Explorer 7 was also able to reproduce this issue.

Models featuring UltraNav