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Tech: Breaking in a new mouse

John MacKenzie 17 Jan 12 - 04:07 PM
Joe Offer 17 Jan 12 - 04:27 PM
John MacKenzie 17 Jan 12 - 05:09 PM
Tootler 17 Jan 12 - 06:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jan 12 - 06:35 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Jan 12 - 09:07 PM
Bill D 17 Jan 12 - 09:13 PM
Bev and Jerry 17 Jan 12 - 11:10 PM
EBarnacle 17 Jan 12 - 11:24 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Jan 12 - 11:26 PM
Baz Bowdidge 18 Jan 12 - 07:14 AM
Ross Campbell 18 Jan 12 - 08:55 AM
JohnInKansas 18 Jan 12 - 10:23 AM
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Subject: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 04:07 PM

I just took delivery of one of these
Gosh it's difficult to get used to the different driving style. It's counter intuitive not to move the mouse, in order to move the cursor. I'm finding fine control difficult at the moment, but it should improve.
Hopefully !


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 04:27 PM

Looks nice, John. I've always wondered if a trackball might work better for me than a mouse. The ones I've tried have been interesting, but not interesting enough to make me buy one.

Microsoft has what they call a Touch mouse, and I can't quite figure what it's supposed to do. Do you move it like a regular mouse, or does it stay in one place and respond to your finger motions?

I don't like the hassle of switching back and forth between mouse and keyboard. I've learned a few keyboard shortcuts to help me avoid that back-and-forth switch, but it's not a perfect solution.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 05:09 PM

I'll let you know how it goes Joe.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 06:30 PM

I used a track ball for a number of years. It took less space on the desktop and I also found it more precise than a mouse. You have to take the ball off from time to time and clean the gunk from the bearings it rests on or it gets very sticky and does not move freely.

I eventually went back to a mouse when my track ball packed in and I didn't feel like the extra expense of a new one over a mouse, especially as the price of optical mice had come down by that time.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 06:35 PM

That conforms almost exactly to the trackball I use, but mine is wired. Mine is the Trackman wheel and I've replaced it several times over the years (none of these lasts forever, so one every couple of years isn't unexpected. I love it. Moving the pointer with your thumb is quite easy, and it's best to make friends with that wheel - you can modify it so rolling it does one thing and clicking it does another (I have it set so clicking the wheel opens a link in a new page).

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 09:07 PM

The "touch mouse" appears to be an extension of the "touch screen" display used on several "pocket" devices, and now even on some TVs. My understanding of both is that the device sits still and you move your finger on it to move the cursor.

I tried using a trackball for a while a decade or two ago, but didn't find it as comfortable as a normal mouse. It's likely that there have been some improvements since.

Settings in Windows for "pointing devices" are in the same place in Control Panel regardless of what kind of device you use, although the options may vary some with the particular device you use. Quite a few "pointers" that I've used have also had their own applications that you may need to set up separately.

I did find that the trackball I used benefited some from higher settings on the "pointer acceleration" so that you could move farther with the same rotation if you moved faster than if you rotated the ball more slowly, but not all simple devices add that as a separate setting in Control Panel.

The conventional mouse I've been using most recently (a Microsoft wired USB, optical that I got due to interference with anything wireless in my area) has a gimmick I haven't seen previously. Most mice have the sensor (the ball or the "eyeball" that looks at the pad surface) near the center of the mouse or toward the "front" end. That's the end that points away from the user. By moving the "eye" rather far back down toward the user, if you "swing" the mouse a bit rather than just moving it with no rotation, swinging the front end a little produces less cursor motion than swinging the rear, so that you can vary the sensitivity by combining both translation and rotation of the mouse. Once I discovered the effect of the eyball location I use the ability to "accelerate" for large moves and "decelerate" for fine adjustments, by varying the rotation conbined with the translation, quite a lot. Normal tendency for me is to swing the mouse on a pivot where the wrist rests on a pad (or the edge of my desk) but pivoting on a point about at the "nose" of the mouse gets about a 3x change in how far the cursor moves for a similar motion.

For common mouse setups, opening in a new tab is commonly the default when you press down on the wheel (which, quite a few people perhaps haven't discovered, does have a switch on it).

I've also found it a big help to turn on the "locater beacon" that flashes a big indication of where the cursor is on the screen when you tap the Ctl key. (Especially helpful since my cursor location frequently disappears in the Reply input box here.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 09:13 PM

I use the mouse in all sort of places, from my lap to the desk to bed, so I much prefer an optical mouse....even on the rare occasions when I use a laptop.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 11:10 PM

We've used nothing but track ball mice for decades and loved them. But then, Jerry developed some neck pains that were ultimately traced to too much mousing.

