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Input Devices

RollerMouse Aims to Replace the Traditional Mouse 297

ThinSkin writes "Over at ExtremeTech, we have reviewed the RollerMousePRO, an ergonomic input device that claims to reduce pain and discomfort associated with repetitive mouse use while also increasing productivity. The idea behind the product is to have a fully functional docking station for your keyboard that allows you to navigate a cursor without much hand movement. There is an interesting Flash demo that illustrates how this works." Using a roller-bar beneath the keyboard may remind some people of the Outbound Macintosh-based laptop.
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RollerMouse Aims to Replace the Traditional Mouse

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  • by Silverlancer ( 786390 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:09PM (#11869546)
    Hmmm... Rollermouse... Horse... Rollermouse...
  • ermm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:10PM (#11869557) Homepage Journal
    How do I connect it to my VT-100?
  • crappy name (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:10PM (#11869561)
    not catchy enough, how about a farm animal? the horse, yeah that's it.
  • oh yeah (Score:2, Funny)

    by JoeBar ( 546577 )
    That's some slick looking flash
  • Two fingered? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Oen_Seneg ( 673357 )
    Seriously, it looks as if it would only benefit touch typists, not the masses of two fingered typists out there. As for me, well, my keyboards so close to the edge of my desk I have no space for one. Plus, I wouldn't want to bend my thumbs that far back
    • As for me, well, my keyboards so close to the edge of my desk I have no space for one.

      Ew, sounds like you don't have enough room to rest your wrist on the desk in front of the keyboard - how on Earth can you stand that! We have some desktops at work set up that way, I hate it. (Of course, worse are those folks who insist on putting their displays on top of their desktop cases, raising it by ~20 cm - ergonomics be damned.)
  • by andy55 ( 743992 ) * on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:15PM (#11869616) Homepage
    And in other news, the makers of the roller ruler aim to replace the ruler.
  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:15PM (#11869618)
    Until they have a screen that can figure out what i am looking at and want to "click". Small things like that are as bad as the "eraser" and touchpad mice.
  • Reinvent (Score:5, Funny)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:15PM (#11869622) Homepage
    Everyone is trying to reinvent the (mouse) wheel these days.

    Thank thank you. I'll be here all week.
    • Re:Reinvent (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Attaturk ( 695988 )

      This sort of thing [mousetrapper.co.uk] has been around since the early 90's.
  • by duckpoopy ( 585203 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:16PM (#11869633) Journal
    I sit at the computer no less than 40 hours per week, sometimes 12 hours in a day. I use the mouse very frequently and have never had any of these problems. Are they trying to create a market where none exists, or do some people really get a sore wrist from mousing?
    • by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:23PM (#11869709) Homepage
      You've never heard of this [unl.edu]?
    • by Tenebrious1 ( 530949 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:26PM (#11869752) Homepage
      I sit at the computer no less than 40 hours per week, sometimes 12 hours in a day. I use the mouse very frequently and have never had any of these problems. Are they trying to create a market where none exists, or do some people really get a sore wrist from mousing?

      It really depends on the ergonomics of the desk. Me, I've got my seat adjusted low enough so my forearms just lay on the desk surface; with my elbows on the desk, the shoulders are comfortably at ease since there's no weight on them. When I move my mouse, the only thing that moves is my wrist so there's no shoulder strain.

      I see others with their chairs really high or desks low so their arms are basically hanging all day, or those who use those retractable keyboard racks under their desks; they have to hold their arms at a certain level all day, I can see where they might develop strains and aches.

      • It's actually better to have your arms off the desk. Go look at an ergonomics diagram to see what I mean. Having your forearms resting on the desk means your wrists are tilted upwards, thus putting strain on the tendons. I got some wicked bad RSI doing that until I figured out what was wrong and raised my chair.
    • Amen. Same here. I've been keyboarding and mousing for almost twenty years now, since I was six. I've never had any pain in either of my wrists.

      However, what may be different in my case is that I've taught myself to use the mouse with my non-dominant hand (ie, I'm a righty, and I use the mouse lefty), so I don't know if that would make a difference. But I can, and do, use the keyboard and the mouse with both hands, so I share the "burden" of keyboarding and mousing between both hands.

      • I did the same thing. I was getting wrist pain, so I started using my left hand for the mouse. Now, it seems 2nd nature to me. So my workstation uses a left-handed mouse, but I am a right-handed mouser at home, because it is one of those "ergo" mice that just does not fit the other hand. I think of it as "RSI Load Balancing."

