Betty wrote:after about three months ... totally dead. i unplugged/plugged the USB connector a few times.
This is a good first step, and if that didn't work, then our usual suggestion would also not help: we call it the hand slap
when you place your entire flat hand on the surface and lift it again -- like a finger touch, but with your flat hand (or as much as will fit on the surface). The cursor would then briefly move in a plus-shaped pattern to show you it has reset. This would remove any static electricity build-up that is the main cause of trouble.
You should try to "slap" the pad like this, but 5 times in a row. You should see the "plus" cursor movement each of the five times and then it will be unresponsive for 15 seconds. That causes a "deeper" reset action that might revive trickier issues.
- Try this on some of your dead touchpads too, just to be sure, but I don't expect them to magically work again. I suspect there's more needed. But let's see!
Betty wrote:all of the dead units died at my office ... [the one at home has] been working fine for 4+ years
It seems to me that there is something in the work environment that causes the unusual amount of malfunctions.
- Office carpeting? That could cause high levels of static electricity to build up in your body, and when you return to your PC and touch the pad, it can get zapped and need a hand slap, possibly but rarely even zapped to death. Just one theory.
- Cell phone near the unit or the cable? It's not confirmed dangerous but cell phone signals can disrupt the operation of the touchpad. Keep your cell phone 1-2ft. away from the touchpad+cable. Especially when it gets a call. But a hand slap should fix it, so it's not the likely cause.
- Neon lighting? A long shot, but if there's a desk lamp very near (1-2ft) then it might interfere like the cell phone. But a hand slap should fix it, so it's not the likely cause.
I'm a little surprised that you didn't do a lot to troubleshoot (email FW support?) or fix the units when they failed but just bought new ones. Still, you must be convinced as otherwise you would have abandoned the products. You should dig out the manual now and read the part about care and troubleshooting. It might help you be better prepared with your still-working units.
Betty wrote:maybe something shook loose when i transported the unit home?
Actually, the iGestures are rather sturdy. There are some tiny electronic compontents that might fall off if the iGesture is handled roughly, but I doubt that you would be just so careless.
We fingerfans have become touchy especially because the double-size keyboard is much more vulnerable to transportation problems. But when you transport an iGesture carelessly, at most you would risk surface scratches that are harmless to the product but possibly annoying to you. However, be careful about the cable!! It's not as soft as a mouse cord, and too tight bends may cause real damage. (I remember pulling a mouse out of a cluttered box just by tugging its cord -- never do that with an iGesture!)
Loving fingerfans never transport the units if it can be avoided, and when necessary, then always in antistatic bags wrapped in bubble-wrap. That might be overdoing it but it won't hurt so I highly recommend it, given that replacements aren't available.
Betty wrote:the dead ones are stored in a nice, neat little stack. and i think at some point i had the good ones stacked up too. i assume you are saying that It_Is_Not_A_Good_Thing to touch one unit to another
Relax -- stacking and touching is not the least dangerous as far as I know! I think RAFH refers to the TouchStream keyboards because they are actually two iGestures with a rather delicate cable connecting them. As for general rules, I've mentioned some tips already (avoid static, cell phones, mistreating the cable).
Betty wrote:someone suggested i gently flex the edges of the board so it was slightly curved. i tried this on one unit. no change.
I hope I didn't understand this right but I'd say that was even a lucky outcome! Don't tamper physically with the units... they are delicate pieces of electronics.
Betty wrote:i don't know what diagnostics you're referring to.
Let's take this one step at a time. With evey unit there is an installation CD-ROM, but the unit might work even without installing anything, so perhaps you're not familiar with the software on that CD-ROM. The software includes drivers, but it also includes a diagnostic program tha might tell us more about your defective units!
So, if you just bought it and plugged it into the computer then it will probably work, so if you never installed any software then you wouldn't know what I'm talking about.
If you did install the software, you still might never have seen it because the iGesture just works, so you never had a reason to actually use the software.
You can dowload the software from our website
. (This link is the software without Java. If the installation complains about missing Java, just mail me and I will provide the solution.) By the way, sharing this software is legal
. Once it's installed, there is a new group FingerWorks
in your Start menu. Start the Utilities
and a windw with four large colorful buttons appears. Click the one named Diagnostics
and a window opens. Now click the button RUN Diagnostics...
. In the black area, you will be told if it passes or if there are errors. This is a normal text field, so you can select the text and copy it into a mail or into Word. In Word, add the serial number that¨s printed on the bottom of the iGesture. It should look like this:
Code: Select all
Diagnostic Report for iGesture NumPad USB ver 1.6:
All sensor array tests PASSED!
Loaded 431 Key/Gesture Mappings SUCCESFULLY
Now you can collect the diagnostics for each unit: Unplug your iGesture and plug in one of the others. Wait 20 seconds to let Windows recognize it, then press the RUN button again. You get a new diagnostic result that you can also copy into Word along with the serial number (so you can tell your results apart later). Repeat this for as many units as you like, then send us the Word file so we can help you.
Betty wrote:i love the idea of setting up a repair facility ... i'm wondering if anyone knows of a tech that worked at Fingerworks that wants to fix these things as a hobby? or if anyone knows someone at apple that we could convince to champion our cause and do the repairs
We all do, but we aren't FW experts enough to make it happen, and sometimes replacement parts are needed (special chips and stuff) that just isn't available. And Apple has put a very tight leash on all FW staff, so it's looking bleak. That's why we are all so over-cautious about our units!