Question: Has anyone had experience of the Esselte Anir ergonomic mouse? It looks like a joystick. Come to think of it, could a games joystick be used as an alternative to a mouse?
Answer 1: I got a flyer on this in the RSI Association Newsletter, and it looks interesting – however, I’d really have to try it out for a few days to a week to find out. It looks like it can only be used in the right hand, anyway, so it’s no good for me.
Answer 2: I have, and I have very good experience from it. It “slides” over the surface like a normal mouse, but it has a large number of features built into the software. Those are controlled with the three buttons, and some are programmable. It certainly “cured” my problems with RSI/OOS. It keeps your arm, wrist and hand in a non-RSI creating position, if you like. It is a bit of a trick to get used to it, and to adjust it to work for you. First I hated it, and thought it was stressing and inaccurate. Now I use it all the time, 8 to ten hours a day. Also for graphics.
Answer 3: Thanks for the many useful comments on this. I get the impression that this product is not as good as it looks. Guess I’ll stick with the Wacom Artpad.
Answer 4: I tried it in Sweden when it first came out and found it a bit fiddly – I didn’t use it long term though. I’m a keen gamer and I’ve often thought that the vastly higher input rate and number of input options of a joystick should not only reduce the number of times any particular motion is repeated but also allow a great deal of control compared to a mouse. For example: The mouse has three buttons and one style of movement. My current joystick has six buttons and five styles of movement. In theory a joystick should be a very good input device.
The problem is that joysticks work best as rate-of-change devices, i.e. a deviation from center indicates the speed of motion not a change of position. In this mode it is very easy to control viewpoints and analogue motion, (games like Quake, Duke 3D, flight sims), but tricky to specify position, which is why games like SimCity and Windows use a mouse instead. An alternative would be to make the desktop software work on viewpoint, as most joystick games do. Hmmmm…. How to change printer settings: Go into the main menu building and look for the “start” room (just through the lobby) go down the settings corridor and enter the room marked control panel. Open the printers console and shoot for the required printer….. it might even work. All I’d have to do is re-write the command.
Answer 5: Interesting speculations. I’ve met a few printers I wouldn’t mind shooting. 🙂 You seem to be suggesting that the problem with mice is as much to do with the information format as the physical design. Joysticks certainly don’t seem to cause the same rate of injury as mice. I always thought that was because of the joystick design, but maybe it’s also because the way the joystick handles information is closer to the natural model for hand-brain interaction — and hence less stressful?
Answer 6: Perhaps. Certainly the input device and the application are reflections of each other. Some of the very best video games have depended on novel input devices in order to allow novel game play. For example Missile Command used a tracker ball, Tempest used a freewheeling spinner. Both excellent games, both difficult to do on a PC with either mouse or joystick. I’m not sure about that. I’ve ended up pretty sore with sticks and have had minor hand damage from pinball. I think it depends on the intensity of use as well the form of the device. As for the natural model, I think there are differences in pointing and tracking. I.e. indication seems to be more “mouse” like, whereas
walking and tracking are more stick like.
Answer 7: Have you tried using a joystick in place of a mouse? I’m sure that a joystick on the lap would be a more comfortable position than a mouse on the desk =AD although men may get funny looks doing it! 🙂 I can understand the limitation of a games mouse as a pointing device. Perhaps someone (is Maltron reading this?) could produce a modified one
Answer 8: Always thought Windoze was a bit of a game 🙂
Answer 9: I have tried it for about six months, as well as about 20 other mice, and the Anir is the only one I can use for extended periods (like more than an hour).
Answer 10: I have been using the Anir Mouse for several weeks now and have found: – it requires you to rest all of your forearm on the desk – which is fine providing your desk is deep enough to accommodate this otherwise you end up with your nose practically touching the screen – the vertical angle of the ‘joystick’ part of the mouse does not quite suit me. I would prefer it to be tilted a little more toward the horizontal otherwise I find that my hand is tending to lean toward the right (vertical) position and putting a lot of pressure on the fleshy part of my hand – as someone else mentioned the angle of your wrist needs watching when you use it but generally this is not a significant problem. Overall, I have not found it as comfortable as I had hoped but it is certainly a major improvement over the conventional mouse!!.