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Input Devices Microsoft Technology

"BlueTrack" Mouse More Advanced Than Laser, Optical 191

Posted by Soulskill
from the perfect-for-my-granite-workstation dept.
ThinSkin writes "Just when you thought laser and optical mice were enjoying their reign on mousepads worldwide, Microsoft has to come along and introduces their 'BlueTrack Technology,' a mouse tracking system that aims to work on virtually any terrain short of mirrored and reflective surfaces. ExtremeTech reviews the Explorer Mouse and Explorer Mini Mouse, both of which are powered by Microsoft's newest sensor, to see just how well this technology works. Testing on granite, carpet, marble, and other surfaces, the reviewers were impressed with the responsiveness of BlueTrack, but they also noted that laser mice were competitive on these surfaces as well. Even though the mice didn't get a recommendation from the reviewers (price being a major concern), they did admit that this BlueTrack is the best tracking system available today. MaximumPC has some pictures and a brief technical interview."
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"BlueTrack" Mouse More Advanced Than Laser, Optical

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  • Yeah (Score:5, Funny)

    by funehmon (648132) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:19AM (#25423455)
    Because we all use carpet padded desktops.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BeNJ-GoS (592137) *
      most of us don't. but the article does explain where they encounter it and where the need came from...
    • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:43AM (#25423545) Homepage

      The linked review is one of those pages there the article uses at most 15% of the space but still had to be split amount 6 pages or so.

      • Anyone actually read the review?

        I'm curious on how much better it really is.

        e.g. latency, maximum tracking speed (many optical mice lose track if you move them really quick - and that sucks for many games).

        As for not being able to work on reflective surfaces, there are already cheaper "laser" mice that work on reflective surfaces.

        Maybe I should read the review - but I hate reviews that are split across tons of pages and turn out to be useless (e.g. PR/Ad company crap).
        • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @10:09AM (#25424031) Homepage

          the article suggests that the BlueTrack mouse only has around 800 dpi resolution/sensitivity. but considering that most laser mice have 2000-3200 dpi, BlueTrack doesn't seem more advanced than lasers. the only advantage i can see is that it works on more surfaces than laser mice can. but so do conventional optical mice, which can already go up to 1600 dpi.

          the Explorer Mouse is not very impressive or groundbreaking. i'd rather get a hi-res laser or optical mouse by Logitech at a lower price.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            the only advantage i can see is that it works on more surfaces than laser mice can. but so do conventional optical mice, which can already go up to 1600 dpi.

            Actually TFA says that optical was worse than laser on the tricky surfaces:

            A very high-end Razer Boomslang CE optical mouse had trouble maintaining a smooth cursor. An Ideazon Reaper Edge laser mouse faired pretty well, but not perfectly. This just goes to show that laser mice and the Explorer are able to handle difficult surfaces more cleanly than optical mice.

            • by aliquis (678370)

              But that isn't the general knowledge and opinion of me and many others. A friends MX revolution or whatever it was called, MX 1000 maybe? Some early laser one anyway jumped around a lot, my MX 300 was way less picky. I got the DeathAdder (optical) but haven't liked that it can't track on white surfaces or say a surface with lines in some pattern because it seem to fuck up by that, so obviously at least that one have some issues but I doubt it's worse than the average laser one. Also laser mice are well know

          • by Zironic (1112127)

            You buy all your processors based on the Mhz number too I suppose?

            • no, but i do go by benchmark results.

              as long as an optical/laser mouse is capable of functioning on conventional desktop surfaces, all that really matters is its sensitivity and resolution. i do a lot of graphic design work, and increased resolution/sensitivity was the reason i initially switched from a ball mouse to an optical mouse.

              i don't need a mouse that works on carpet. but if you want to pay $50 extra to have a blue light instead of a red one then good for you. i'll take superior performance on conve

              • by Zironic (1112127)

                As I've understood the technology behind it these mice should be taking clearer pictures less often so it wouldn't suprise me if they'll outperform the laster mice on any surface within a few generations.

                Personally I wouldn't buy these first generation mice either, they cost about twice what I'm willing to pay for a mouse and their intended market is notebook productivity while I only use a mouse for gaming/desktop use.

