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Thread: Trackballs

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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Trackballs

    Just before Christmas I decided to make a switch to a trackball on my office machine instead of my beloved MX518 which has finally retired after over 10 years of use.

    I figured it was worth going all in and getting a highly rated one, even if it cost a bit extra to make sure I got the most out of the experience. In steps the Kensington Expert Mouse.

    After an initial period of serious frustration, I'm really starting to love it and getting faster and more efficient as the days go on. Now that I have tweaked the function buttons I'm actually finding certain tasks to be much quicker than they were with a mouse.

    Has anyone else had any experience with trackballs and have any tips and tricks that they would like to share?

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Trackballs

    Much prefer a trackball to a mouse, I use a Logitech. No real tips though, just like the fact that it stays in one plays on the desktop!
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    Re: Trackballs

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Much prefer a trackball to a mouse, I use a Logitech. No real tips though, just like the fact that it stays in one plays on the desktop!
    Definitely. I found before the trackball age, I was constantly shifting things around and never settling in any position which can be quite frustrating.
    Ever since I have found, 'my centre' with the trackball I haven't moved anything at all.

    One tip that I can offer (I don't know if it's on offer in Logitech's software) is a adding a shortcut for click and drag. Perhaps its just me as a noob but clicking and dragging has been the hardest thing to adjust too and the shortcut has made it better than it ever was with a mouse (admittedly you could also do this with a mouse).

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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: Trackballs

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    One tip that I can offer (I don't know if it's on offer in Logitech's software) is a adding a shortcut for click and drag. Perhaps its just me as a noob but clicking and dragging has been the hardest thing to adjust too and the shortcut has made it better than it ever was with a mouse (admittedly you could also do this with a mouse).
    I use a CH Products DT225 trackball (left in the photo). It solves the click & drag problem by having hardware 'toggle' buttons above the usual click buttons. The only downside for me is that it doesn't have a mousewheel, which can be a pain in games which don't allow the mousewheel to be remapped.

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    Re: Trackballs

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJim View Post
    I use a CH Products DT225 trackball (left in the photo). It solves the click & drag problem by having hardware 'toggle' buttons above the usual click buttons. The only downside for me is that it doesn't have a mousewheel, which can be a pain in games which don't allow the mousewheel to be remapped.
    I can certainly see how that would be useful for you buddy and bringing this to my attention reminds me how impressive it is that you still kick ass on FPS games!

    Have you ever looked into autohotkey to allow you to remap things that aren't usually remappable?

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    Re: Trackballs

    Been using various Logitech trackballs for years.

    Slightly different from the usual though, more thumb orientated.
    Currently have 2x Trackball M570s One at the office, the other either on me or at home.

    Only annoyance is Logitech and their insistence to stick with the dongle and not make it 'proper' Bluetooth.

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    Re: Trackballs

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    I can certainly see how that would be useful for you buddy and bringing this to my attention reminds me how impressive it is that you still kick ass on FPS games!

    Have you ever looked into autohotkey to allow you to remap things that aren't usually remappable?
    Thanks for your kind words I do indeed use autohotkey, but remapping the mousewheel to keyboard buttons wasn't all that successful last time I tried it - one quick press of the keyboard seemed to equate to a large movement of the mousewheel, so there were calibration issues I think. I might look into it again though at some point!

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    Re: Trackballs

    When I knocked up a treadmill desk I found that a trackball was the best device to use whilst walking.
    However, after several weeks my accuracy skill did not improve enough for me to consider using a trackball all of the time and I would not use one any of the time for gaming - bad accuracy and simultaneous move and left click is not at all easy- but accuracy was good enough for most office tasks, just not good enough for fine lassoing.
    I would only use one again if I had limited desk space or RSI/OOS problems got bad - I use a mouse left handed at work, 'cos an area on the base of my right hand (pisiform) is always slightly swollen and gets quite sore if I do a lot of PC work at home, probably from too much gaming.

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