        BTW: That is called "ambimousterous." Google that term.

        A note to anybody else who wants to do this. It feels strange for the first day. After two days or so, it is functional,
        • I, too, am a rightie that switched. I used to get horrendous shoulder and neck pain after a day in front of the computer. I *had* to switch as I could barely use my right hand/arm for any task- not just computing. That was over 10 years ago, and I haven't had a problem since I started mousing with the left hand. Even things that require more refined movement like using an image editor (Photoshop/GIMP/etc.) that you would normally do with your dominant hand, my left does it all. Every once in awhile I try to
    • Depends on how you hold the mouse, I think. I used to have a sore wrist from mousing too much, because my wrist would be sharply bent. (Rest your wrist on a flat surface, then raise your hand up. That gets tiring after a while.) However a $10 attachment-thingie to the back of the mouse to keep my wrist straight cleared it right up.

      So, yes, it can happen. But you're probably also right in that people will try very hard to sell $100 solutions to it for people who never had the problem.
    • Sore shoulder (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:31PM (#11869806)
      Anatomy varies between individuals. Some people have an extra rib in the neck. Others have different clavicle widths than you do.

      Depending on precisely where you mouse is, how you work, and how your body is built you can irritate the cushioning pads in the shoulder or compress the nerve bundle that controls the arm, leading to pain and numbness.

      The conditions are startlingly serious. It's possible to completely lose the use of the arm. There's also a certain stigma, because externally the arm looks fine. People float somewhere between thinking the victim must be faking it to hoping they are because otherwise, you might be next.

      The prognosis is pretty good if the victim takes it seriously right away. Unfortunately, the attitude tends to be "Oh, yeah, Sam. My arm gets tired too. Go home and ice it," rather than, "Hey Sam, I wonder if you might be doing permanent nerve damage. Do you think you should talk to a doctor about physical therapy?"

      A related complaint that people often don't take seriously is ulnar nerve entrapment. Habitually leaning on one's elbow can incapacitate the ring and pinky fingers permanently, curling the hand into a half-useless claw. These nerve bundles are almost as crucial as the spine, but not so well protected.
    • by the Dragonweaver ( 460267 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:33PM (#11869840) Homepage
      I used to have a lot of wrist and shoulder strain from using a mouse. That strain was completely eliminated by doing two things:

      1. Replacing the flat, single-level table with a computer desk, and
      2. Buying a good chair with back support that actually cost more than the desk.

      Seriously, folks, if you are hurting, figure out what you need to do to fix the problem. This product might well help you, but please look into getting better furniture. Sure, good furniture is expensive-- but it's almost certainly cheaper than your health.

      And if you are having the problem at your company, and they refuse to improve the ergonomics, look into such simple things as support cushions.
    • Insightful? I would ask how many years you have been doing this for.
      In my caseI feel that the pain and distress is more a result of keyboarding than mousing but I do know individuals who have had to replace their mouse with an alternate input device (most commonly a trackball) due to pain or numbeness.
      While I have been lucky enough to only experience minor problems, during my most intense coding periods I have had numbness and tingling in the fingertips as well as shooting pains up the forearm. Luckily the
    • Are they trying to create a market where none exists, or do some people really get a sore wrist from mousing?

      Well, not sure of the product or their marketing ploy...

      However, I do know that people that are suffering from RSI injuries, and using a mouse adds to the pain and discomfort they have, as it creates further swelling in the wrist area, putting pressure on the nerves.

      Now whether a mouse or keyboard created the RSI injuries is up for debate, because even in the people I have worked with, it can't b
    • It's actually generally not from using the mouse -- it's from holding your hand out to the location where your mouse is.

      I've been having some relatively minor CTS problems in the last year or so (aside from being a computer dork I play guitar and bass, which are probably worse on the hands and wrists) and when I started complaining about such one of the guys in the office pulled a predecessor to this out of the Cabinet Of Strange Devices (same concept, no scroll wheel and the rolling wheel controls a norma
    • I have had some strains several times ; But noticed that when I keep myself on a tight schedule of actually making breaks every 2/3 hours (in and about 15 minutes) is the best deterrent.

      The shittiest thing that I experienced with this RSI, is that you really start noticing it, once you are allready too far to make 15 minutes breaks be helpful.
      A recovery time of about a week is then not uncommon.

    • I can tell you this... The mouse is killing my wrists.