          • by Zadaz (950521)

            In addition my Logitech laser mouse also works on glass tables, carpet, and for fun I just tried it on a mirror and got very good tracking.

            I've got a wireless one that I use for my living room media center. It works on every surface in the room. (Though some, like my leather couch don't make great mouse pads because they cause a lot of friction.) I carry one with my laptop and I can't remember the last time I've found a surface that I couldn't track on.

            On the other hand my friend who uses the Apple mouse

    • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Funny)

      by asCii88 (1017788) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:56AM (#25423603) Homepage
      No, but finally I'll be able to play Crysis inside my sand castle!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo (196126)

        To be honest the parent is probably the target market, i.e. gamers. No-one else spends more than £10 on a mouse because there is no need to, the technology and usability of a £10 mouse is perfect.

        Since anyone buying an expensive mouse probably also buys expensive mouse pads, this thing is doubly pointless.

        • Re:Yeah (Score:4, Insightful)

          by gadabyte (1228808) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @10:46AM (#25424311)

          i bought a razer mouse. not for the blue lights (the only reason i installed the razer driver was to turn the lights off), the gaming gimmick angle, or the razer name, but because it was the only mouse in either of the stores i went to that had the buttons i needed (5) and was actually comfortable in my hand and on my skin. i felt like a chump shelling out 40 bucks for a mouse, but after 2 years with it, i'm VERY glad that i did - especially when i use someone else's computer and their $17 mouse.

          without a comfortable, durable interface, a computer is pretty damn useless, imo.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by cp.tar (871488)

            I've always been amazed by people willing to spend extra money (and significant amounts of it at that) on just a tad faster processor, GPU and whatnot, but then picking a cheapo monitor, keyboard and mouse.
            Somehow, I'd rather work on a merely decent configuration with excellent peripherals than on a ultra-fast rig with a $5 keyboard and $2 mouse. Whatever I'm doing, my CPU is mostly idling; my hands on my keyboard are not.

            I spent a bunch of money for a Unicomp SpaceSaver keyboard (Model M, for all practica

        • by mollymoo (202721)
          I spent £25 ($50) on my current mouse (a Logitech LX8, a wireless laser job) and I don't game with it, nor do I have a mouse pad. Given my previous mouse lasted me over five years and even the fanciest mice are well under £100, they're all pretty cheap for the use you get out of them. I just picked the one that felt good in my hand and had the buttons I wanted. I didn't look for wireless, but I've rapidly grown rather fond of it. £10 or £20 extra is nothing for something you might us
          • by AmiMoJo (196126)

            I have had expensive mice too, but by far the best one has been a cheap Samsung mouse. It just fits my hand better than any other mouse. It's corded and optical, PS2 only which is a bit of a shame but otherwise perfect. I have had it for 10 years this year.

            Comfort is really hard to buy, because it depends on you as much as the product. Keyboards are the same, I use a £10 Pacard Bell one which just happens to be really nice.

        • by Malekin (1079147)

          To be honest the parent is probably the target market, i.e. gamers.

          TFA mentions that is a wireless mouse, which gamers generally shun for lagginess and weight, and includes the quote "Explorer Mouse and Explorer Mini Mouse perform at 1000 dpi, which we find is the ideal speed for productivity mice."

    • by Yst (936212)

      Because we all use carpet padded desktops.

      I'm a librarian (on the web/systems end of library work), and at my library, we do have a patron who frequently comes in to use our wifi, and uses his mouse on a thick, crocheted wool doily. Clearly, this is the mouse for him.

    • by evanbd (210358)
      I have a glass desk. Obviously the optical mouse has trouble. I would, however, love to get rid of the mousepad -- it always seems like one more piece of clutter (of which my desk already has enough, thank you). I'm guessing this new tech comes closer, but that there's a ways to go before glass surfaces are within reach.
  • by GreyWolf3000 (468618) * on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:22AM (#25423465) Journal
    ...and be done with it.
    • by 4D6963 (933028) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:27AM (#25423495)
      Last time I checked, accelerometer-based position tracking alone didn't work too well as speeds become offset more and more over time, that is as errors accumulate your cursor would start to move even when the mouse isn't moving. However I guess that coupled with a more traditional tracking to add more precision to quick movements, it could be a great thing!
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:27AM (#25423497) Journal
      Have you tried using an accelerometer as a pointing device? I played with a £400 device with six-axis accelerometers and it didn't have enough precision to track a movement to the right and then a return to the same starting point as returning to its original position. The only reason the Wii controller is accurate is that it constantly recalibrates itself from the bar under the display. Attach a bowling ball to your mouse, put it on a frictionless surface, and then move it with an elastic band, and you'll get an idea of what an accelerometer-based pointing device built with current technology would feel like.
      • by Jethro (14165) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @09:02AM (#25423637) Homepage

