Monday, August 22, 2011

Netbook eBook Reader - Screen Rotation Redux

In my last post, I mentioned the inability of the EeRotate in adjusting the trackpad 'orientation' when the screen is rotated anti-clockwise by 90 degrees (or clockwise by 270 degrees for the finicky :)). This issue is important to me if I want to use my netbook as an ebook reader since I prefer to have the netbook's keyboard on my LEFT side - which, in turn place the Page Up/Down keys within easy reach of my left thumb (translation: easy to flip pages of the ebook!). If I have to move the cursor for some reason or other (for example, clicking on the menu to select another ebook), it is frustrating to realize that the trackpad's control is not changed to follow the new screen orientation (in fact, it is the opposite of what is expected).

There had to be a better utility than EeRotate available - time to do a search on the internet. After a short while I found it! It's called ScreenMouseRotate (a blindingly beautiful name :)) and it can be downloaded at (thank you Kendrick and mars). If you have EeRotate installed on your netbook, uninstall it first before using ScreenMouseRotate (otherwise unpleasant things will happen). To uninstall EeRotate, navigate to Program Files->Eerotate and double-click on 'uninstall.bat' (before you ask, it is NOT listed in the installed programs list - so using 'Remove Files' under Control Panel is out of the question). Once EeRotate has been removed, unzip ScreenMouseRotate, preferably under the Program Files folder and in a newly created folder. Create a shortcut to the exe file on the desktop and double-click on it to start the program.

The ScreenMouseRotate, unlike the EeRotate program, does not start automatically when you start your netbook - you have to start it manually. If you prefer, put the ScreenMouseRotate program in your Startup folder - this way the program will start automatically when the netbook is powered on. To use the program, either right-click on the icon in the system tray or click on the program name on the taskbar (yes it is weird to have two ways to access the program, but I'm not complaining - after all it is free!). The selection of screen orientation is self explanatory - Portrait 1 is 90 degrees clockwise (my preference), Portrait 2 is 90 degrees anti-clockwise, Landscape Flipped flips the screen upside-down (who uses this, I wonder?) and Landscape Default is to reset the screen to its default orientation. Here's the beauty of this program - the trackpad AND mouse orientation follows the screen orientation automatically! On the top of that the Ctrl+Alt+Arrow Keys trick also works - with automatic trackpad and mouse adjustment! Beautiful! Just what I was looking for!

Now that I have solved the screen rotation problem, I will explore the ebook reader software in detail on my next blog.

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