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The Mice That Didn't Make It 202

Posted by timothy
from the does-anything-beat-a-logitech-marble-mouse? dept.
Harry writes "For every blockbuster of the mouse world (such as Microsoft and Logitech's big sellers) there have been countless mice that flopped, or never made it to market. Mice shaped like pyramids; mice shaped like Mickey; mice that doubled as numeric keypads or phones. Even one that sat on your steering wheel. I've rounded up some evocative patent drawings on twenty notable examples."
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The Mice That Didn't Make It

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  • Not Reading It (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:14PM (#28978043)

    I'm not reading this article because it's on 20 different pages. STOP THAT SHIT.

    • by Aphoxema (1088507) *

      I found it interesting, though it would have been a little easier in larger doses.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by christianT (604736)

        What??? Larger chunks??? And lose out on ad impressions? NEVER!

        1. Build Website
        2. Sell ad space on it
        3. Write Article
        4. Split it into 90 pieces
        5. Post article to said website
        6. ???
        7. Profit

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:28PM (#28978265)

      because clicking on the word "next" 20 times is too laborious? You, sir, need a better mouse.

      Come to think of it, perhaps your current mouse is listed in the article...

      • by pjt33 (739471)

        At 3 minutes to load each page, no-one is going to click through 20 times.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          At 3 minutes to load each page, no-one is going to click through 20 times.

          Well, the thing most people do if they don't want to wait is, open in a new tab! I saw 23 links along the bottom, one for each page (except the first), doesn't mean you can't middle-click them all and while they load, you read the first one.

          Most browsers should handle 24 open tabs quite easily.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hobo sapiens (893427)

          No! Wrong, all of you!

          If it takes that much effort to read what is essentially a fluff piece, I for one will not read it. Not preloading the pages in different tabs, not clicking next 20 times. Stupid web developers. grumble grumble. No sense of usability. grumble grumble grumble.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      I'm not reading this article because it's on 20 different pages. STOP THAT SHIT.

      Seriously. There really needs to be some way to administer a small electric shock to both the submitter and the editor for things like this.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AlHunt (982887)

        >There really needs to be some way to administer a small electric shock to both the submitter and the editor

        Why "small"? I say give'em a Dr Emmett Brown 1.21 jiggowatt sized shock.

        • by Pharmboy (216950)

          So just tie them to a cable, climb up and connect it to a clocktower, and wait for a storm? Too much work. Think Indiana Jones, where you simply shoot the guy and walk away, machete or not.

    • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:38PM (#28978431)
      Yes -- things like this have me working on perfecting the technology to deliver a punch to the face via TCP/IP.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Afforess (1310263)
      Go get autopager [mozilla.org] (for firefox). It solves that problem.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745)

        It does not solve the problem. It works around it.
        Unless it ahs an option to slap the developer in the back of the head.

      • by hurfy (735314)

        Hey, I am designing a mouse to find and click 'next' to read long inane articles you insensitive clod!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nicolay77 (258497)

      I love to read in a lot of different media. I can enjoy reading a novel in a web browser without any problem at all. I have done it.

      However, for every user like me there are thousands who cry: 'Wall of text!' everytime they encounter some text that's more than 10 lines long.

      So, complain to these lazy users that can't read, instead of complaining to the webmasters. The webmasters are simply doing what the masses ask.

      Also, the game.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by iYk6 (1425255)

        An interesting theory, but no. Webmasters do it to increase ad views.

    • it will stop soon. Big ad companies are already changing their rankings from page impressions to unique users.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      If I go to read an article, and find that there's only a paragraph or two on the first page with large pictures and ads and a "NEXT PAGE" link, I stop reading and make a mental note not to visit that site again.

      Technologizer dot com is now on my black list. I just don't need whatever information is at their site that badly.

      On the other hand, I've seen sites that break up long articles, especially hardware reviews, into several pages, with ads on each page. But at least there's a significant amount of inf

    • Have some care for whomever is paying for the upbound bandwidth... if you ball out midway through, having each item on separate pages means they don't have to send what you don't look at.
      • by vux984 (928602)

        Have some care for whomever is paying for the upbound bandwidth... if you ball out midway through, having each item on separate pages means they don't have to send what you don't look at.

