free page hit counter

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I'm behind the times. Everyone in my lab (and probably everywhere else) have thrown out their old ball mice and replaced them with optical ones, but I'm still using my old white one. I like the old-school mouse because it has a very appealing simplicity. No other component in a modern PC can give you this satisfaction. Rip out a video card and all you'll see are transistors and capacitors. But open up the bottom of a ball mouse and you'll instantly understand how it works: a rubber ball rubs up against two rotating rods that relay the Cartesian coordinates of the device to the computer.

An even more compelling reason for my love of my ball mouse is the almost edifying experience I get to have every two weeks when I need to cleanse the ball of dust and other debris. It's a deliciously satisfying ritual: I open the bottom of the mouse, take out the ball, and lovingly go over it with a soft microfibre cloth I keep in my drawer for this very purpose; then I take a toothpick and carefully scrape off debris from the two perpendicular rods on the inside of the mouse; finally, I place the ball back in the cavity of the mouse and replace the cover. For a mere three minutes of work, I'm rewarded with a mouse that scrolls so smoothly it puts my labmates' optical mouse to shame.

I do love the small pleasures of the daily grind.

Your Favorite Jerk


At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 2:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 1:29:00 PM, Blogger Ames said...

I never thought that I'd be so picky about mice but I was forced to upgrade my optical at work to a laser because my optical wasn't fast enough. And not only is it a laser mouse but it's wireless. (ooooohhh ahhhh) :P Oddly enough, i do miss cleaning out all that junk on those rods and on the ball but there's something about the speed and precision of the laser mouse that overrides the joy of cleaning my mouse. i hated having to move my hand 3 inches in order to move across my monitor - now, it's just a flick of the wrist and i'm there.

i think if you tried other mice, you might not turn back...

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 9:19:00 PM, Blogger Reformed Jerk said...

I have an optical one at's just not the same. Maybe the laser ones are better :)

At Wednesday, November 22, 2006 11:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Wednesday, November 29, 2006 9:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would say geek ...but i think i've had that very feeling before :)


Post a Comment

<< Home