got an ancient laptop, compaq armada e500, which served back in the war. it happens to use the Synaptics touchpad. i hate tapping, so i wanted to disable it. this is what i had to do. one caveat, the spelling was important. in order to get past the “Can’t access shared memory. SHMConfig disabled?” message upon launching “synclient -l” or “qsynaptics”, i added to /etc/X11/xorg.conf this line:

SHMConfig “On”

this made my X not restart. a nice blue screen of almost death with debug info. didn’t bother reading it, restored my backed up xorg.conf and tried again, this time paying attention to the spelling:

SHMConfig “on”

this made all the difference in the world. qsynaptics launched a nice gui, and i was able to disable the tapping. yay!