Dell XPS 13 9360 – Trackpad Issue

Summary: My Dell XPS 13 9360 laptop has issues with the touchpad. The Dell support site is the pure horror but the Dell support team via Facebook is fast and helpful.

Long story: Several days ago the trackpad stopped working. It started when I connected a Apple Magic Mouse for more convenient playing. When I disconnected the mouse, I realized that the trackpad stopped working. Thinking the laptop just swallowed up I restarted the system. And sure enough, the trackpad worked again… for some hours. After that I just stopped working again. Sometimes it repeaired it self to the point that I could use it, but no multi touch gestures (pinch, scroll etc) would work. I had a look in the Hardware-Manager of Windows and saw a yellow exclamation mark next to a I2C HID-Device. The error message states “A request for the HID descriptor failed”, what ever that means.

Error Message in device Manager
Error Message in device Manager

Unfortunatelly there is no solution known to me. In the Dell forum two threads (one, two) describe my problem yet nothing seem to solve their issue. I’ll see the Dell support for this :-/

Update 08.03.2017

After reinstalling Windows 10 and installing all drivers from the Dell website for my laptop the issue still persists. Therefore I rule out wrong configuration and wrongly installed drivers.

I tried to make sense of the Dell Support site, but am utterly displeased. You are always forced to download Dell System Detect, regardless if it is already downloaded and installed. Chat Support is not available, Mail Support redirects to the same page again and I try to avoid telephone support because of the international calling fees (I’m in Australia atm). I asked the Dell Facebook team when the chat is avialable… Stay tuned.

Related but not Dells fault: Obviously the disk I made my backup on, starts to fault… As if a broken laptop isn’t enough…

Update 22.03.2017

After reaching out to Dell via Facebook a service member reached out to me. Four hours after my message to the Facebook page I had a service call, a remote session and reference number for replacement. As I had booked a flight to Japan the support asked me to get in touch with Dell Japan as soon as I arrived.

In Japan I had some problems with the support (for a on-site replacement I need to be able to speak Japanese) and I was not keen to hand in my laptop while I’m travelling… So I decided to roll with the punches and use an external mouse for the rest of the holiday. I’ll start the support process again as soon as I’m back in Germany

Elixir on windows

Lately I got interested in the programming language Elixir. I have not yet done anything besides the very first parts of the tutorial and the fantastic introduction from José Valim.  It looks fun and very capable, even if I have to think around the corner (Elixir is functional and I’m more used to the object oriented programming paradigma)

After reading some parts of the tutorial on my daily commute to work, I was  exited to start. I installed all the needed stuff on my Laptop (so, erlang and elixir).

After that my questions have been “What IDE should I use?” and “What is a good setup?”.  First of all, all the cool kids (this includes the elexir developers) seem to use MacBooks nowadays. This is fine with me, nice peace of hardware. Still, I have a windows Laptop. And I will use this machine until it dies of old age.

So what tools can I use to develop in elixir on windows*?


You need a shell to compile or to test your code. On windows you have two options: The command line (“cmd”) or powershell. Because of reasons I took the powershell. To set the needed variables (where is erlang, elixir and git installed) I used the tipps from here:

Open the file “c:\users\yourUserName\documents\WindowsPowershell\Windows.Powershell_profile.ps1” and add the following lines:


That way, you can type “erl” and the erlang console opens up. The same way you can type in “iex” aaand nothing happens… at least not the elixir REPL shows up. This is because the command iex is used in the powershell for command invocation.

To work around this you can use the command “iex.bat” which brings up the REPL.


“iex.bat” brings up a REPL in powershell. And here my problems start. I realy wanted to love the powershell/elixir combo. First issue: “tab” does not bring up auto completion. This is annoying but no showstopper. But as soon as you progress in the tutorial on the elixir site (on the second page…) you will find this line:

which resulted for me in

Looks, like there is a problem somewhere… probably in the elixir.bat file. A quick check confirms that powershell can work with special characters. And as we can see from the tutorial, elixir does as well.

I found several postings on the internet suggesting to set the codepage correctly (chcp 65001) but this does not work (because this is not a powershell command but a command line command) and should as far as I know not be needed (because powershell uses 16bit unicode internaly. No codepage needed. At least not for most of the western special characters).

Soo powershell is out. The tutorial recommends in this case the use of the command …

… which fails because of the aforementioned reasons (iex being a powershell command). But fear not:

brings up an erlang window with the REPL started. And we even have auto completion!


So comming to the most important (and disappointing) part: I do not ask for much. Auto completion and syntax highlighting. See no complicated task. Also, it would be nice to have some comfort in using the editor.

So which options do I have? Judging by the screenshots and forum posts, the usual editors are Sublime Text, Emacs (especialy with Alchemist) and

Sublime costs $70, which I won’t pay if I don’t see enormous benefits over other tools. After all I’m a student.

Emacs (and with that Alchemist) seems to be working only if you install cygwin or some other *nix environment emulator looks good to me and there can be a lot of packages integrated (packages/settings View/install packages). There is a package for auto completion, one for syntax highlighting even an integration of IEx in Atom … which is  OSX only.

So it is! Proceeding in the tutorial I want to write my first test in the KeyValue example project. And here I felt in the next pit. Under some curcumstances (OS: Windows, Keyboard layout German) you can’t enter an @ sign. It’s just not possible. All other keys seem to work. This actualy is a showstopper.


Elixir looks nice, but up to today I did not find the right tooling under windows. Sure, I can workaround any of these issues (notepad.exe can edit text to) the experience is everything but pleasant .


*If you are asking yourself “What is this man talking about? Any text editor is enough!” then let me tell you that I’m used to .Net development environments which can easily be several gigabytes big and are doing almost everything for you.