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Where can I Find the Perfect Mouse? 54

Roar Lauritzsen asks: "After enabling scrolling with the wheel of my Logitech mouse in Linux/X, I find it indispensable. But holding the mouse in a natural grip while using the middle finger to scroll is quite uncomfortable, and soon after enabling this feature my hand started to hurt. To ease the pain I am now trying the Anir vertical mouse, but I don't think I like it. Personally, I think the thumb would be perfect for scrolling, but I have been unable to find a 3-button mouse (a must in X) with a wheel on the side for the thumb. What do YOU think is the perfect mouse, and where can I buy it? "
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Where can I Find the Perfect Mouse?

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  • I recently bought a logitech trackball. I got the expensive one. I have to say though it was worth it. I find it much easier on the wrist. I also play quake with it much better. Although it did take a week to get used to it. It's also completly optical. A friend of mine liked it so much that he bought himself one.
  • Trust me, after a few weeks of training, using the middle finger for scrolling will seem just natural. And, of course, a strengthened middle finger will come handy if you're in need for a quick obscene gesture.
  • You'll probably think that I'm crazy, but ever since getting used to the "nipple" mouse in my toshiba notebook keyboard, I find all other mice a serious pain in the ...um... hand. Having the mouse in the freakin' middle of the keyboard, but not in the way, means that I don't have to move my hands at all when I want to mouse something. The buttons are a little ways "below" the space bar. When I use a desktop, or a notebook with a rollerball/track pad, I find it's much slower. Granted, it isn't great for super-detailed work, but with a desktop, you could always have a "real" mouse on the side for that special, mouse-intensive work that requires it; get the best of both.

    So, my question to you all: is there a desktop keyboard out there that has a "nipple" mouse embedded in it? If there is, that would be my vote for best.

    // ///#\)

  • Does anyone else thing that's a bad thing to say, when discussing ergonomics?

    "You'll get used to it"

    Pain is typically a sign that there is something wrong.
  • I second the endorsement of Logitech trackball. I've got the Trackman Marble FX. The angle takes a little getting used to, but I like it. A friend has a Kensington ("Expert Mouse" IIRC - a big 4-button trackball), with which he is quite happy.
  • Does anyone know how to read the fourth button on the Trackman Marble FX? The three bytes that come back on IRQ 12 don't seem to contain the state of that button anywhere.


  • the best mouse I personally have ever used is a logitech trackman marble+
    it is in the shape of your palm, has two buttons and a scroll wheel. you move the pointer around with your thumb on the ball.
    It takes a little while to get use to it, but it's more comfturble then a regular mouse, and alot more acurate in fps. I have become much better at quake because of it. (that could also be because of the fact I've been playing it more;)
    It's a bit expensive (circa 60-80 bucks in canuck land) but well worth the cost. If only my work would let me use it there...

    no the spelling isn't off, it's your reading

  • Yeah, back in m intellimouse days, i kept my middle finger on the right button, and my pointer migrated from the left button the the wheel as needed. If you are used to a three button mouse, you probably keep your middle finger on the center button, as i now do.
  • I used to swear by my old Mouse Systems 3 button trackball, where the ball is between the left and right buttons (above the middle button). But it got messed up somehow, it doesnt track well anymore (even after I cleaned everything), so I bought a Logitech TrackMan Marble+. After a week, I swear by it. I bought two more. One for work, one for the other computer.
  • The old Logitech Mouseman Cordless (shaped like an inverted, rounded triangle). They stopped making them some years ago (replaced them with those supposedly ergonomic slanted lumps) and I've had no luck finding them on the used equipment market, which suggests that noone is willing to part with them (I sure wouldn't). It fits the hand very nicely and has good 'button feel'.

    The cordless business is achieved via radio, not infra-red like many of the cordless devices these days. The only problem I've had is when the batteries get low, which happens about once a year under heavy use, then it starts dropping mouse clicks and forgetting that you're holding down the mouse button in the middle of drags. Otherwise, it's a solid beastie.