        > Attach a bowling ball to your mouse, put it on a frictionless surface,
        > and then move it with an elastic band,

        I'll get right on that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Yvan256 (722131)

        Attach a bowling ball to your mouse, put it on a frictionless surface, and then move it with an elastic band, and you'll get an idea of what an accelerometer-based pointing device built with current technology would feel like.

        That'd be one heavy mouse indeed.

      • I once got ahold of an old Sidewinder Freestyle. It didn't take me long to detach it and shove it in a drawer never to be seen again.
      • by Ecuador (740021)

        If you think that the Wii uses accelerometers for the pointer function, you are mistaken. It just uses the IR sensor bar as a technology that improves the old style light guns. It is actually not a great improvement though, as it works frustratingly bad on my 120" screen (it feels like it assumes I have a 40-50" TV, so I am still pointing to the middle of the screen when the pointer has already run off the top).

        The same goes for the games that do not have a pointer - the sensor bar is useless for them, no "

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zadaz (950521)

      You might want to study accelerometers more. Despite the runaway success of the Wii and iPhone, they don't cure all ills.

      What you would end up with is something that would both be as accurate as your average pedometer and still so sensitive that your pulse would screw up its tracking.

      Yes, there are ways to mitigate both of those things but they would dramatically increase the price of the thing. And laser mice are really cheap.

  • by eric-x (1348097)

    I expected at least a Seinfeld quote somewhere.

  • by EdZ (755139) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:28AM (#25423499)
    I'll stick with my MX Revolution. I've yet to find a mouse with the same number of buttons arranged in an equally usable manner. And yes, I DO use all of them.
    • by Speare (84249) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:45AM (#25423551) Homepage Journal
      My pointing device has about 103 buttons in a very convenient layout. It did take a little while to get used to, but some schools even have classes on how to use it effectively. It's great, because with this pointing device, I can also enter new textual information, rather than pointing and grunting at the stuff that's already on the screen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The MX Revolution is a piece of junk. I absolutely hate it. I have my desktop wired up to my HDTV and use the MX revolution along with the diNovo Edge keyboard. The keyboard, which is bluetooth, works amazingly well. No signal loss, no lag between typing and text appearing on the screen. Even the touchpad works reasonably well, however it has some difficulties determining double clicks but it's not my main mouse so who cares?

      The Revolution, on the other hand, has been nothing but headaches. Mind you,

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by jebrew (1101907)
        http://www.gyration.com/ [gyration.com]

        I've got one of these for my HTPC, stows well with the keyboard in a coffee table drawer for when the computer is not what's on screen. It works very well. I sit about 10' from my TV (under which the dongle sits) and it's fairly infrequent that I get missed connection with it. Though I did have it behind the TV for a while and it was extremely spotty then, so YMMV.

        Also, they're not cheap, wait for them to go on sale online or at Fry's. Got mine for $60 for the mouse/kbd combo..

      • the lack of decent bluetooth mice is frustrating, to say the least... Razer makes a REALLY shitty one with lots of lag and stuttering. Logitech makes the v470, which works flawlessly but is really basic (2button+scroll only). Apparently Logitech used to make a bluetooth mouse resembling the mx518 but it was discontinued. I'd still like to pick one up on ebay though, it was the mx900.

        I hate the idea of proprietary RF devices and most of them really suck past 6ft away, anyway.. and when you lose that do

    • by Columcille (88542) *
      I'm picky about what mouse I will use and MX Revolution is definitely at the top of my list. It's my regular use daily mouse with the MX 5000 as backup. Throw in my DiNovo Edge and my wireless world is happy.
  • Mice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:33AM (#25423513)
    From the article:

    The Explorer Mouse uses a proprietary, Microsoft-designed complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) chip with advanced algorithms and pixel architecture for more precise tracking.