It so happens that he is ambidextrous so he could easily switch to his left hand for mousing but most trackballs, like the one John in Kansas bought, are right handed.

So, at his advanced age, he had to learn to use an ordinary mouse. It was a long learning curve but he's finally at home with it.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: EBarnacle
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 11:24 PM

I use both standard meese and trackballs. My preference has always been for the trackball. As with all devices which demand fine movements, give yourself a rest or change your motion on a regular basis.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Jan 12 - 11:26 PM

When the mouse idea was new, they had plain polished steel balls.

Back in those long-forgotten days, IBM reps made periodic house calls to businesses, and a routine part of the service was cleaning the mouse ball. The cleaning agent used was alcohol, and it was soon noticed that the more times a ball had been cleaned the more quickly it needed cleaning.

This result was called "drunken mouse syndrome."

The house call reps were soon expected to carry "spare balls" on service calls so the balls could be replaced as necessary.

IBM produced an official placard, with orders that it be placed immediately adjacent to the exit at every IBM office where a service rep had a home base, to remind them as they left for calls:

        HAVE YOU GOT YOUR BALLS?

The rubber coated balls alleviated the problem somewhat, and of course not even physicians have made house calls for some time, but the placards are considered "collectibles" by some.

My recent "wired" mouse was extremely difficult to find, as in my local market nobody stocks anything that isn't "wireless." Reception and interference of anything wireless in my area is poor, and there are so many neighbors who instantly try to piggyback on any wireless signal that turns on, that I don't use anything wireless. Wired devices other than USB, and anything with balls both are nonexistent in my market.

Wireless mouses and keyboards generally use an infrared signal like your TV remote, so they're not as subject to the interference, but seem to require inconveniently frequent battery replacements; and it's sometimes difficult to tell if the battery or something else is the problem when one quits. I'm still healthy enough to drag the wire around, although I may be fading a little in that respect.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: Baz Bowdidge
Date: 18 Jan 12 - 07:14 AM

>I don't like the hassle of switching back and forth between mouse and keyboard. I've learned a few keyboard shortcuts to help me avoid that back-and-forth switch, but it's not a perfect solution.
-Joe- <
John's device looks interesting (especially battery longevity)however as I have MS I would be unable to use one.
Joe, On the mouse/keyboard switch issue I use an onscreen/mouse keyboard (labourously slow but no switch).
Not the Windows one but this:
Virtual Keyboard

Baz


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 18 Jan 12 - 08:55 AM

For Bev & Jerry:-

Kensington have been making trackballs for maybe twenty years. Successive designs appear to be operable right- or left-handed, and most work for both PCs and Macs.

I got one first because I had limited room next to my desktop computer, and found it very easy to get on with. Mostly use a laptop with trackpad now, but will always keep the trackball for when one of the desktops has to be revived.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Tech: Breaking in a new mouse
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Jan 12 - 10:23 AM

Fortunately for Joe, he's apparently learned his shortcuts in older program versions.

One of my big (but not the biggest) complaints with Microsoft's latest Office versions is that in Office 2007 (and after) they deliberately removed all the shortcut hints, shown in all prior versions by underlining the key letters in the link name that, with Alt+ the letter, was the shortcut. In previous versions you could turn the hints on or off, but since 2007 you can't turn them on. In addition they split many of the menus, so that you have to find Alt-A, X (to convert text to a table) among the 98 or so choices on one "ribbon" (and then it's found only from the menus by "drilling down" about three levels), and Alt-A, B (to convert table to text) on a different ribbon that has another 95 or so items on it. To sort a table by columns, you need a different ribbon (also with over 90 choices), and a popup tab (that's invisible if you don't pick the right color scheme), none of which take you directly to what you need.

They have also hidden all the intermediate menus, so that instead of Alt-A giving you the ONE menu for all of what you can do with tables, and where you were shown by hints all the choices for the next key for the next step to do exactly what you want, you have to remember multiple steps for the shortcut to get directly to HALF (at best) of ANY USEFUL MENU.

It would be extremely difficult for anyone learning, for the first time, from one of the "new" versions even to find most of the really useful keyboard shortcuts, nearly all of which were unchanged since around 1990 when Office was still DOS, and I have yet to find any menu item among the 700 choices shown on the new "ribbons" that doesn't require drilling down through multiple layers to get to the first things that are very useful (to me).

John


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