Trackball makes comeback

Question: MOUSE PREDECESSOR COULD BE MAKING A COMEBACK
Mouse makers Microsoft and Logitech have turned their attention to the trackball, a piece of hardware that preceded the mouse as a computer input device. The trackball fell out of favor in the 1960s after research scientist Douglas Englebart turned it upside down, creating the first mouse. After the mouse gained widespread appeal with users in the 1980s, it pushed the trackball into obscurity. Industry analysts, however, say the trackball may be poised for a comeback as it has several advantages over the mouse. Trackball users roll a ball with their thumbs to move the cursor, causing less ergonomic stress than a mouse. Because the ball itself faces up rather than down, it does not collect as much dust and dirt as a mouse’s ball does. Also, trackball users do not need a mouse pad or the room the pad requires. The new trackball devices being developed by Microsoft and Logitech feature optical technology to measure the movement of the cursor as accurately as possible.

Answer 1: Yeah right. Nice bit of techno history but hardly news to some of us. I’m glad of these industry analysts I really am. If only MS and Logitech would desist from their Right Handidism, and assuming I would want to deploy my poor right hand, I would applaud. What is Right Handism? Well try finding a left hand compatible mouse or trackball in PC world these days! They are all funny shapes for people with the full use of the right hand. Boo hiss.I’ve used a Logitech Marble Mouse (completely symmetrical and sadly no longer available!) for some time. Placed on the left side of my setup, it’s saved my right hand from further ago. I use Mouse tool (www.mousetool.com) to further minimize click-strain.

Answer 2: You might like to try the Kensington Expert mouse (which is a trackball). Excellent bit of kit with 4 programmable buttons (Inc scroll lock capability). I can’t click a standard mouse for very long without considerable sharp pains in the fingers but the Kensington’s buttons are far easier and allow me to work with it all day at a much lower level of pain. It’s also big so you can vary finger usage easily, and symmetrical so you can swap hands if necessary. I can’t remember the website offhand but I think its www.kensington.com

Answer 3: Amazing isn’t it? I’ve been using a Logitech tracker ball, currently the original “Track man Marble” , for the last 9 years (Well 2 actually – the first one broke). As yet I don’t have RSI problems (except for tennis elbow due to excessive DI Ying). I’m glad that these people have now caught up


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