    Get it through your heads, fellows: Proprietary is not an advantage. Patented is not an advantage. Don't go crowing about it! Proprietary is what brought us Windows. Are we supposed to be impressed and go "ooh, more of that"?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ozphx (1061292)

      What? Yes it is. Its an especially big advantage if the proprietary+patented new tech is actually better.

      Of course some open source people might have a cry about "teh evils", but to me that sentance means "You must buy the cool new tracking from us."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "Propriety" and "patented" are there to show you that they're the only game in town with this technology, and that you can feel secure in buying from them without having to do anything like compare to other vendors, or anything else the intelligent consumer is supposed to do.

    • by DAldredge (2353)
      If it wasn't it would have been copied in China right after it shipped. Who would have developed that chip if they knew they would not get paid for doing so?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Proprietary is not an advantage. Patented is not an advantage.

      That's not from the article per-se, it's from MS's press release [mshardwareguide.com] that the article quotes. The article tells you it's a quote and uses a different font even so it's pretty obvious.

      Patented and proprietary are advantages to MS's investors. That's why they put it in the press release.

    • by AdamHaun (43173)

      Umm... what? The line you quote is talking about a custom piece of *internal hardware* -- an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). ASICs are very common in all kinds of devices and have nothing directly to do with software compatibility, hardware interfaces, or interoperability. All it means is that they made it a little cheaper (and possibly a little better) by using special-purpose hardware rather than a high-performance off-the-shelf microcontroller.

  • by dangitman (862676) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:35AM (#25423521)

    From the article:

    We got some hands-on time with this handsome wireless mouse and were impressed by its tracking accuracy, stylish design, and mesmerizing blue glow.

    Yeah, because we haven't got enough glowing gadgets. I'm not sure who considers "mesmerizing" as a positive aspect of consumer electronics. End the madness, people! Or are you too hypnotized by blue LEDs to move?

  • Weird (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:38AM (#25423531) Homepage

    I was very convinced that optical sensors was LESS picky than laser ones. Everyone I know have had issues with laser ones (ok, I may not have heard any complaints on the Logitech G5 but..)

    Haven't read the article though, just woke up. (My mouse is an optical Razer DeathAdder and works good as long as there are no huge contrasts on the material or on my white melamine (?) desk or white paper. Brown table, piece of unbleached paper box, pants, all good.)

  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:43AM (#25423547) Homepage

    This is just another optical type of mouse. What we really need is an ACTUAL mouse that has been genetically modified with a USB cable for a tail that can transmit the information issued to its brain by the aggregate information provided by its belly hair as you push it across any surface. More advanced versions will do the same using mental telepathy to another mouse head that was severed and merged with a USB dongle.

    • mousehead in a dongle? How crude, we the brain of a mouse integrated into the computer which can have telepathic communication with any other mouse brain telepathy enabled devices.
  • by Adambomb (118938) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:46AM (#25423557) Journal

    Testing on granite, carpet, marble, and other surfaces, the reviewers were impressed with the responsiveness of BlueTrack, but they also noted that laser mice were competitive on these surfaces as well. Even though the mice didn't get a recommendation from the reviewers (price being a major concern), they did admit that this BlueTrack is the best tracking system available today.

    I wonder if they realize that this is flat out saying "yeah its nice tech, but no one really noticed much of a difference and isnt worth the price". Slashvertisements are getting a little weird these days.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Starcub (527362)
      Yeah I could care less about the tracking system myself, I still use an old MS Intellimouse ball mouse. No batteries to replace, no lag, and good enough tracking. I really don't need an LED on my mouse, or weights, or other gimmicks. All I really want is solid construction that will last.

      I might be tempted to upgrade if there was a significant reason to do so, like for example, the inclusion of an analog thumb hat switch similar to what the Saitek Cyborg mouse has. Unfortunately, I've yet to see a
      • Yeah I could care less about the tracking system myself, I still use an old MS Intellimouse ball mouse. No batteries to replace, no lag, and good enough tracking.

        but you do need to de-gunk the internal rollers every few weeks. That's one thing I don't miss about ball mice.

