Apparently, touchpad and/or laptop manufacturers don't expect anyone to use touchpad buttons at all.
It's been less than a year since I bought this HP Pavilion dv5-1132la laptop and the touchpad's primary/right button (I'm left-handed with computer mice) is already malfunctioning. It triggers a button press event at the slightest touch in some areas, even before pushing it enough to hear the "click" sound". My older Acer Aspire 5050 laptop also had a similar issue right after the end of the 1-year warranty period, except that the primary button simply stopped working.
Some genius decided to make touchpads emulate mouse clicks with "tapping", which seems to be preferred by many end-users over the normal buttons - in fact, I've got people confused when lending them my laptop because tapping doesn't work at all! He he.
For some reason, I've never learned to use these devices properly and most of the time, while moving the pointer across the screen, I end up unconsciously "tapping" it. Depending on the driver or operating system I'm using, I could also accidentally drag stuff this way. At least Windows Vista keeps an old Windows 95 feature which asks the user prior to moving directories like
\Program Files and
Even if I'm not using Windows, closing a terminal emulator by accident while dpkg or something (not in a screen session) was running in it can't be good.
So, disabling this tapping "feature" gets rid of these annoyances and lets me use this thing as if it was a normal mouse, more or less. I have even successfully used it for drawing pixel art for my Wesnoth add-ons!.
But it seems that I'm not supposed to use touchpads that way for very long! What the hell, QA department? So now I should ponder whether to go and ask the manufacturer's tech support for help before the laptop's warranty period is over this Xmas, or live with the problem because I'm not really willing to leave my little toy alone for a few days!
Fortunately I still have a USB mouse for pixel art- oh wait, its scrolling wheel doesn't work very well anymore because manufacturers seem not to expect anyone to use those a lot! But that's no problem because it's a very cheap accessory and I can easily replace it, unlike, uh, a touchpad?