      I starting having problems with my right wrist, so I switched the mouse to my left. Then I started having problems with my left wrist (years later). I switched back to my right, but it starts hurting after about 30 minutes. Now I have a Wacom tablet and that is working out well for now. The only problem is that it's so far away from the keyboard and you have to hold something. I can't stand touch pads, but they might be a bit better if they were bi
  • Looks useless. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GeorgeMcBay ( 106610 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:16PM (#11869636)
    Looks like yet another high priced gadget to replace something that doesn't need replacing. Given people's various abilities (RSI, paralysis, whatever) I suppose there is a chance there is some population of users who might do better with this than a mouse, but just by looking at the thing and reading the review, I'll be damned if I see the usefulness to the vast majority of users. Especially given that it costs about 3 times as much as a really good mouse and 20 times more than the el cheapo ones.
    • Looks like yet another high priced gadget to replace something that doesn't need replacing.

      Had to read into the review to grasp how it actually works. The idea: for up & down, you roll a bar, and for left & right, you slide same bar left & right?

      I can tell you right there why that won't work: for vertical and horizontal directions, you use different methods to move.

      Maybe for some DTP applications or WWW browsing that some people find this handy, but imagine doing freehand drawing or better

    • At 200$, it costs as much as a decent wireless mouse + trackball + touchpad + even a 4x5 graphire (which comes with a crappy mouse too).

      That's a lot of different input devices to choose from (and it's great when you can use the one you prefer for whatever, like the graphire for photoshop). No more RSI either.

      Got my little touchpad for 11$ in clearance (fellowes, w/ scroll). It's not my favorite pointing device but it does make a change - it feels better than my laptop's touchpad.

      I can't imagine buying an
  • How is this better (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nept ( 21497 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:16PM (#11869642) Journal
    than the thinkpad pointing device? (the small red joystick between "G,H,B" keys)

    • I've got an Inspiron 4150 and I love my nub. I use it way more often than the touchpad.
    • I've found that using the Thinkpad eraser makes my fingertip tender after a long session of heavy mousing... in that really annoying way that kind of hurts when typing with my index finger.

      I love my Thinkpad, and prefer the keyboard nipple over a trackpad, by far, but it's still far from ideal.
      • I was playing sacrifice this weekend. Old game, basically a third person shooter with spells and armies instead of weapons. Good stuff.

        My little brother was over so I d/led it off the underdogs, fired it up, him on my comp, me on my thinkpad.

        When he left I switched over to the computer (logitech wireless mouse) to try it out. When playing the game you end up clicking a lot on little spell icons to cast stuff. It was MUCH easier and more comfortable to use the mouse; we're talking an order of magnitude
        • As an "I'm not an employee but a satisfied user" comment, look at the trackballs from Kensington. They have two lines -- the Orbit is basically their version of Logitech's Marble Mouse, which might be what you're describing above (the ball in the middle, two buttons to either side), and the Expert Mouse is a *big* trackball with four buttons and either a scroll wheel above the ball or a "scroll ring" around the ball depending on which model you get.

          A couple years ago I decided that I needed a second Marble
          • Thanks for the advice! I was unaware of these products!

            And yeah I hate fancy ergonomic keyboards. Give me a standard keyboard with good travel and moderately stiff springs any day of the week.

            Only downside is since I stopped biting my nails (first time EVER in my twenty seven years! now if only I can quit smoking...) I've found that I tend to really bang the pinky nails straight down into the shift keys. Gets painful after about twenty minutes striaght. Maybe less stiff springs would help. Maybe MOR
            • *I stopped biting my nails (first time EVER in my twenty seven years! now if only I can quit smoking...)*
              Start biting your nails again, and quit smoking. Nail biting is healthier and less gross. /ex-smoker, lifetime nail-biter.
    • A better "JoyNub" [that sounds dirty] would be between the H,J,N keys -- actually put it where my pointer finger already *IS*, rather than make me have to travel way past the 'H'.

      Of course, they'd have to make a version for Lefties where it's between the F,G,V, and I'm sure that they don't want to have to manufacture two separate models, which is why it's stuck where it is -- equally inconvenient for everyone. [See .sig]

      Another innovation would be putting a scroll wheel between the U,I,J keys (or E,R,D if
    • I love the little pointing nub/joystick thingies on some laptops. Someone really needs to come up with a catchy name. What I would really love is a stand alone usb keyboard with one of those for a desktop. Does anybody make one?