        Interesting theory. But how would doling out 4 more paragraphs per page, and making a 20 page article 4 pages break the bank? In fact, I'd argue that on the vast majority of sites all the 'structure' (javascript, html tables, classes names, ids, spans, menu items, etc) that goes with each page makes it take far more bandwid

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      Are you blind?

      It's on 24

  • Split article (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:15PM (#28978067)
    And it's split across 24 different pages. ... now where are all of the slashdotters who were arguing with me about ad-supported content last night? :)
  • by rihkama (732472) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:16PM (#28978073)
    20 pages for 20 smallish pictures? Really? The site must be desperate for ad revenue.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jDeepbeep (913892)

      20 pages for 20 smallish pictures? Really? The site must be desperate for ad revenue.

      AdBlock Plus claims it is actively blocking four scripts when I land on the first page, all of them from static.fmpub.net

    • It isn't just ad revenue, in some of these cases you can gather useful information as to "which" page in the series lost interest, which ones were linked to by third parties. This can also be done for performance in the case of large-ish images or for pages that scale well (or better) to mobile devices.

      Not to say that any of these reasons of-necesity warrant this sort of design, but it isn't always simply revenue. My biggest complaint is where there is a complete lack of a "printer-friendly" option.
      • My biggest complaint is where there is a complete lack of a "printer-friendly" option.

        Do you also complain when a web site makes printer-friendly versions of its articles available at a low, low price per month?

  • He forgot one (Score:4, Informative)

    by grub (11606) * <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:19PM (#28978119) Homepage Journal
    Don't forget this one. [wikipedia.org] The only manufacturers' mouse which is usually replaced by a 3rd party one within minutes.

    .
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I assume you're talking about the hockey puck mouse [wikipedia.org], rather than the ADB Mouse II that's pictured on the top of the page. The former was a disaster, of course; the latter was actually quite a good mouse and very pleasant to use.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by infalliable (1239578)

        Yes, the most god awful mouse ever made and sold in "large" quantities. Why would you ever make a mouse that had no tactile feel to let you know which was was up, make it really light, and then put a really heavy cord on it so that the cord was always trying to make it rotate? Not to mention it was too small and just uncomfortable.

      • by Briareos (21163) *

        I assume you're talking about the hockey puck mouse [wikipedia.org], rather than the ADB Mouse II that's pictured on the top of the page.

        How's this [soothbrush.com] for a replacement?

        I got one of those for free, but "painful" doesn't begin to describe it...

        np: Orbital - Lush (Herve's Tree And Leaf Remix) (2Orbital (Disc 2))

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      And then we have the SpaceNavigator [3dconnexion.com] and it's siblings, but that is actually used by a lot of CAD users. And if you use Google Earth you will love it.

      The sad thing with it is that the default drivers doesn't allow it to be used as a joystick. There are thirdparty drivers but I haven't been able to make them work.

  • Is it just me, or does the mouse on page 4 [technologizer.com] bear a striking resemblance to Logitech's current line-up of ergonomic mice?

    • by Pharmboy (216950)

      I used to have a trackball mouse that also looked familiar. (90s) I think it was a logitech. Complete and utter POS. I got it figuring it would be better for graphics, but the lack of fine detailed control made it useless.

      As much as I despise Microsoft, I still love their mice, in particular the 5 button versions, which are handy for throwing F and G grenades in Team Fortess Classic. (and yes, I still have a couple of servers for this 11 year old game...)

    • by denzacar (181829)

      Phone [cheap-battery.com] mice [plsbuy.com] did. [anypromo.com]

      And so did many a car mouse. [amazon.com]

  • by syousef (465911) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:36PM (#28978401) Journal

    Spread across 24 pages and about as interesting as a dry dog turd. When you submit to slashdot and it gets rejected then some story about loser designs that didn't make it for good reason winds up as front page news it's quite an insult. What's the next article going to be about? Drug addicts that didn't make it to CEO of large tech companies? How about abacus designs that didn't sell? Not inane enough for you? Let's try pocket protector manufacturers that went broke.

