It is with a great weight in my heart that I have to announce the decease of my external Mac keyboard :/

I was calling an online store to complain about my air conditioner purchase (Summer is on us already) and I ended up dropping some chocolate ice-cream on top of the keyboard. I could salvage what was left of the ice-cream, however I can no longer type 7UJM in the keyboard.

I may or may not use some of these keys for 99% of my passwords, so it was time to retire my old keyboard. Truth be told, I had it for way too long. Since after the Cosmic Sensation project I felt in love for it. Considering that this was back in 2010, and the keyboard was super bendy, it was about time.

So why to talk about it? Leaving the mourning aside, typing in a laptop with no external keyboard is tricky. The touchpad tends to get on the way more often than not. Specially in my case since for some reason the touchpad is particularly bumpy.

You may surprised, but I take particular good care of my eletronics (but that one time when I let rain on my old macbook, RIP), go figure. No problems though, it’s very easy to enable and disable the touchpad on Linux. So I quickly typed the following scripts:

ID=$(xinput list | grep Touchpad | grep -P 'id=[0-9]+' -o)
xinput --disable ${ID:3}
ID=$(xinput list | grep Touchpad | grep -P 'id=[0-9]+' -o)
xinput --enable ${ID:3}

But since I don’t want to resort to the terminal all the time, I decided to link them to the Desktop. And here the problem started.

There are not that many icons shipped with Ubuntu, and I wanted to stick to them due to the consistency in their look. Looking a bit further I found the following gem:


From the document meta-data this icon was created by Lapo Calamandrei, and released (I assume) under a permissive license. The problem is, there was no icon without the crash in the middle :/

Fear nothing padawan. Around 2002 when I was starting to study Inkspace I would go to the list of icons of the Tango project, look at their final result, try to reproduce it in Inkspace, and then I would compare the svgs files. I learned a lot by simply copying from the best. It was time to go down this path once again, and magic!

But how? This was really trivial actually. I basically used three buttons and a shortcut in Inkscape:

  • Break path at selected nodes
  • Join selected nodes
  • Make selected segmentslines
  • Delete selected nodes (i.e., pressing Delete)

And, are you ready? Finally both icon now sit side-by-side in harmoniously in my Desktop.

I will get a new keyboard eventually. Perhaps even a Mac keyboard once again or finally a mechanical keyboard all the cool kids are using those days. But until then, this will have to do the trick.

Thanks Lapo Calamandrei for the original icon,  I know you meant for it to be a Gnome Panel, but the resemblance with my broken touchpad was uncanny 😉

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed the reading, and that you have better luck than me with your beloved gadgets.

2 Thoughts on “Hello goodbye touchpad

  1. random guy on May 4, 2018 at 12:09 pm said:


    “the touchpad is particularly bumpy”

    -from the image it looks like xps15 9550. The bumpy touchpad is caused by faulty battery. Dell issued a recall, so you can get a new one for free (even if it’s out of warranty).

    Just go to and then call Dell technical support.

    Hope this helps!

    • dfelinto on August 28, 2018 at 9:00 pm said:

      I should’ve read this comment earlier. I actually got my battery replaced via Dell’s battery recall program after opening the laptop and realizing the battery was super swallow.

      Apparently they had a whole faulty lot. Good eye by the way, thanks for the help.

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