      Anyway they are great, as you don't have to move your hands off the keyboard to move the mouse and you can use either hand and share the load abit between hands. For some reason I tend to use my left hand the most instead of my dominant right hand which is weird, especially as I use
    • than the thinkpad pointing device? (the small red joystick between "G,H,B" keys)

      Similarly, how is this better than a trackpad?

      Third party apps usually exist for trackpads that allow the cursor to keep cruising once your finger hits the trackpad edge.

      The reviewer seemed to have difficulties with the rollerbar even after using it for a week.
  • I remember that tech. The concept was somewhat sound, but it really did not result in a clean x-y translation solution. You could roll up and down, and then slide from side to side, but the finger movements required were not ergonomic. If you want to be able to truly move X-Y cleanly, a combined axis that works with the hand/arm/wrist is cleaner.
    • I worked with a guy who had one of those MAC clone laptops many years ago. I was really intrigued by the "rolling bar" as a pointing device. It seemed to work really well. The motion was smooth and the "limit" problem wasn't really any worse than running a mouse on a mousepad. The biggest problem was that the roller bar was so close to the front edge of the laptop that you had to hang your hands out in space to use it (these were the days before laptops had "wrist rest" space).

      The basic mechanism, com

  • by Linurati ( 670073 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:17PM (#11869646) Homepage
    I love/use the TouchStream LP keyboard and iGesture pad from FingerWorks(.com). Not only does the Touchstream eliminate the reaching entirely, but it includes gestures which allow you to do simple things like cut, copy, paste, scroll, and many other things by doing finger motions. I got used to the gestures in minutes. The iGesture has the same gestures, but is a mouse-pad sized touchpad. Both recognize various gestures performed with multiple fingers at the same time, unlike any other touch device. The only downside (aside from the price), is that getting used to typing on the flat surface with no tactile feedback was tricky. After a couple of weeks, I was pretty much back to normal. I'd advise anyone to check out their forums and ask questions. You'll learn the good and the bad. For the most part, the users think it's the best thing since the study of ergonomics was invented. Yes, I RTFA. But I didn't like what I saw. Compared to the FingerWorks devices, this is like 20-year-old technology. Shawn
  • Yes, but how many mouse buttons will I get? Just one to do it all?
  • by ZiZ ( 564727 ) * on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:18PM (#11869660) Homepage
    People are naysaying this, but I've been using one of these for a few weeks now, and it is INCREDIBALLY nice not to have to move my hand over to reach the mouse (and it has more buttons than your traditional laptop touchpad/eraserhead mouse, too). Yes, it's not for gaming, but if you're gaming, switch to a traditional mouse for that...then go back to an alternative input system which requires less motion, less stress, and gives you more productivity for the remainder of your computing time.
    • But, isn't it kind of like a touch-pad? I find my touchpad gives me a lot more trouble (pain in the hands) than a mouse.
    • People are naysaying this, but I've been using one of these for a few weeks now, and it is INCREDIBALLY nice not to have to move my hand over to reach the mouse (and it has more buttons than your traditional laptop touchpad/eraserhead mouse, too). Yes, it's not for gaming, but if you're gaming, switch to a traditional mouse for that...then go back to an alternative input system which requires less motion, less stress, and gives you more productivity for the remainder of your computing time.

      Could you brief

      • Of course. The bar slides to the left and right and rolls up and down. This makes diagonal movement a little tricky, but it can be managed with a little care and practice. The bar also clicks for a left-click. You have infinite up-down rolling, but only so much left-right sliding, so there's a feature to bump the wall twice to move your cursor to that edge of the screen.
      • RTFA. It rolls for the "vertical" axis, and slides left and right in its socket for the "horizontal".
  • probably crap for gaming.

    would be nice as an extra though, as such i've usually seen them in banks, some clerks use them and some use a regular mouse that's also attached - some juggle between the two depending on what they're doing.

  • bloody hell (Score:2, Funny)

    by kloidster ( 817307 )
    I wasted the first 10 minutes waiting for the flash demo to be blocked by adblock, and then waited another 15 minutes to see a south-park cartoon that wasn't even funny!
  • Supermouse (Score:5, Interesting)

    by po8 ( 187055 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:26PM (#11869745)

    ...while also increasing productivity.

    One way to tell it's time to change jobs: Increasing your mouse speed and accuracy noticeably improves your productivity.

