More MPSIMS than pit, but moderator differences of opinion accepted.
I sometimes forget how much I hate computer mice. I guess for small-screen, basic use they’re as good as any other solution, and better than most laptop options like touchpads and pointer sticks, but for the way I use computers… wow. It’s like bumping a pinball machine to try and get the pointer-ball where I want it.
I have, of emergency necessity, been using a fairly good quality optical mouse for about an hour, and my hand and arm are more tired than they are after a full day of using my customary trackball. Getting the pointer back and forth across three huge screens of real estate is an endless lift-and-drop-and-sweep in two dimensions. And then there’s the cord continually pushing back on my motions.
(Cord? Yes. Probably the only thing I hate more than mice is wireless keyboards and controllers - I’ve lost count of the hours I’ve spent trying to get balky cordless devices to just effing talk to their pickups. Reset, batteries out and in (and replaced), driver bump… I’ve had more cordless devices that needed a pot of coffee to start working than I care to count. I’ll take the minor hassles and rock-solid reliability of cordedness any day.)
So I’ve used one generation or another of Logitech thumb-ball trackball for the better part of twenty years. Those of you who hate trackballs likely used one of the other designs, with a center ball and side buttons… and I would put those somewhere below a glitchy cordless touchpad in desirability. Why anyone thought it was a good idea to make the use hover his/her hand in midair for hours, twiddling a center ball and then having to carefully nudge buttons with adjacent fingers is beyond me… but the majority of trackballs sold use just such a PITA-sucking design. I fully understand anyone who hates trackballs based on such devices.
The thumb-ball devices (which are exclusive to Logitech, AFAIK) are another story. You can rest your hand and arm in one comfortable position, whip the pointer across 5,000 pixels in a flick or position it with fantastic accuracy, and click and scroll away with two or three fingers without disturbing your pointing efforts.
So of course Logitech discontinued the corded version of this perfected device - you can buy all the wireless ones you want at $40 a pop, and pop is what they do when I stomp them underfoot. I had one for a while (bought it to use on a client’s system) and even my much less demanding and tinker-inclined son hates the unreliability of the wireless link. (It Just Won’t Effing Work for fifteen minutes, then strolls back in whistling and and wondering what all the fuss is about.)
The only way to get corded replacements is on the used market, where good used corded ones go for $40 or more, and new ones are well into three digits. I’ve just had to buy two on eBay - one for a new system, and one to replace the one that failed this morning. Google around and you’ll find hundred-post group rants about Logitech’s inexplicable decision to drop the corded version of this excellent tool while selling the wireless version cheaper and offering wired versions of the horrid center-ball designs.
So I don’t understand…
…why more people never took to the thumb-ball design.
…why Logitech spent fifteen years evolving and perfecting this design only to drop the reliable version for a crappy wireless one.
…why people put up with the inefficiency of a mouse, or the maddening unreliability of cordless input devices.
That is all.