I'm trying to hack a set of neutered touch-pad drivers to support multi-touch again. If you're interested, read past the break...
Okay, I have a little story to tell you. It began in April of 2009, and not with me.
The media got a hold of information that the touch-pad manufacturer ELAN was suing Apple for infringements upon its capacitive touch-pad technology. It was all over the tech blogs, and I probably wasn't paying attention at the time.
At that time, ASUS had released its EEE PC netbook with a multi-touch ELAN capacitive touchpad. This was a big deal, because on a netbook, features like pinch-to-zoom can be important. ELAN had just released in February updated drivers for its touch-pads that included all sorts of multi-touch support. It was likely after they released these drivers that they realized that Apple was infringing upon their patents and made with the lawsuit.
A few months later, updated drivers were released for the EEE PC, and suddenly, almost all of the multi-touch features were gone. Everything but 2-finger scrolling and multi-finger tap keyboard shortcuts (like tapping with 3 fingers twice to open the Start Menu, for example) were gone. Either ELAN lost the lawsuit (which I doubt, the media would have gone nuts, and 2 months is way too quick for our judicial system to have handled it), or more likely, they settled with Apple out of court, and agreed to not include the multi-touch gestures in their software (probably for a large sum of money).
How does this involve me? Well, last November I picked up an ASUS ultraportable for $450. It's got a dual-core Intel 2.1 GHz processor, 4 GB of RAM, 320 GB HDD, Win 7 Home Premium, and an ELAN capacitive multi-touch touch-pad. One day, when I was updating all my drivers, I visited the ELAN website to download the latest drivers. There, I found this page:
It demos all the multi-touch features that the drivers support. The caveat is that you can no longer download the drivers directly from ELAN, (broken links abound across the internet to a download page on ELAN's website that no longer exists) and that you must download the drivers from your laptop manufacturer. None of those drivers, anywhere, have multi-touch gestures.
And this makes me mad. I can't use multi-touch gestures on my laptop touch-pad because someone paid off someone else to lock them away from me in the hopes that it'll convince me to buy a MacBook. Shame on you, Apple.
So I'm trying to hack the drivers. I'm pretty sure they still include multi-touch functions, just locked. I modified the .inf file for the original EEE PC Win XP driver to get the setup to run under Win 7 on "unsupported" hardware, but I can't get the software to run properly; I'm guessing it's an x87 vs x64 issue, but I'm not sure. Haven't done any driver hacking before, and the internets is sadly lacking in good information.
Pretty sure it'll be a registry entry that I need to put in to enable the functions, but everything I've tried so far don't work. The EEE PC driver registry keys don't work; the .inf files are pretty different.
I'll continue to work on it, but if anyone knows a good resource for driver hacking, please let me know!