    Three buttons, no cord, with versions for both PC's and Macs (and LinuxPPC recognizes the Mac version and uses all three buttons).
  • > But holding the mouse in a natural grip while using the middle finger to scroll is quite uncomfortable

    That's because you're trying to run it in X; the Logitech mouse was designed for Windows, whose users are used to using their middle fingers when dealing their computers. :-)

  • I love the IBM ScrollPoint mouse which has the scrollpoint thingie from their Thinkpads in the middle of the mouse buttons. It was recommended by a friend who specializes in human computer interface research. You can move in any direction from anywhere in the document, no need to go over to the right or bottom to use the scroll bars. It also has zoom, datazoom, autoscroll and hyperjump in Office documents but I haven't used those functions as yet. It only comes with Windows drivers so it may not be too useful for other OS.
  • About a year ago I bought a Logitech Pilot Wheel /FirstMouse+ (in the US) OEM mouse, Model M-S48 and though the wheel didn't work under XFree (is this fixed now?), I used it alot under Windooze.
    After a few days, my wrist started to hurt really badly and I found out that I bent it to an odd angle when I was using that mouse. So I went to my local computer shop and tried out all the wheel mice they've had. The Logitech MouseMan Wheel suited me best so I bought it and I'm very happy with it since then. My wrist pain was gone in no time too. And the best thing is, that it works with XFree.

    Nowadays I really miss the wheel, when I use other peoples computers and I find myself rubbing the middle mouse button every time I want to scroll a window.

    On a related note, does VMWARE support wheel mice?
  • On a similar note, I've been looking for an ergo mouse myself. Trouble is, I want one I can use with my left hand, which nixes every one I've seen out there. Sigh.

    Any suggestions?

  • I'm not on my linux box right now, so I can't check this, but there is a line in the XFree86 config file for "number of buttons" - I set this to 4, and everything works fine for me.
  • It's the Logitech MouseMan Wheel, it's ergo, has 4 buttons and a scroll wheel.
    It has a wire, but if you're annoyed by them, just think of what you'll do to the enviroment when you use the Cordless version (all those batteries ;)
  • you could try http://www.pckeyboard.com
    I think they have what you mean
  • Adesso [adessoinc.com] makes ergonomical keyboards that have either the pointer or touchpad built into the keyboard. I have a NuForm with the pointer. I use it occasionally but my primary pointer is my Logitech MouseMan+. The keyboard pointers only have 2 buttons so it makes it a little difficult in X.

  • by Gleef ( 86 ) on Monday January 03, 2000 @10:55AM (#1421022) Homepage
    Harlan [harlan.com] has some very good mice. Check out their ICR [harlan.com] mice, they're comfortable, soft on the hands, and very affordable. They even have bulk rate discounts.

  • It's not cordless, but Logitech has released the "Wingman Gaming Mouse" [logitech.com], which is basically the same mouse as what you're talking about (as well as the original MouseMan, and the Logitech Sensa) with a USB or PS/2 connector...the same wonderful 3-button, triangular shape. I find these to be the most comfortable mice for extended mousing that I know of.
    I haven't actually found any advantage of it being a "gaming" mouse, but it works great for netscape and switching xterms.
  • I've tried this and get no response from the "little red button" on my Marble FX. If anyone knows how to make it work, I'd be willing to be their friend.
  • When using a wheel mouse, I don't roll the wheel with my fingertip, I roll it under my finger. This doesn't work unless the wheel is fairly big (a la Logitech MouseMan+).

    I really like my Logitech Marbles, by the way... The MouseMan/MouseMan+ mice are nice enough, unless you want to use the thumb button. That button's a real strain for me for some reason.
  • best mouse i've ever used: kensington wheel mouse $19.99 from bestbuy. wheel is a little loose, but hey, it's 20 bucks. feels good and is ambidextrious (did i spell that right? no time to check) took me about 10 minutes to get used to the feel of it. I play unreal with it and have no problems, wheel is a must have for that type game. those of you who have complained about using the middle finger on the wheel, why not use your index finger for both left click and wheel, your not going to do both at the same time and it feels much, much more natural, i never considered using the middle finger on the wheel until i read the complaints here, why would you do that?
  • Now, _that's_ funny.
  • Here's an excerpt from /etc/X11/XF86Config:

    Section "Pointer"

    Protocol "MouseManPlusPS/2"

    Device "/dev/mouse"

    Buttons 4

    End Section
  • wooohoo, they're selling it again. I've had an original one for 4 years now. It still works and would have been quite sad if it broke.

    going to order an extra asap.

