Thursday, July 23th, 10:19 am
Most people don't spend much time thinking of their mouse. It's a really useful tool, but most people don't care.
But I always did.
There's the cable. They used to have really long, kinda heavy serial cables, which would pull the mouse off your hand. Or get entangled with whatever was on your desktop and prevent you from moving freely. USB cables were kinda better, but still would get tangled. Then there's the wireless mouse, which can have range issues, or work erratically when you turn on the microwave.
Then there's the wheel. Did you realise that most mouse wheels are garbage? I had a very nice mouse back in 2002, I think it was a Logitech, it had a very nice wheel which would never skip. When the left click switch died I remapped it to middle click. Then the rollers for the ball died, and I had to let it go. My current mouse is a Logitech, and its wheel is absolute rubbish, I can barely middle-click without it jumping around.
Then I have another Logitech mouse with a very nice wheel. But on that mouse the clicker switches died. They're rusty. I have to open it, clean them, close it back to make it work for a couple of months. Or days. I think it won't work anymore.
Trackpads are nicer now. Well, Apple trackpads have been great since the first MacBook; other brands... well, not really.
I think the best mouse I've ever bought is a $2 dollar Fantech gaming mouse from ebay. It's wireless, with three levels of sensitivity, the wheel doesn't skip and it's got two extra buttons.
Wheels used to be optical, using a rotary encoder much like the ones used for the ball rollers. But now they are mechanical. That's a regression. The only problem with optical encoders was dust; mechanical switches die after a few thousand clicks, which means they are bound to die much faster than the main buttons, as you usually scroll several lines before clicking on anything.