Touchpad issues on Thinkpad T580 – Ubuntu

I updated my ubuntu recently, and I noticed a lag in the touchpad. The 2 fingers scroll did not work as well. Scrolling on the edge was working fine (if enabled in the settings), but scrolling with two fingers or two fingers for ‘right-click’ did not work as well. For some reason, the touchpad stopped recognizing multiple fingers.

I looked around online on StackOverflow and Reddit, some said to change the settings or install an extra application, but it did not work for me. Finally, I found an answer to unload and load the touchpad module, and it worked!

# Unload and load the psmouse module
sudo modprobe -r psmouse
sudo modprobe psmouse

However, the issue remained after shutting down and starting the laptop again. It was not as bad, it was just annoying to type those commands every time I start the laptop. To solve it, I decided to run those commands automatically after login. I created a new bash file rc.local under /etc/, gave it 755 permissions (chmod 755 rc.local), and I added the commands to the file

#!/bin/sh -e
sudo modprobe -r psmouse
sudo modprobe psmouse
exit 0

Restarted the computer and the touchpad is working again!

Connect MIDI Piano on Ubuntu

I am using Novation LaunchKey 49 as my MIDI controller.  It is effortless to connect a MIDI piano on Ubuntu. I need two items:

  • I need a synthesizer to play music. In this case, I can use either Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard or qsynth. I used apt-get to install vmpk. I also enabled real-time process priority for jackd. It will ensure low latency,  and it will only be used for applications using jackd. It won’t replace ALSA.
  • I also need a software to connect the midi port and the sound input for the player. In this case, I’m using  Jack Control

Once these items are setup, all I have to do is two simple configurations:

  • QJackCtl: Click on connect, and link vmpk to the midi controller. Select both of them and click connect. A connection transition will show up between the two items.
  • VMPK: Click on edit, click connections, and select the input and output.

I was all set to use the midi controller on Ubuntu!

First Post

A lot of times while working on a software there are tasks that I need to do only one time. However, they usually take considerable amount of time and navigating multiple resources to get them done.

When I work on a different project, and I need to do that one task again, I usually forgot how I did it the first time, and I spend the same amount of time trying to figure out all the resources to do it again.

That’s why I am building this blog. It is a place for me to document some of those tasks, some of them really silly, some of them more complicated. Whenever I need to do them again, I will get back here and see how I did it the first time. I also thought sharing the information might be helpful to other people who are trying to do the same task and I would be saving some time for them as well.