    • Let's try pocket protector manufacturers that went broke.

      We cannot allow such a travesty to occur. They are too big to fail.

    • by Pharmboy (216950)

      While the formatting sucked, the actual content was pretty good. Good quality images, simple text describing, to the point. I gave it a 5 star rating for the content.

      As for being spread over 20+ pages, Tom's and everyone else has been doing this for years, albeit, not as drastically. Gaming sites are just as bad, or worse. I expect it. Fortunately, my mouse just clicked next a couple dozen times, no worry.

      Perhaps the next article submitted and accepted by /. editors will simply have one paragraph per p

    • by Prien715 (251944)

      You could have provided the article in question you submitted along with your summary.

      Otherwise, it just reads as bitter criticism.

      • by syousef (465911)

        You could have provided the article in question you submitted along with your summary.

        Otherwise, it just reads as bitter criticism.

        Yeah much better to be accused of off topic bitter criticism, than just bitter criticism. I'd actually argue if I'd provided a specific article, it'd be grousing. I was speaking generally.

  • Slow news day? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:37PM (#28978413) Homepage Journal

    For every blockbuster of the X world there have been countless X that flopped, or never made it to market.

    No. Shit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pharmboy (216950)

      The point here is the guy actually collected the images from the original patents, which took a little work (and a lot of weeding out). The concept wasn't original (and the formatting over many pages sucked) but the actual content was pretty good, and yes, interesting.

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:39PM (#28978441) Homepage
    Fuck that shit in the ass. I refuse to read something in such a shit layout design for maximum ad views while ignoring a user's needs.

    Seriously, 24 pages for 20 nice is a flipping joke.
  • by Geak (790376)
    I purchased a Logitech Trackman Marble FX a number of years ago for about $60. Logitech discontinued it a long time ago. Personally I think it's the best mouse I have ever used. When friends of mine use the computer though they don't like it. It does take getting used to but it's extremely comfortable. Great for first person shooters. Eventually playing Unreal Tournament killed the right mouse button. I went looking for a replacement online and found some on ebay priced at over $300. I guess I'm not
    • by Obfuscant (592200)
      AMEN! I'm using one now. I have one on my main system at home. I have one sitting here not being used right now. I have one on the shelf, ready to replace any of those four. I LOVE my trackman marble.

      There IS no mouse that could deal with the clutter of my desk. Moving from the bottom of the screen to the top requires PUSHING crap out of the way, and still it takes three or four pushes to get to the top.

      Logitech, PLEASE start making these again!

    • by Ant P. (974313)

      As a side note, I think console systems would be improved if the right analog joystick on the controller was replaced with a trackball. Aiming is next to impossible with a joystick.

      Your thumb would hurt after a while. A joystick has a mostly flat top, a trackball is more curved so it has less contact area and more pressure. The idea would be perfect if not for that.

    • I think console systems would be improved if the right analog joystick on the controller was replaced with a trackball.

      But how big of a trackball? Look at how thin the Wii Classic Controller is. Wouldn't a trackball have to be as small as the trackball in the middle of an Apple Mighty Mouse in order to fit?

    • by RogerWilco (99615)

      The Trackman Marble FX was indeed a very nice trackball. Mine also broke, I'd buy one again if they still sold them (especially a left-handed version).

  • Best mouse... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nscheffey (1158691) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @04:45PM (#28978545)
    ....is not a mouse at all. It's the RollerMouse [mcergo.com], which lets me mouse without taking my hands off the keyboard. I have used this for 10 years and continue to be amazed that its not the standard in computing.
    • That's an interesting design. I'd love to try one. But that price would have to come way down for a purchase to happen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Oewyn (1526739)

      I have used this for 10 years and continue to be amazed that its not the standard in computing.

      Hrmm... At $220, i too am surprised that it isn't the standard in computing...

      pfft.

