Optical Mice

Over the past few weeks, it seems that a large share of my clients were still using older, mechanical mice (the one’s with the ball underneath). I say older because almost all new mice are optical mice…either infrared or laser. These mice replaced the ball rolling against rollers in the mouse housing (that could quickly become dirty and cause erratic behavior of your pointer) with a light source that tracked your movements more accurately than the mechanical mouse ever could.

In addition to tracking better, never getting dirty, and having the ability to work on any surface (except glass), optical mice also allowed smaller chassis and helped propel a new plethora of cordless mice.

If you are in the market for a new mouse (and if you are using an old mechanical ball mouse, you ARE in the market), don’t worry too much about brand. First decide on corded versus cordless, then concentrate on which mouse feels best in your hand. Most office super stores and consumer electronics stores display their mice so you can hold them and move them around a little to get a feel for what works best for you.

If you opt for  a cordless mouse and your use a desktop computer whose USB ports are more than a couple of feet away from where your  mouse will be used, buy yourself a USB extension cable so you can position the mouse receiver on top of your desk. Having close proximity to your receiver makes a huge difference in the performance of the mouse and the battery life.

For laptop users, strongly consider paying a few dollars more for one of the micro antennas that never have to be removed from your laptop.  The corded or longer USB receivers can be a pain for many laptop users. Trust me, the micro receiver is highly worth the extra few bucks.

When you bring your new computer rodent home, immediately throw away any CD or disk that came shipped in the packaging. You don’t need the extra software junking up your system…it’s just a mouse for Pete’s sake! Just shut your computer off, unplug your old mouse, plug-in your new mouse or cordless receiver, and turn the computer back on. For older computer, it may take a few moments for your cursor to start zipping around again, but it will and newer computer users will probably not have to wait at all.

Are you using a cordless mouse? Or do you have a favorite mouse brand, style or tip? If so, tell me about it by leaving a comment below!

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