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Thread: Considering a trackball

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    19

    Considering a trackball

    Well, as the title says. I am considering to get a trackball.
    Why?
    I have used regular mouses for years, but it seems my wrists aren't liking it anymore. They seems to 'snap' quite often and it hurts when they do. Also, after using a mouse for long times, my shoulder starts to hurt. It doesn't hurt very bad or long, but I am trying to prevent things from getting that far.

    I hoped you guys could answer me some questions:
    1. The internet seems to be full of people having an opinion on trackballs. Some love them, others hate them. What are your experiences with trackballs? Please motivate.

    2. I understand trackballs aren't the cure all and therefore it seems smart to get an ambidextrous(suited for left and right handed use) trackball and change with which hand I 'mouse'. Does anyone have any experience with this?

    3. Which one do you guys advice me to get? I am thinking about the Marble Mouse but I am in doubt about the software emulated scrolling in combination with Linux. Does anyone have any other suggestions as to which trackball to get?

    Thanks already

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    uk
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    Re: Considering a trackball

    i dont know anything about trackballs, but how about the vertical mouse? its supposed to be pretty good, although it falls down when it comes to FPS games. the whole idea is that your wrist is at a natural angle, thus relieving it of the stress and aches of the normal mouse position. looks a bit weird tho

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    182
    Distro
    Ubuntu Karmic Koala (testing)

    Re: Considering a trackball

    I personally can't stand anything other than a regular old mouse.. i'm normally on a computer for a very sad amount of time per day ( roughly from 9am - midnight.. minus lunch, various breaks, errands, etc.).. if my wrists started hurting i'd simply get a gel-like wrist pad.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Bacup, Lancashire, UK
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    7
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: Considering a trackball

    I use a track ball all the time at home now and have done for about 6 months. the one I use is a microsoft one (right handed) with a usb connection.

    I have no problems with it at all plugged it in and it worked straight away with ubuntu, even the scroll button.
    I don't know if your a gamer or not, I'm not so I couldn't tell you what its like for games.

    and I have no problem using it for prolonged periods of time where as with a mouse I do get pains in the wirst.

    All I can really say is give one a try, thats what i did and im not going back to a mouse, the other plus is I dont need as much room on my desk as a mouse would.

    I would say get a usb one then it should work straight out of the box.
    Last edited by vertigo; February 20th, 2006 at 10:09 PM.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2005
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    Chicago
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    Re: Considering a trackball

    trackballs are nice, but one thing you want to look at is trying to use the keyboard more effectively. learn every keyboard shortcut you can, and try to minimize your use of the mouse. that will lower some of your pain.

  6. #6
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    May 2005
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    Re: Considering a trackball

    Well... I have been using a trackball mouse (the same as in the link) for over 10 months and I can easily say that it is one mouse that I will buy again (if this breaks). Works great and very comfortable to say the least.
    As for your palm and shoulder movements... well..this mouse might do the trick for you as it is your fingers that do all the playing here. So I say... Go for it. I did and am loving it!

  7. #7
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    Dec 2004
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    Lucerne - Switzerland
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    Re: Considering a trackball

    I used trackballs for years and while I have no problems using a normal mouse, I would always prefer the trackball (or my thinkpad's trackpoint).
    I like the fact that I don't have to move anything physically around on my table, that I can rest my arm in a comfortable position.
    I usually have my trackball right in front of my keyboard, so that I just move my arm a few centimeters between keyboard and trackball.
    My trackball is a logitech cordless trackman wheel by the way, opposite to the one in your link it is controlled with the thumb instead of the index finger.
    With years of practice, I can control the mouse pointer much more exact via the trackman than I would be able to do with a normal mouse.

    So guess what, I'm one of those trackball lovers Of course that's only my experience and if my father had never bought that trackbal, I would maybe swear to my mouse today.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Sweden
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    315

    Re: Considering a trackball

    Quote Originally Posted by briancurtin
    trackballs are nice, but one thing you want to look at is trying to use the keyboard more effectively. learn every keyboard shortcut you can, and try to minimize your use of the mouse. that will lower some of your pain.
    I secound that! Use the alt key and underlined letters instead of the mouse to access menues on top of program windows. Set up keyboard shortcuts to start all your favourite programs. And get a window manager that can be controlled entirely with keyboard shortcuts. Besides being less straining it is also faster to press a key combo then to aim a mouse pointer.

    Trackball users I got another question for you besides the health reasons. How fast, easy and accurate can you aim the pointer with a trackball compared to with a mouse?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Re: Considering a trackball

    Quote Originally Posted by kvark
    Trackball users I got another question for you besides the health reasons. How fast, easy and accurate can you aim the pointer with a trackball compared to with a mouse?
    at the same ease,speed and accuracy with which you can... with the help of a regular mouse.
    Seriously, its pretty much the same... Infact I find it very comfortable to use my index finger instead of the whole wrist. For gaming.. I think it would take a little time to get used to... but that wouldnt take too much time if you ask me. All in all... its every man for himself and it all comes down to personal prefereces. But as a track ball user... I do highly recommend it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    239

    Re: Considering a trackball

    I heard from the guy that works at the dentists office that trackballs are alot easier to use once you get past the lurning curve..

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