  • I think IBM makes one ... it's called the TrackPoint keyboard. It's a little pricey - $165. http://commerce.www.ibm.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce/Sale sNav?partnum=01K1260&cntry=840&lang=en_U S
  • Most of my PCs use Logitech TrackMan Marbles or Marble+ trackballs. They're simply the best pointing device I've used. But, I'm not a mousing person, so I have a tough time choking down the $50 or so a Marble+ costs. That's why I've bought a number of them from auction sites like onsale.com. Most of the ones I've bought came from computergeeks.com (but were sold from an auction site). If you like the mouse but balk at the price, well, I haven't paid more than $25 including shipping for one yet.

    I use my "main" PC about 14 hours a day without
    any wrist problems, and the placement of the buttons on the Trackman Marble seems to be comfortable for lots of different people with different sized parts. A half-dozen friends of mine have picked one up after using mine.

    The only complaint I have about the Marble is that it's a pain in the butt to clean, and it needs to be cleaned fairly often. Other than that, I hope I never see another mouse again.

    Some other pointing devices I've liked: the original Microsoft Ballpoint trackball. They're tiny. They don't ever seem to break, and I don't find them uncomfortable to use. Down side: no third button (why I got my first Marble), and the mouse cord is coiled, which is sort of a pain.

    Honeywell Footed Mouse: Um, Microsoft wasn't the first company to produce an all-surface mouse. Honeywell's design has two plastic nubs on the bottom surface - I've got one that I run on shaggy carpet. They also have user-replacable button arrangements, including a lefty-mode and a three-button set. Down side: They're hard to find (I think Keytronic now makes these) and they aren't terribly ergonomic. I wish someone would update this one.

    Logitech First Mouse: A low-cost mouse that most people seem pretty comfortable with.

    I recommend trackballs to people whenever possible. There are lots of good reasons for this, but the big one for me is that there's lots less wrist/arm/hand movement going on in using a trackball than a mouse. Also, there's no need to clear desk space for rolling. =)
  • Either no one is following those links, or everyone but me knew what Harlan makes, because I found this to be the most amusing post I have read in a while, but it only has a score of 2.

    Oh well, their loss.

  • AC, drimos, BrianS, AngusSF -

    Thank you all for the advice and links!

    Wow, $165 for a keyboard. That is pretty amazing. Though it does come in "stealth black". Ooooweee.
    // ///#\)

  • I agree. I got one of their "Mouse-in-a-box" (no kidding, that's the name) mice for $15. I like the ambidextrous design, since I'm a lefty. I have a really crappy mouse here at work because they only buy MS Intellimice, and it's designed for righties... If only someone would make an ergo lefty.

  • Unfortunately, they don't work very well.

    - They squeak a lot under normal usage, suggesting an inferior mechanism.

    - I've noticed that mysterious wounds have appeared on my fingertips from using them.

    - They occasionally leave messes on the mousepad.

    - They also occasionally shred the mousepad.

    - They have a tendency to disappear when you step away from your computer.

    - Ones that don't disappear tend to become inoperative in a matter of days.

    In short, these mice suck. They should be avoided at all costs!

  • http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/boomslang1000p review/

    I'm a sucker for the ole' "increase your quake skillz", but how is this mouse ergonomically speaking? Anybody used it?
  • We have them all over the place at work... great things, they even let you plug a mouse in similtaneously. I just avoid the nipples, because I tend to use them too much, and after about six months, my index fingers begin to get quite sore.

    They're almost the perfect pointing device, you don't even have to take your fingers off the home row.

  • Heh heh....