      • > The Cyborg has a intrusive shelf on the bottom...

        Don't you own a Dremel tool?

      • I've personally found wired optical mice to be a huge improvement over ball mice, ball mice at least in my experiance gunked up quite frequently (though not as often as old laptop trackballs, they were horrible for gunking up).

        Wireless mice on the other hand i've found to be nothing but a pain in the arse.

  • Battery: 3 weeks !!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rick Richardson (87058) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @08:52AM (#25423589) Homepage
    Pass.
    • by Columcille (88542) *
      Actually three weeks sounds pretty amazing for a wireless mouse, unless that is three weeks with very little use. A three week charge would be nice. I can only go a few days between charging mine.
      • Actually three weeks sounds pretty amazing for a wireless mouse

        I get much more than that with a wireless Intellimouse. ~70-90 days, maybe, before it yells. And the Logitech trackball is almost as good.
        And then, just swap in another pair of rechargeable AA's.
      • by Skater (41976)
        Until my cat chewed the USB cable, I had a Microsoft wireless mouse that would go months between battery changes, and I used it at least a couple hours a day. Everyone else I know with wireless mice said that they were always replacing batteries. What gives? The one I had (actually I still have it and would like to fix it, just haven't gotten around to trying) was an optical LED-based mouse. I think I'd replace batteries in it two or three times a year.
      • Really? I think the last time I changed my cheap Logitech wireless mouse's battery was 2 months ago.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mollymoo (202721)
        Buy a better mouse. The two alkaline AAs in this LX8 have lasted a couple of months of heavy use so far and, if Logitech are to be believed, can go for as long as 8 months. I've not turned it or the computer it's attached to off in that time. When the alkalines die they'll be replaced by low-self-discharge NiMH batteries (eg. Sanyo Eneloop) and I expect to go months between charging them.
  • Trackball (Score:5, Insightful)

    by envelope (317893) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @09:13AM (#25423675) Homepage Journal

    I use a trackball, it works well on any surface at all - sand, carpet, wood, jello, etc.

  • by Fumus (1258966) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @09:15AM (#25423693)
    I use my trackball (Logitech TrackMan Wheel) almost exclusively for everything except playing FPS games.
    It just fricking rocks. After fiddling around with sensitivity and getting used to in (one or two days) it's the best mouse I ever had.
    Never again will I run out of space or need to lift my hand and reposition the mouse.

    Of course people who use mice to draw stuff will be somewhat crippled by it, as I have a little more difficulty when using it in order to doodle something quick in paint, but what self-respecting artist uses a mouse as their main drawing interface?
  • While this new technology may be great for mouse users, I'm not up in arms with joy. Would there be a gain for trackballs? I'm using the Logitech Marble Mouse(*), and as far as I can tell, the optics goes on between the ball itself and a camera below the ball; as a producer, you control the surface completely. Would there be anything gained by tolerating more diverse surfaces if you're never going to use them?

    (*) I can recommend everyone to go out and buy one, it's great. You can put more clutter near y

    • > Would there be anything gained by tolerating more diverse surfaces if you're never going
      > to use them?

      I can think of none.

      > I can recommend everyone to go out and buy one, it's great.

      I second that. I can't imagine why anyone who has ever tried a trackball would go back to a mouse.

  • by eebra82 (907996) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @09:44AM (#25423867) Homepage
    I'm still waiting for the first GSM triangulation mouse, which will eventually be succeeded by the first GPS mouse.
  • As a Linux user (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @10:05AM (#25424005)

    I can also say that I've always enjoyed Microsoft's mice, especially their Intellimouse Explorer, and will probably continue to do so.

    And this sounds like a nice step forward. But $100? I could get a secondary monitor for that price. Or enough ram to max out my 32-bit system. Or a new hard drive so I can raid my system. The list goes on. Also, I'd prefer to be rid of my mouse at this point. Unfortunately, hitting those slashdot preview/submit buttons is a pain in the ass without a mouse.

    • I still use a "Microsoft Intellimouse Optical 1.1a" 7-button. It's older then I can remember and it rocks.

