Rich: I understand "conf-less" Xorg 7.6 tries to self-configure, but if it detects certain devices, it will check for a matching configuration element stored in a file in the ... /xorg.conf.d directory and use it. Somehow, the Xorg 7.6 self-configuration in my installation of Tiny Core does not seem to "see" the touchpad as a touchpad and configure it according to the 50-synaptics.conf file, but in Fedora it does.
I tried to use your example. It still does not load the synaptics driver for the touchpad. The only significant difference in the Xorg.0.log file is that the log shows that Xorg is "using" the xorg.conf file. Maybe a complete xorg.conf that has all the sections would work, but I don't have one that would be compatible with Xorg 7.6. My Fedora installation is conf-less and generating an xorg.conf file in Fedora (using Xorg :1 -configure) resulted in a xorg.conf that did not refer to the touchpad either.
Thanks for a suggestion, but I think there is still a missing piece to this puzzle.
EDIT: My Xorg.0.log file in TC has lines like this:
[ 20.486] (==) Not automatically adding devices
[ 20.486] (==) Not automatically enabling devices
But my Xorg.0.log file in Fedora has lines like this:
[ 26.165] (==) Automatically adding devices
[ 26.165] (==) Automatically enabling devices