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Trackball Recommendations?

My old Microsoft Trackball ( isn't as smooth as it once was.

Does anyone have recommendations on how to clean it? I've tried everything from alcohol to WD-40, but I suspect it's micro scratches in the surface that are slowing it down. Maybe some sort of silicon based polish for cars like Rain-X or a car wax?

Or should I just get a new one. If so, what brand? I'm used to my thumb trackball and would probably want to stick with that type. Logitech or Microsoft? is there a non-Logitech/Microsoft brand I should look at? How often do you have to replace the batteries in a cordless?

I think there should be a technology that reads your eyes and tracks what they're looking at, hover over the button to bring the mouse there and tap to click. Maybe in the thumb position just under the space bar.
Wednesday, December 3, 2003

How about if you just think about moving the mouse?  They have had success with implanting disabled people's brains with sensors, and they can think about certain things and move a computer mouse cursor.

Thursday, December 4, 2003

Hmmm. Do I want microsoft in my brain? What if they decide to DRM knowledge?
Thursday, December 4, 2003

I know you said you liked thumb trackballs, but I strongly recommend you reconsider.  The Microsoft Trackball Explorer is the best mouse on the market, bar none.  (I may prefer Linux, but  their mice are unbeatable).

I could never get to grips with a thumb trackball, the ball is too small and the level of fine control needed is too great.  The large trackball in the Trackball Explorer controlled by the fingers gives extraordinarily smooth, precise pointing.

But the best aspect is its comfort.  I switched to the T.E. because I was beginning to suffer RSI in my mousing hand.  No longer.  My hand is kept in a perfectly natural, relaxed position, and I recommend *everybody* give this mouse a try.

David B. Wildgoose
Thursday, December 4, 2003

I went for the thumb ball because I play bass and between my bass playing and mousing around, my middle and index fingers were getting kinda sore by the end of the day and I was afraid of some sort of repetitive stress injury.

Now, with this sluggish trackball, my thumb is getting a workout, though I suspect a new trackball should clear it up. I'll probably just get the equivelant Logitech so I can compare the two brands.

I'll take a look at what you recommended though. Too bad comfort & ergonomics are really something you have to get used to and not something you can try out in the store.
Thursday, December 4, 2003

There's this device...,aid,47604,00.asp

You stick a little reflective dot on your forehead, which is tracked by a camera sitting on your monitor.  Makes you look pretty silly, though.  And since it's based on your head movement (not your eyes) I doubt that it's very precise.

Robert Jacobson
Thursday, December 4, 2003

"I went for the thumb ball because I play bass and between my bass playing and mousing around, my middle and index fingers were getting kinda sore by the end of the day and I was afraid of some sort of repetitive stress injury."

Snap.  (Or more accurately, I've recently started playing bass).

I find I don't use the tips of my fingers to control the ball, but rather roll it along my finger lengths instead.

David B. Wildgoose
Thursday, December 4, 2003

You might find this interesting. I've been trying it out for about a week. Takes a bit getting used to, especially if you're not used to trackballs. Cool thing is it can be used with either hand, plus if you've extra ports you can use it alongside your old mouse.   

Thursday, December 4, 2003

The wireless Logitech trackball (thumb version) is to die for ...

Mr Thumbs
Thursday, December 4, 2003

Kensington makes really nice ones for the macintosh community, but if you know they still make PC versions please look into them.

Li-fan Chen
Thursday, December 4, 2003

I like the marble mice from Logitech.  I have one of the funky FX, and a wired and wireless thumb one.  I'm not too much a fan of wireless.  One time the battery died and I was looking all over the place trying to figure out why my mouse didn't work.  Then I realized the battery died.  Blond moment.  One of many.

I prefer trackballs over mice.  Less desk realestate for them as they don't move from their position.  The FX is great but if you have software that uses mouse coord (I.E. pressing a combination of buttons) then it's not the greatest tool.

Robbert de Groot
Thursday, December 4, 2003

Dot on my forehead, I love it! Too bad it's 3x the price of a wheel mouse. And I have to wonder how sticky that dot remains (I'm sure it's on the website) and sharing my computer with that pimply faced teenager would be even less appealing. (joke)

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So no cleaning recommendations, and I'll probably get the Logitech.
Thursday, December 4, 2003

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