Saturday, August 15, 2009

Adventures with the Lenovo Ideapad S10-2 Netbook - Part 8

Using (or not using) the Veriface Recognition III system

During the testing phase of my S10-2 netbook, I did not bother to use a password for my Windows XP account. I was logged in automatically everytime I used Windows XP - not a very secure practice! Since I will be using the netbook on the road, I decided to set up a password for my account. After this was done, I logged off in order to test the netbook - this was when Lenovo's Veriface Recognition III system intruded into my life.

Note that the Veriface Recognition III system (henceforth called VR3) was not even mentioned in the User Guide so I had to read the help file on the system (this was pre-installed along with VR3). I then decided to try the system. After several frustrating hours, I gave up. It seems that the system will work (when it works) if the lighting is just right and the user keeps extremely still while the face is scanned by the webcam. If the user fails to meet this rigid requirement, the system will not log the user in - although the VR3 allows the user to cancel the operation and use the normal password system to log in instead. I am not convinced that the VR3 would make the netbook more secure - all it did was to drive me crazy. So, in the end, I removed the VR3 from my netbook - I don't think I will ever miss it at all.

The overly sensitive trackpad

I mentioned in my first blog on the S10-2 that I did not like using the touchpad (not only on the S10-2 but every trackpad-equipped notebook that I had used previously) and I prefer to use a mouse instead. There will be time when using a mouse will not be possible - so, I decided to try out the trackpad on the S10-2. Note that I have always disabled the trackpad by using the Fn+F8 keystrokes every time I use the netbook in order to prevent accidentally moving the pointer or clicking the trackpad buttons . However, for this occasion, I enabled it.

My first try was not very encouraging - moving the pointer to the Windows Explorer icon on the Quick Launch bar resulted in 5 copies of Windows Explorer opening up on the desktop. It seems that to the touchpad system, since my finger was still on the touch pad the dumb system decided that I had tapped it to launch Windows Explorer and will continue launching new copies if my finger was still on the touchpad! Only after removing my finger from the touchpad did it stop trying to launch new copies of Windows Explorer. The culprit for this behavior is the Tap to Click property of the touchpad. The saving grace is that this behavior can be disabled by clicking on the touchpad icon on the taskbar and disabling Tap to Click. Using either of the trackpad button to click is much safer.

Another ability of the touchpad which I discovered by accident (and which was not documented in the User Guide - or anywhere else, as far as I know) is that if you move your finger up and down on the right side of the trackpad (where there is a vertical row of dots) you can scroll the display in a web browser or long document, up and down easily.

The pinching gesture on the trackpad in order to zoom in/out on a web page, image or document also works ... sometimes! Again it was noted that this ability of the touchpad was not documented in the User Guide.

All in all, I would rather use a mouse but, in situations where I cannot, the trackpad would suffice - provided I use it carefully!. Having the touchpad in the area where my palm normally rest while typing, does encourage unwanted things to happen occasionally - like moving the pointer to another location and accidentally clicking in a spot where you did not mean to click. I guess some practice would be required before I will proficient with the trackpad.


  1. I have been following your blog with interest.I liked the way that you made an image of your system when you first got the netbook.Very sound.

    I have the same problem with trackpads - much prefer a mouse.

    What happened on the road trip.How did the S10-2 perform?Any sign of overheating?

  2. JimmyG2,

    Sorry for the very very late reply - I am still getting used to using this Google blog and I just saw your comment (and other people's comments :P). To answer you question - yes I did post a blog on my road trip (hope you read it). You will be pleased to hear that there was no overheating problems encountered with the S10-2. BTW, I am about to purchase a third-party 9-cell battery for the S10-2 and I will report my findings on it on future blogs.