Compaq Evo Notebook N610c

Compaq Evo N610c The Yahoo! IS department delivered a Compaq Evo N610c laptop to my desk today. My almost-3-year-old IBM Thinkpad 390X has been sent off to the place where All Good Laptops Go To Die.

I had been schlepping the IBM 390X from LAX to SJC pretty much every week since fall of 2002. About 6 months after I got it, the internal 56K modem stopped working. Being modem-less was not such a big deal at home (I’ve got broadband), but turned out to be a pain in the neck when I really needed to check email while travelling. Then about a year later, the CD-ROM drive stopped working. Pretty crappy, but I resorted to sticking CDs in Ariella’s computer and mounting them over the network.

Recently, the battery stopped charging. I could get about 7 or 8 minutes out of it before I needed to plug it in again. At that point, it essentially stopped being a laptop (I couldn’t use it on the plane anymore) and started just being a portable computer. So I finally put in a request for repair or replacement, and the IS department opted for replacement.

I’ve had this shiny new replacement for all of 3 hours, and I’m already set up with Cygwin and GNU Emacs. But there’s still one burning issue I need to resolve: how do I disable the Touchpad? It’s got both the eraser-nub pointer (which I absolutely love) between the G, H, and B keys, but it’s also got a trackpad/touchpad that I’ll never use.

I went to the Control Panel (Windows 2000, by the way, even though there’s a sticker on it that says “Designed for Microsoft Windows XP”) and chose Mouse but there are no Touchpad options. There are 4 tabs that say Buttons, Pointers, Motion, and Hardware. But nothing that lets me disable the Touchpad (or turn off the tap-to-click feature). Any ideas? Maybe I’ll call the IS help-line.

[Update: JR had the right solution. It’s a CMOS setting, so you’ve gotta reboot the box and hit F10 to turn off the Touchpad. Hurrah!]

7 thoughts on “Compaq Evo Notebook N610c

  1. Scott Kirkland

    Ohh Michael. While I’m glad for you that you got an upgrade, it’s unfortunate that the Yahoo! IS department didn’t purchase you a ~real~ laptop.

    PowerBook G4 baby!

  2. jr

    i think you have to disable the touchpad from within the BIOS. Usually hitting ESC or one of the F keys will get you there.

    I agree that the touchpad is there just to make the cursor jump on the screen and annoy the heck out of people.

  3. Jeremy Zawodny

    Wow. It’s good to know that Compaq has a clue finally. They put *both* pointing devices on it. I, like you, prefer the nipple and hate the touchpad. I wish I could get one of those for my TiBook.

  4. Gordon

    think the bios comment should work for the touch pad…who likes these? the designers??

    anyway does anybody know how to get the front volume buttons to work [i have win98 🙁 ] or how to program the 4 programmable buttons???

    Any help really appreciated.



  5. RayN

    Yes you can go in to the bios by hitting f10 on boot. The only thing that I have found in the bios is that you can disable the touch pad while using a ps2/usb mouse by going to advanced device options and disabling multiple pointing devices.

    I know that this is a little late, but better late then never.

  6. John Feinberg

    The IT department plopped an Evo n610c on my desk

    a few weeks ago (it seems the only people that

    purchase these things are IT directors). I do a

    lot of coding, so the only thing I really care about

    is a good keyboard and a thumb pointer. My Thinkpad

    had a great keyboard, and of course the pointer. It

    died after 4 years of constant service. A screw came

    loose inside, and it shorted out two pins on an IC.

    Enough heat was generated to melt the chip and the solder

    holding the chip to the motherboard! In the end, the

    screw got soldered to the end of a wire. So, when I

    took the computer apart, the first thing I noticed

    was the very curious sight of an unconnected screw

    soldered to the end of a wire.

    The thumb pointer on the 610c is pretty good, but

    so far I have not been able to shut off the trackpad.

    So, thank you all for the comments on checking the BIOS!

    I will certainly give it a try. If that does not

    work, then I imagine it will not be very hard to find the

    wires that connect the trackpad to the rest of the


  7. Ray Raddatz

    EDS set our department’s 610s’ to come up without the touchpad, but I’ve noticed the touchpad comes back on at un-suspend. I actually like the touchpad now after trying it a few times because the nipple is hard on my finger after awhile. We run 98 on them. Unstable as hell, but pretty fast.

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