Sat, 04 Mar 2006

Buying a computer mouse

I've had the same mouse for probably 5 years, and I'm very happy with the result. Unfortunately, the batteries don't make good contact with the pins anymore and sometimes it takes ten minutes of delicate work to get it going again.

So today, I went to buy a mouse, and surprise, surprise, I had forgotten how much it sucks to be a left-handed when purchasing certain objects.

At the computer store, there were about 25 different mouse models, most of them featuring extra buttons, ergononic shape and other cool stuff. I was ready to buy something for even more than 20€ if it was worth it, but due to the non-simmetrical shape of most of them, again I could only go for the cheapest models.

I took a Creative optical mouse, and downgraded from a cordless mouse with 5 buttons + a wheel to a plain simple 3-button + wheel. At least it's USB... all the low end mice are still PS2.

When I was looking for a laptop, one of the requirements was that the touchpad wasn't slightly displaced to the left. So right-handed-ish...

I know there are shops with stuff for left-handed. Once, my mother bought me a pair of nail scissors designed for left-handed people. All that kind of stuff is generally very expensive and anecdotic, though. I wonder if we'll ever see laws that will force manufacturers to provide inverted items on demand. I want one of those cool mice.

I wonder if we'll ever see laws that will force manufacturers to provide inverted items on demand.

I certainly hope not.  That isn't their job, nor should they be required to do anything that isn't in their best interests.  Now, if some manufacturer decides it is in their best interests to cater to a market nobody else is, that's great; however, it isn't your right to force anyone to produce something for you.

Posted by Anonymous at Sun Mar 5 01:14:21 2006

I certainly don't want to pay extra for your braindamage.

Posted by Murkel at Sun Mar 5 01:36:47 2006

I was just recently in the same situation, I've always been a left hander but up until a recent motorcycle accident I've always used my mouse right handed.

The accident meant I can't use a mouse right handed all day like I used to and needed to get a left handed one, and yeah there is like nothing out there for left handies.

The best one I found is the Logitech LX5. It's a nice simple symetrical shaped mouse, with laser pickup and cordless. It is only 3 button but then that didn't really bother me as I've had 5 button mice and found I never used them.

Logitech LX5

Posted by Adam Ashley at Sun Mar 5 04:47:50 2006

Logitech M-BJ69 a.k.a. Pilot Wheel Mouse USB. Simple, totally symetric design. Difficult to find, though, because it was initially manufactured as an OEM-only part. Available in cream or black.

Posted by Martin-Éric at Sun Mar 5 09:58:48 2006

Anonymous: if there's a law, then suddenly it's in their best interest to do it ;-)

Posted by Jacobo at Sun Mar 5 10:53:30 2006

I guess you're unlucky, must have been baptised by a left-handed priest, as they say. But seriously, those left-handers are pretty sinister, it's no wonder they get left behind by technology that does things the correct way, the right way.

Posted by A Left Hander at Sun Mar 5 14:30:56 2006

Amen brother! I recently wanted to get on of logitech's nice cordless keyboards, but you can only get them with a cordless mouse included. -And the nicer the keyboard the more "ergonomical" the mouse.
This bites!!!

Posted by Tommo at Sun Mar 5 14:49:32 2006

While I'm right-handed, I'd recommend the Kensington  "optical mouse elite" - it's simple and symetrical, has "thumb" buttons on both sides, and has a nice shape and finish. Plus it's cheap. I've had mine for over a year and it still looks and works great.

Posted by Abe at Sun Mar 5 16:23:46 2006

"...nor should they be required to do anything that isn't in their best interests.".  This is the reason so many businesses argue that they ought to be able to pollute our water, air, and deplete our natural resources to the point of extinction.  Businesses find that treating our world and the people living on it as disposable is convenient and profitable.  It is the cry of the young that they should be able to do whatever they want in pursuit of their interests.  We see this foolishness when a teenager says it, it should be no more acceptable when businesses demand it and people's lives are at stake.

In a better society, we'd recognize that people's needs are more important and therefore businesses are better when they are subservient to the people.  We would cancel corporate personhood, the people would tell businesses what we want and provide guidelines on how they should go about satisfying our needs.  Then we could tell them we want a variety of goods and services without destroying our world and killing our neighbors in the process.  The market does not accomplish this and even when it comes close to doing so, it's a poor substitute for democratic controls.

As for the relatively less important issue of computer mice for lefties: I use a Kensington PilotMouse Optical and it is symmetrical.  I imagine it would work equally well for people of both handedness.  It was also fairly inexpensive.  The sides have a segmented rubbery gripping surface that makes it more comfortable in my hand.  In the past Kensington has been very receptive to my requests for warranty replacement of my TurboMouse (a 4-button mechanical trackball mouse), so I believe you'd have little problem if you ever needed to replace a Kensington mouse.

Posted by J.B. Nicholson-Owens at Sun Mar 5 19:43:09 2006

Off-center touchpads aren't due to dextro-chauvinism -- it's so that they're centered under the home keys (F, G, H, J).  It's the numeric keypad and arrow keys on the right that creates the asymmetry.  Of course, maybe a lefty should argue for the numeric keypad on the left ...

Posted by Eric Cooper at Mon Mar 6 19:20:35 2006