Friday, November 5, 2010

The future's pretty cool, 12

12.  Optical mice

I'd never thought of it before just now, but there are TEENAGERS out there who likely think "mouse balls" is a euphemism for some social disease.

Every once in a while, I come across a really old non-optical mouse somewhere in my company at some old, old workstation and I'm reminded anew why I love my optical mouse.  Remember when the ball would hit a grain of crud and just...stop, in one axis?  And you'd have to back it up and give it another run?  Picking it up and jiggling it helped, too, sometimes.  And let's not talk about the cleaning process...

If you want to have some real sadistic fun, find a friend who is old enough to have spent a lot of time working with a ball mouse but young enough that that time was highly formative (30-35, long term nerd), and put some scotch tape over the optical sensor on his/her mouse.  The result will be a recalcitrant pointer that behaves a lot like a ball-mouse with a fouled roller.

Then watch as s/he instinctively does the mouse jiggle and back up and try again motion...

1 comment:

  1. The optical mouse! I remember using my first one, and being amazed. Usually any product has some good points, and some bad points, and it's kinda better than what you had before, but only kinda.

    The optical mouse worked. It just worked. It was so simple, and yet awe-inspiring.