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TrackPoint (pointing stick)

A TrackPoint, also called a pointing stick, is a cursor control device found in IBM ThinkPad notebook computer s. The device is sometimes called an eraser pointer because it is roughly the size and shape of a pencil eraser. It has a replaceable red tip (called a nipple) and is located in the middle of the keyboard between the G, H, and B keys. The control buttons are located in front of the keyboard toward the user.

The TrackPoint is operated by pushing in the general direction the user wants the cursor to move. Increasing pressure causes faster movement. The relation between pressure and cursor or pointer speed can be adjusted, in a manner similar to the way the mouse speed is adjusted in a traditional desktop computer. The TrackPoint system, originally introduced by IBM in 1992, has acquired a devoted following of people who prefer it to the older trackball and the more recent touch pad methods of cursor or pointer control in notebook computers.

The term TrackPoint can also refer to the pointing algorithm that translates mechanical pressure on the pointing device into instructions that move the cursor or pointer.

This was last updated in March 2011

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