Add a usb button to a Flybook Laptop
March 24, 2006 10:40 PM   Subscribe

ModFilter: I've been given a Flybook as a gift. It's a great little machine, but it has one incredible flaw (and a few minor ones): when used as a tablet, there is no way to right click. Help me add a mod a button or two, or three into this tiny little laptop.

So, this is the situation: when you switch the laptop into tablet mode, all of the keyboard buttons are covered. there is no way to modify the action of the stylus. This means that whenyou are in tablet mode, it's just like you are using a one button mouse. Flybook has an ugly workaround, that involves a window that hovers over everything and in order to right click, you have to click on the window, and then click on something to bring up a menu. I want to add at the very least one buttom, but ideally three buttons to the bodyof the laptop so that i can modify the action of a click.

my three ideal buttons:
1: when depressed, turns all clicks into right clicks
2: the equivalent of holding down a scroll wheel so that the window scrolls up and down with the ovement of the mouse.
3: turn off/on the handwriting recognition.

The flybook has copious amounts of internal and external usb ports. I think there are at least three used internally for wifi, bluetooth and GPRS data. There are two external USB ports. My plan is to sacrifice one of the external usb ports and use that to power my three buttons.

The question is this: how can I connect three buttons to a usb port, and then program them to do as I wish. Mostly right now i'm concerned with the question of attaching three buttons to a usb port using the least amount of space. I'm totally willing to open the fly book up and make modifications as needed, but mostly what i'm looking for is whether or not i can reasonably expect to connect three small buttons to a usb port and have windows/linux recognize them and be able to program them to do what I want. as well as be able to do this in a minimum of space.

I've been looking around, and this phidget looks about right. there is also this ask.mefi thread, which has some promising leads. All in all, am I totally crazy to think this is possible?

The minor flaw is that right where the shift button should be on the right hand side, there is the up arrow key. Endlessly annoying, but something I could learn to live with.
posted by Freen to Technology (7 answers total)
If you're running XP Tablet edition, you might be able to turn on the option of holding click will go into right click. I have a Toshiba tablet, and found the option rather annoying when I can right click with the stylus, but I imagine it would be very nice if the stylus lacked the right mouse button. The option can be found in "Tablet and Pen Settings" in the control panel, on the "Pen Options" tab.
posted by PaperDragon at 11:09 PM on March 24, 2006

Nope, it's generic XP pro. No tablet edition for me.

Thanks though, I'll look into where I can find XP tablet edition.
posted by Freen at 11:25 PM on March 24, 2006

You might look at a little software utility called SoftRightClick.
posted by kindall at 12:37 AM on March 25, 2006

BTW, you won't be able to find XP Tablet anywhere except installed on a tablet. Vista will come with tablet functionality but you currently can't get tablet support in a retail Windows OS.
posted by kindall at 12:42 AM on March 25, 2006

You may possibly be able to get a copy of the Tablet PC base installation via MSDN. Everything above the MSDN library subscription level should have it. I dunno how much MSDN costs, but then again,I've never worked anywhere that didn't already have a subscription. Harass friends who work for software development companies or in IT.
posted by GuyZero at 11:47 AM on March 25, 2006

? Win XP SP2 has Tablet 'in it' doesn't it? (At the bottom) - would this be of help at all?
posted by DrtyBlvd at 4:37 PM on March 25, 2006

No, Win XP SP2 does not contain Tablet PC support. The poorly-worded Microsoft page simply means that if you install SP2 on a Tablet PC (i.e. a machine that already has XP Tablet Edition), SP2 will update the Tablet PC features as well.
posted by kindall at 5:10 PM on March 25, 2006

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