  • Ever since I got my first mouse ($50 from Radio Shack, 1990 or so) I've disliked the mouse concept. Why? Desk space. I want my desk space for me, not transitional wrist and arm movements, goddammit. So I picked up an ALPS Trackpad for $80 when they first hit the shelves where I lived. A 1.3-1.5" surface, two buttons and a 'chord' middle, and that was it. I used that sonofabitch for six years for everything from Windows to Counter-Strike and did pretty damn well with it. Then, when it came time to get
    • I've been using a marble mouse (really a misnomer, since it's a trackball) for over five years. I can see the advantage of splitting off the axes into two different zones so you don't have to focus so much on moving scrollbars, but for general purpose pointer control, the marble mouse is good enough for me. I can alternate which fingers hit the buttons so I don't get too sore, at least I haven't gotten carpal tunnel, and based on the number of hours I use computers, I should have by now.

  • I heard something about this "new" Dvorak keyboard [wikipedia.org] that is better and more effiecient than a standard QWERTY keyboard, I bet you it will take over much like this new mouse will!!!!
  • by Tenebrious1 ( 530949 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:36PM (#11869873) Homepage
    The review and the website compare it to using a mouse. But keyboards with integrated touchpads that do exactly the same thing have been out for years. The question isn't whether the rollermouse better than a mouse, but is better than a touchpad? Especially if they're trying to say the movement of the arm from the keyboard to the mouse is causing stress, then they need to address how they are better than a product that already exists in that space, a product that costs 1/4 the price.

  • obviously the only way to deal with the problem of moving my hand from the keyboard is to use my desk chair as the mouse...

    or as I like to call it the "ButtMouse"... (it's not like that you sick fucks! besides, that's an urban legend)

    The ButtMouse works on the principle that the butt is the only free appendage that will ensure your hands never leave your nose... er, keyboard.... (my feet are already busy peddling power into my UPS), other available appendages refused to comment on my proposals.

    Note, my
  • I prefer touchpads to any other kind of "mouse". I know that many people hate them, but I like that there are no moving parts, no cords, no need for a flat surface to slide it around.

    That's probably because I use a notebook almost exclusively. I once had one with the IBM-style joystick in the middle of the keyboard, but I couldn't get used to it.

    • For me it's exactly the opposite. I just *hate* touchpads, they just don't get the mouse cursor where I want fast enough, except when I accidentally touch it with my palm, then it moves the mouse cursor where ever (and with point-to-focus that can be a real pain)... Though I think it might be correctable with practice I suppose...

      OTOH, the IBM-style TrackPoint (or clitoris, as it's often called around here, it being red and all ;-) is just excellent. Hardly any hand movement needed, it's just an inch fr
  • Advertisement (Score:3, Insightful)

    by crnbrdeater ( 861451 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:37PM (#11869881)
    I think it is high time for an advertisement category.

    For those of you considering using slashdot for your company's amazing new product's free advertizing, knoock it off. It is annoying.

  • I used one of these years ago on a GridCase 1550sx. Police agencies used them at the time for installing inside cop cars. Heavy as hell, the cast magnesium cases appeared "bulletproof"

    At the time your other options for a laptop were a roller ball "side car" or a separate mouse, so something integrated with the keyboard footprint was handy.

    Pics here: http://pc-museum.com/officewing.htm [pc-museum.com]

    Me, I'm happiest on a laptop with the Thinkpad style happy button.
  • I used a Logitech wide palm shaped mouse for years and did not start having pain till they stopped making it and came out with the narrow bar of soap on. It needs to be as wide as your palm so your hands don't fold and you should do better.
  • Give me a break (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wigle ( 676212 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:39PM (#11869904)
    For each new so-called innovative input device, whether modifications to a mouse or an obscure headset, are any of them necessary or practical? First, what is this "awkward stretch required for using a mouse"? I've been at my computer for 10 years straight and I've never experienced this phenomenon. The last time I checked, productivity at a computer is mostly a mental state, so having a special mouse/keyboard won't help you at all. If you're really experiencing strain problems at your computer, you might want to change hobbies.
  • by John Whitley ( 6067 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @05:47PM (#11869998) Homepage
    The Rollermouse is interesting, but IMO the coolest mouse/keyboard alternative out there remains the Fingerworks [fingerworks.com] Touchstream Keyboard [fingerworks.com]. It's a keyboard implemented as a touch surface. It's similar to a large laptop touchpad, except that the technology used forms an image of the hand in proximity to the keyboard surface (no "double touch" issues). This enables "zero-force typing", mousing, and programmable gesturing support. Typing does require a period of adjustment and retraining. The payoff is that your typing surface is also your mousing surface -- you'll never reach for that mouse again. E.g. for basic pointing, touch and move two fingers at a time. For drag/select just use three fingers -- no extra "click" is required. Other gestures [fingerworks.com] support scrolling, 3-button mousing, copy, paste, undo/redo, etc. Various modes are available for application specific support, e.g. Emacs, Programmer's mode. IIRC, there are also modes (possibly user-contributed?) for graphics apps such as Photoshop, Maya, etc. Fingerworks' open-source XWinder tool further enables window-manipulation (move, resize, etc.) gestures on various OSes.

