Battle of the Mice


Do we control the mice? or do the mice control us? We are chained to our mice when we use the computer [unless its a laptop, and you absolutely prefer using the track pad]. It would be so ineffective to work in a digital world without one. They are our saviors by speeding up processes, and our downfall of a tangly, no signal low battery mess. We need them, so what are the benefits and drawbacks of each? And what type of mouse should we go for?

The corded mouse. This is by far the most popular of many home and business users. It is a highly effective way to move around on your screen, and stay productive, that is of course, if you are not a keyboard shortcut king. The drawback? That cord! It always gets stuck in a drawer, under the monitor somehow, and just always seems to always be in the way. If the kiddie isn’t grabbing and pulling at it, then the cat is chewing it. It’s 2006, not only should we have flying cars, but we should also have a mouse alternative, like a pair of glasses that senses where our eyeballs are looking and moves accordingly around the screen.

The wireless mouse. What a great invention. Sit back and relax and use the mouse anywhere your computer is, and maybe even across the room. Take it anywhere without tangling cords, and a simple setup to get things going. But when those batteries get low, or something is blocking your direct signal, watch out. The mouse jumps to who knows where on the screen, shifting anything you are working with, and causing a grand disruption in work flow.

So, in the mouse battle, what fairs better than the other? Does the corded mouse win out? or is it the wireless? What a tough choice. How about one of each? Personally, I use wireless mice on two of my main computers. The laptop always has the luck of the draw by using a small compact mouse that easily tucks away in a bag pocket, and is easily setup at meetings and cafe locations. While my development machine also has the option of a corded mouse, I caught a deal when purchasing it that included a wireless one. I have been using it for a while, and even though it is extremely frustrating at times when the battery gets low, or something gets in front of the signal, I don’t seem to change it for a wired one. Why? I’m not sure, but I think the main reason is a tangled mess. I would much rather have a jumpy mouse then wires getting stuck. Interesting. What does everyone else use and why?


Jacob Bohall

James Booker… please get around to writing that app… I have that problem all of the time.. furthermore, not only does my mouse jump halfway up the screen and I start typing in the middle of a word four paragraphs prior.. probably for 4-5 sentences before I realize it, but many times it selects text which i type over, and do not discover until proof-reading and discovering my doc makes no sense. I use a Microsoft notebook 4000 optical mouse. I love the wireless, and the ability to assign the buttons different tasks based on the program i am in.. e.g. in firefox, the additional buttons are back and forward.. in word, they are copy paste…etc.

James Booker

People who are ‘serious’ users of an application (i.e. they use it a lot) should in my opinion invest the time in learning keyboard shortcuts. When you’re not pressed for time, stop yourself from clicking and look for the keyboard shortcut to do the job – most people type with two hands and as Jeff said above, it really saves time not having to grab for the mouse. This is especially true if, like me, you have windows make the pointer disappear while typing – you have to sharply shake the mouse to find out where it is!

Wireless mice are great for desktop machines. I use a wired mouse on my laptop, though. Why? Because I’m right-handed, and for some reason all 6 of my laptop’s USB ports are on the left, and the laptop itself seems to be the worst signal-blocker. This is the second laptop which has done this, so I gave up and went corded – no more problems for me!

Now I just need to get around to writing that app to disable the touchpad when a usb mouse is plugged in – BIOS can handle this for PS2 mice, but not USB – it’s annoying when the heel of my hand touches the pad and ‘clicks’ the mouse halfway up the previous paragraph to the one I’m typing in! Grr!


I would also like to add to those who prefer using keyboard shortcuts. One reason I like gmail/google reader so much, the mouse isn’t really required.


Well, for the desktop, there is nothing better (at least for me) than a marble mouse. It is corded, but the mouse doesn’t have to move. It’s good on the wrists, and once you get used to the marble, FAST. For laptops, I still like the pointing stick.


I battled through RSI and the *only* mouse I can now use is a trackball. Has completed reversed the RSI issues (which flare up again when I’m forced to use a non-trackball mouse for more than a few hours). Sadly, the current trends in trackballs are towards bigger monsters. Have been looking for years for a travel trackball for notebook (reduced size mostly), but no such thing exists. So I lug my Logitech Marble Mouse with me wherever I go.

Jeff O'Hara

I try and use shortcuts as much as possible because it keeps my hands from moving to grab the mouse and saves much needed time. When I do have to grab that mouse it’s a wired Logitech mx515. I really need to get me a wireless version as the cord can be a pain.



I use a handshake mouse (corded), in the hope that it may stave off RSI for a few more years (I spend most of every day attached to my mouse, as you probably do too).

It comes with software to enable gestures (which I haven’t mastered yet) and to enable a hover-click – to reduce the number of clicks you have to do each day too (another feature I haven’t mastered). The only add-on it has which I do use, is that it disables input from either mouse or keyboard for 2 mins every 45 mins, to enforce a screen break!

Sal Cangeloso

Personally, I used a wired mouse b/c, for me, there is no reason not to. I have a big desk and I try to keep in clean, so the wired does not get in the way. Plus this way I never have to worry about the battery life. I use a Razer Diamondback (I had a Razer Copperhead, but it broke).

If I traveled more I would definitely want a good wired mouse that I could use and home and then bring with me when I travel. I just took a look at the Logitech VX Revolution wireless mouse for review (to be published soon) and would highly recommend this one- has a great battery life, is small enough for travel, but is comfortable for day-to-day use, and it has all the features people want, like extra buttons and laser sensor. The best feature for travelers- the USB dongle can be stored inside of the mouse when not in use!

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