I have always been puzzled by the worlds fascination with computer mice.
I have used mice, trackballs, laptop ‘trackpads’ and those joymouse things that you also get on laptops (the dot between the G, H, and B keys… gotcha!, I bet most of you have just glanced at the ghb keys on your keyboard!!!).
Personally, I find the laptop trackpads the worst, and trackballs the best… particularly the optical ones like the logitech marblemouse… I’ve tried the ones where you use your thumb to move the ball… after a few weeks, I had to toss it away… my thumb hurt!
Just think: to move a mouse, you keep your hand still, and you need to move your entire hand and forearm. As humans, we have a certain amount of fine-moter control over the position of our hands, but its nothing compared to the amount of control we have over our fingers.
I just have so much more control over my pointer by keeping my hand still, and using the my index and middle fingers to control the trackball, thumb for left-click, and ring-finger for right-click.
Also, if I want to, I can go bananas clicking buttons without affecting the pointer position. I have noticed many people (particularly new users, or the elderly), who move the mouse while clicking… its not that easy to keep a mouse still while clicking!
And after all that, you need an uncluttered flat area to use a mouse, whereas a trackball just needs enough room to rest your hand… the desk doesn’t even need to be flat.
I keep thinking that the fascination with mice will eventually fade away, and that people will look at pointing devices that are more productive and easier to use (ie trackballs!).
Maybe I’m missing something, or maybe I’m just living in a different, more realistic world 🙂