    I can see the billboards now... "Linux, put your middle finger to more productive uses"

  • ...at least when I was in school we used pencils and pens... admitting my ignorance I assume no-one is born with a mouse (not the pet anyway) in his hand and surely everyone still (!!!) remembers how to use a pen... As far as I know there are hundreds of pointing devices out there and (correct me please) there seem to be pen pads that work fine with X, so why not use a pen???

    Oh, sure... you can't play Quake... oh well... 8-)

  • From reading the posts, looks like the following features are the ones people like best:

    1. Optical
    2. Wireless, based on radio
    3. Have IBM's trackball in the middle finger position (that will be real nice indeed)
    4. Have Microsoft's scrollie in thumb position

    I'll definitely buy a mouse with features like this.

    Any taker(s)?

  • I have had GREAT cheap mice. But have resciently ran in a cheap mouse, mouse problem. The other day I had a mouse die on me (Rolled it's last mile) and replaced it with a fairly cheap CompUSA mouse (No scroll button, but had a third button in the thunb position). When I got this mouse home and hooked it up, I found that this mouse was truely cheap. In fact, it was probably constructed cheaper than the $3 mouse in a box mouse.. Ya, it worked fine.. At least it did till somone came and touched you. The small shack created when somone touched the person using the mouse (You didn't even need to feel the shock) would cause the mouse to freeze. Leaving no option but to re boot the computer. This happened about 6 times in the first hour that I used the mouse, and has stedily gotten better (For some reason) to the point where it doean't happen any more (I should have just taken the mouse back). It also seems to "stick" a lot more often than my other mice have. The 3rd day the mouse was allready sticking when moving to the left. VERY annoying!

    For these reasons I STRONGLY recomend NOT going the cheap route on mice. Spacifically CompUSA mice. I hope this little story saves somone the problems a cheap mouse caused me (Basically just a pain in the butt). If you want my advice on THE BEST mouse, go for a cordless, optical mouse. Personally, I would LOVE to have one of these. Guess I should stop readin Slashdot and get a job..

  • Well, to be honest with you, it sounds a bit goofy, but CompUSA has a really cheap one. It's actually house brand, "CompPC" It's a 3-button mouse with an 8-way scroll stick on the left side for your thumb, it's only like $12 too. I just know cuz I used to have one before I got my Logitech Cordless Desktop.
  • These come up for auction pretty often on EBay. I think IBM dumped a bunch of them a couple of years back. Just search for "Trackpoint Keyboard" and you'll get a few hits. Most all the ones i've seen for auction are unused in original box. I bring my true blue IBM keyboard with me wherever I work, I can't stand those mushy keyboards. Plus after 2 Thinkpads I got hooked on the nipples too :) -- Dave
  • To name a mouse from the keyboard side, has anyone used the Twiddler, at http://www.handykey.com/ [handykey.com]?

    I drooled over the web pages a while back when I was thinking about getting an exercise bike (spot the geek!), but since I'm using a lot of different platforms right now, and don't have time to exercise, I'm trying to be patient until I don't have to build cables for some of them. The idea of having an inertial mouse sounds great, though I doubt it has the built in scroll function a la the wheel mouse (strangely addictive, that little wheel).

    Basically, if you're holding the twiddler in your hand and point your index finger at the screen, the mouse pointer should follow what you point at. You don't have to do this; you can also just let your hand hang at your side and handle the directions relatively without pointing. What I don't know yet is if it's decent for people with small hands, if it fits my work patterns, etc.

    Since I find that switching often between mouse and keyboard leads to aching wrists and a certain irritation factor from the context-switching, this sounds like about the perfect product once I either get more time to play or it becomes more commoditized.

    Does anyone know of any other chord keyboard/mouse combos like this?
  • Again, here here. The Trackman Marble and its recent "+" descendant simply rule. Luckily, I didn't have to pay for my +; I was proposing on a contract w/ the mfg, and let slip that the first trackman I ever purchased - over 5 years ago - had finally worn out. Left the building with my new one.

    I use them at home on 3 machines, at work on 2, and hell yeah they work great for Quake, whatever version. I can appear almost totally sedentary - motionless except for my right hand - and rip it up.
  • Actually, I'd expect users who deal with X to be far more comfortable using their middle finger when using the computer...

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"