    The Touchstream requires no drivers beyond standard USB keyboard/mouse support, so it'll work out of the box with just about any modern OS out there.

    While the Touchstream is somewhat spendy, there are also the more reasonably priced iGesture pads, think of a mouse-pad with a USB cable (and no mouse). These handle mousing, gesture recognition, and optionally numpad or mini-QWERTY keyboards. This is also nice option for folks who want to keep their conventional keyboard, but add the advantages of gesturing support.

    (Std. Disclaimer: I have no business relationship w/ these folks, I just think they have a great product...)
  • I've purchased one of those for a fellow employee, and played with it for a few minutes and it does have some benefits: your thumbs now gets used for more than one key, and you don't have to take the hands off the keyboard to move the pointer.

    It scrolls very nicely and quickly, but I'm not sure if it replaces the mouse buttons. Those were a bit too far out of the reach for me, but maybe it just takes some time getting used to it, or using it as a one button mouse would help.

    If it wasn't for it's outrageou
  • The Outbound Rollerbar is one of my favorite pointing devices of all time. It worked surprisingly well, allowing a full fledged pointing device that felt sturdy and offered definite tactile advantages over the "marble" rollerballs and "trackpoints" of the time, in a truly tiny space.

    A trackbar would make a phenomenal pointing device for a PDA or smartphone... full mouse movement in something that takes up about as much space as a typical cell phone rocker switch.

    Not certain how I'd feel about spending big
  • Okay, I say short their stock. The mouse is ubiquitous, for one thing, and people generally only use kb-based mice when they have to. (Nipple-mouse on the Thinkpad, scratch-pads, etc.) You just don't see people elect to use them outright. I did only once, really. When I owned a Thinkpad, it was just natural to use an IBM keyboard for my PC that also included a nipple mouse (and I just happened to have one). Later, when I got rid of the Thinkpad, I really didn't use the nipple-mouse on the keyboard and actua
  • and I can say that it didn't make my computing experience any more comfortable, but it really didn't hurt either.
    It was really easy to get used to using, except for the click feature of the bar(which I kept accidentally using), but with a little practice I'm sure that it would become second nature.
    If anyone really has pains using a mouse I could say that this would be worth a try, but it is definitely not for me.
  • I think that this will neither catch on nor be a big hit with the people that it does catch on with. I mean, honestly... I don't think I can game with this "mouse". Also, I think in the end people would end up getting annoyed and going back to their mice... it's too radical a change, and too fast.

    Just my opinion, though.

    - dshaw
  • by mossmann ( 25539 ) <mike@ossmann.com> on Monday March 07, 2005 @06:59PM (#11871082) Homepage
    According to the occupational therapist who helped me recover from a repetitive stress injury, repeatedly bending extending your thumbs down from your keyboard onto such a device is one of the worst things you can do.
  • by Splork ( 13498 ) on Monday March 07, 2005 @08:56PM (#11872278) Homepage
    I bought a Contour RollerMouse in mid-2004 and have been using it as my only pointing device at work since then. It works well. I use it combined with my old GoldTouch split keyboard sitting on an adjustable keyboard tray. I no longer have to reach for the mouse or trackball and my hands have been much happier.


    I use a dual head display, going from one end to the other usually involves using the end-bumping buttons to shift the mouse pointer over a bit. I got over this annoyance quickly.

    I wish they made a narrow version with the buttons and such centered. I use a split keyboard without the useless numeric keypad so that part sticks out to my right as I have it setup with the split centered around the roller.

    The reviewers comment that "it better be good at that price" seems a bit misplaced. You buy these because you are trying to save your career future and avoid RSI issues. Not because you want to be the envy of your peers and killer of first person shooter twitchers. That said, I hate the high price. Pure profit for them.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.