    • by Francis (5885)

      You know, that's what I've always thought about pointing sticks.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointing_stick [wikipedia.org]

      Unlike the rollermouse, I think the price would be pretty marginal to add to a regular keyboard, but I've only ever seen one external keyboard design that incorporated a pointing stick. (Lenovo/IBM design.)

      Personally, having a trackpoint was a deciding factor in choosing my laptop.

    • by xSauronx (608805)

      meh, i had a Thinkpad for a couple years and i really ,really miss the trackpoint. id damn near kill to have one in the middle of my wireless logitech keyboard. i found a few that were wired (ps/2? no fucking thanks, bud) and overpriced. half the time when i was on my thinkpad, even if i had a mouse handy, id just use the trackpoint. its such a wonderful input device and one of the main reasons i went with thinkpads. i *hate* touchpads, the multitouch ones are ok but nothing compared to a trackpoint for me.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon's_Law [wikipedia.org]

    What do you really expect? The light bulb wasn't perfected on the first try either.

  • WORST. MOUSE. EVER. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by operagost (62405) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @05:00PM (#28978761) Homepage Journal
    The pear-shaped, ridged piece of garbage that came with Packard Bells in the 1990s. I know you're surprised-- Packard-Bell made crappy hardware? But instead of durable grey rubber like most decent mice of the time, the ball on this thing was made of some porous black fake-rubber product that disintegrated in about a month on the display model. It's hard to demo a product when it just came out last month and the customers can see the mouse is already broken.
  • I took one look at the front page, realized that you created 24 pages to show 20 slides, understood that your main point here was maximizing ad revenue, and closed the tab.

    • So, the ROI and Ad spend decreased despite content integration and sponsored recommendations. Perhaps if we incentivize the inclusion of web-facing strategy indicators? Hold on, the webinar about how to get people to punch the monkey is starting...
  • I find myself really wanting one of those number pad mice.

    • by Pharmboy (216950)

      Then buy one [monstermarketplace.com] for $30. That was just the first I found, I bet there are others. And 30 bucks aint bad for any optical mouse. It doesn't even require special drivers. Not a bad idea for a laptop, actually.

  • The real mystery is how Logitech iFeel didn't make it. I got that thing right here but it has no support to OS X.

    It is immersion powered which can do little vibrates which everyone goes crazy about these days. "Haptic feedback" is the term I guess.

    While I was on Windows, it was a real intutive thing which caused no kind of system instability. I would say "because of software", no it is not the case. Unreal (2?) made use of it and it was the only game I could experience real feedback.

    Here is its review from

  • I've rounded up some evocative patent drawings on twenty notable examples.

    Uhh, why?

  • I seem to remember trying out a mouse like device in the 90's that moved the courser with thought. Whatever happened to those?
  • I don't have any idea what model it was, but a co-worker used to have a very small HP laptop with a mouse on a little arm that came out the right side of it.

  • I'm not going to format this so it's easy to read, I'm tired - so I'm getting straight to the point, I pray there's a billion to once chance a mouse manufacturer is listening.

    For high end fingertip gamers (google it) this is the best shaped mouse ever made.
    http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~yav/comp/pc/mouse/ltmm3u.jpg [biglobe.ne.jp]
    Sadly, no wheel, not optical, old as hell (PS/2!)

    All the modern laser or optical mice for gamers are absoloutely and utterly ridiculously huge for fingertip grip gamers, they are far too large or odd

  • I remember selling a few of a device that was a hand held mouse/game controller (for the Atari 400/800, VIC29 and C=64). It was more like a joystick without a base, just a handle with buttons on the top. Inside were mercury switches that detected when it was tilted.

    Since it had no tactile feedback nor accelerometer type detection for greater tilt, it wasn't long before the user started trying harder and harder to make it go faster (especially for games) by tilting it farther and farther, until they eventual

  • by RichiH (749257) on Friday August 07, 2009 @07:01AM (#28984313) Homepage

    ...your "article" over 24 pages? Other submitters go to the trouble of linking a print page to spare us this crap and you link an ad-riddled pos like that on purpose? I don't say that often, but: fuck you.

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