  • Short of mirrored and reflective surfaces? That's very interesting, considering I use a mirror as my 'mousepad' for my optical mouse and it's the best mousepad I've ever used.

  • I remember when optical mice first came out, they were actually worse in a sense than the old ball/roller based mice. For gaming if you would move the mouse quickly from side to side, your pointer would lose track sometimes and typically would go lower and lower instead of panning across the middle.

    Long fixed with optical mice, but I've had for a few years a fairly nice logitech that needs replacing.

    Is it still pretty much necessary for gaming to get a high end mouse? I believe when they made dual optical

  • Well I am by no means a Microsoft fan, and vastly prefer a thumb trackball over a mouse. But for once, MS has actually come up with something new and innovative that truly is new and innovate. I at least have not seen any tracking system like this before. It's not a huge improvement over current laser mice, that is true, but it is a definite improvement. Better DPI will come with time I am sure, as will lefty/ambi mice.

    So give credit where it is due.

    • by mollymoo (202721)

      I at least have not seen any tracking system like this before.

      Really? It's just an optical mouse with a few incremental improvements: Larger sensing area, blue light, better optics. Progress for sure, but it's not fundamentally different to existing optical mice.

  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Saturday October 18, 2008 @11:18AM (#25424527) Homepage

    This continual failure of mouse makers to address mousing on mirrors annoys me. Hey, mouse makers, here's how you can address this.

    Originally, your mice were based on a rolling ball. The mouse felt the ball rolling, and figured out the movement. In human sense terms, your mice were based on touch.

    The current mice are based on sight. They look at the surface under the mouse and see the relative movement.

    The sense you should be looking at is smell.

    In the center of the bottom of the mouse, there should be an emitter that leaves a chemical trail on the mousing surface. The rest of the bottom of the mouse should be covered with odor sensors that can sense when they are near the chemical. By laying a pattern of odors, and sensing them as they move under the mouse's "noses", the mouse can determine position.

    Think ants and the chemical trails they leave to find their way around.

    Not only would this address the mirror problem, you could also use this technology to address a serious workplace health issue. You could make it so the tracking chemical has antibacterial properties. This would help keep shared computers sanitary during cold season, reducing sick days and boosting overall productivity.

    • One problem. Right now, I don't have to worry about replacing my mouse juice for the thing to work correctly.
    • The rest of the bottom of the mouse should be covered with odor sensors that can sense when they are near the chemical.

      Your idea is an interesting one, and while I am interested in subscribing to your news letter, I wonder whether you've considered the following:

      "Oh, look! Cheese!"

      My opinion is that if we go down this route, we should re-evalute the rodent model. Cats might work, but dogs would seem the better choice.

    • and it opens up your favorite porn web site.

  • When I went from PC to Mac, I bought a decent USB wireless mouse and it worked fine for a long time. Then I tried to use their "Mac" Bluetooth mouse: doesn't work worth **** with Macs, Best Buy said they get lots of returns on those. So I tried an Apple BT Mega-Mouse, was not impressed with that. Finally found one that was BT, had a decent feel, and good right click support, so I'm content.

    But I am definitely troubled by this right-handedness. I can mouse with my right hand, but it's uncomfortable and I

  • Sorry for being off topic, but all I want from the pointing device business is to put some innovation into trackballs.

    I use a Logitech Trackman wheel (left thumb operated optically read (red dotted) ball.

    The device is great when new, then degrades when the rollers and the ball surface loses its "shine".

    As for the original topic: a laser mouse works fine for me when I use one on most surfaces except glass. Plastics are the best as they are low friction, while glass "sticks".... I have an older explorer mou

    • by Teilo (91279)

      Can't stand those thumb-balls. I love the old Microsoft Trackball Explorer fingertip ball (I use it on my macs all the time, and with ControllerMate IV can program it however I wish). The ball NEVER dulls or scratches. It does, however, occasionally need lubrication (nose grease works perfectly). Pop out the ball, and blow it out occasionally, and flick the dust off of the three surface contacts. Going on 5 years on three of them. No problems.

      I'll never understand how you thumb-ball guys get any control out

  • I've preferred a wonderful pointing device that works on any surface, or even no surface at all, for a long time. It's called a trackball.

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