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"BlueTrack" Mouse More Advanced Than Laser, Optical

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the perfect-for-my-granite-workstation dept.

Input Devices 191

ThinSkin writes "Just when you thought laser and optical mice were enjoying their reign on mousepads worldwide, Microsoft has to come along and introduces their 'BlueTrack Technology,' a mouse tracking system that aims to work on virtually any terrain short of mirrored and reflective surfaces. ExtremeTech reviews the Explorer Mouse and Explorer Mini Mouse, both of which are powered by Microsoft's newest sensor, to see just how well this technology works. Testing on granite, carpet, marble, and other surfaces, the reviewers were impressed with the responsiveness of BlueTrack, but they also noted that laser mice were competitive on these surfaces as well. Even though the mice didn't get a recommendation from the reviewers (price being a major concern), they did admit that this BlueTrack is the best tracking system available today. MaximumPC has some pictures and a brief technical interview."

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Yeah (5, Funny)

funehmon (648132) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423455)

Because we all use carpet padded desktops.

Re:Yeah (3, Informative)

BeNJ-GoS (592137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423461)

most of us don't. but the article does explain where they encounter it and where the need came from...

A modest proposal (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423677)

It is our honorbound duty as patriotic Americans to buy these innovative mouses. Microsoft is one of our great country's most productive companies. Through the genius and vision of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft has given us the finest quality of software available anywhere, but produced right here at home in America. Now it has outdone itself again, and shown how a vital new technology will transform the way we do business. I can see the entire world clamoring for these amazing American devices.

However, we live in difficult times. We encouraged those who, (as governor Palin would say), come from the less "pro-America" parts of the country, to get uppity and cause our magnificent economy to falter. Instead of spending their money on crack cocaine and fried chicken, these folks thought they could sully our land and soil with their fake mortgages. How disrespectful. We could have forced them to pay for their risks and foreclosed them, which would have saved the our country's greatest institution: its banking system. Then Lehman and AIG could have stood proud and bought Microsoft keyboards and mouses instead of cheap Chinese crap which probably poisons you. Instead the Dems punished the hardworking financial executives for their success by legislating away their compensation. This is a slap in the face of Ronald Reagan and all he stands for. It is surely now of greater import and imperative than ever before that we the people, the real America, stand straight, step up to the plate in our nation's time of need, and buy these BlueTracks.

As a proud Republican and supporter of the finest GOP ticket in decades, I am so hopeful for the future of our country. I was recently gobsmacked when I saw an electronic checkout system in our local WalMart! However, we must keep spending to save our economy. We need corporation tax cuts for Microsoft so they can continure their great work in showcasing the best of American values - then Steve Ballmer might be able to employ great, right-thinking folks like Joe the Plummer. We need to help Joe the Plummer buy a BlueTrack by giving him his choice of medical insurance, thereby saving money and not putting bureaucrats between him and his doctor. We need to stop wasting money on affirmative action and college scholarships so folks in real jobs like Joe the Plummer pay less tax and can benefit from tracking technology too.

We need to work to save the pre-borns so they too can know the joy of these mouses. We need to fight to bring liberty, security, democracy and Microsoft hardware to Iraq. We are one nation, under God, and we see here right here in this article the evidence of his favor of our country! USA! USA! USA!

Vote McCain/Palin 2008!

Warning for incredible retarded web design (4, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423545)

The linked review is one of those pages there the article uses at most 15% of the space but still had to be split amount 6 pages or so.

Anyone actually read the review? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423741)

Anyone actually read the review?

I'm curious on how much better it really is.

e.g. latency, maximum tracking speed (many optical mice lose track if you move them really quick - and that sucks for many games).

As for not being able to work on reflective surfaces, there are already cheaper "laser" mice that work on reflective surfaces.

Maybe I should read the review - but I hate reviews that are split across tons of pages and turn out to be useless (e.g. PR/Ad company crap).

Re:Anyone actually read the review? (4, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424031)

the article suggests that the BlueTrack mouse only has around 800 dpi resolution/sensitivity. but considering that most laser mice have 2000-3200 dpi, BlueTrack doesn't seem more advanced than lasers. the only advantage i can see is that it works on more surfaces than laser mice can. but so do conventional optical mice, which can already go up to 1600 dpi.

the Explorer Mouse is not very impressive or groundbreaking. i'd rather get a hi-res laser or optical mouse by Logitech at a lower price.

Re:Anyone actually read the review? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Conrad (600139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424081)

the only advantage i can see is that it works on more surfaces than laser mice can. but so do conventional optical mice, which can already go up to 1600 dpi.

Actually TFA says that optical was worse than laser on the tricky surfaces:

A very high-end Razer Boomslang CE optical mouse had trouble maintaining a smooth cursor. An Ideazon Reaper Edge laser mouse faired pretty well, but not perfectly. This just goes to show that laser mice and the Explorer are able to handle difficult surfaces more cleanly than optical mice.

Re:Anyone actually read the review? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424433)

But that isn't the general knowledge and opinion of me and many others. A friends MX revolution or whatever it was called, MX 1000 maybe? Some early laser one anyway jumped around a lot, my MX 300 was way less picky. I got the DeathAdder (optical) but haven't liked that it can't track on white surfaces or say a surface with lines in some pattern because it seem to fuck up by that, so obviously at least that one have some issues but I doubt it's worse than the average laser one. Also laser mice are well known for not working good on the glass pads and such, where optical mice do work.

Re:Anyone actually read the review? (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424113)

You buy all your processors based on the Mhz number too I suppose?

Re:Anyone actually read the review? (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424207)

no, but i do go by benchmark results.

as long as an optical/laser mouse is capable of functioning on conventional desktop surfaces, all that really matters is its sensitivity and resolution. i do a lot of graphic design work, and increased resolution/sensitivity was the reason i initially switched from a ball mouse to an optical mouse.

i don't need a mouse that works on carpet. but if you want to pay $50 extra to have a blue light instead of a red one then good for you. i'll take superior performance on conventional surfaces over mediocre performance on surfaces that i'll never need to use my mouse on.

Re:Anyone actually read the review? (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424293)

As I've understood the technology behind it these mice should be taking clearer pictures less often so it wouldn't suprise me if they'll outperform the laster mice on any surface within a few generations.

Personally I wouldn't buy these first generation mice either, they cost about twice what I'm willing to pay for a mouse and their intended market is notebook productivity while I only use a mouse for gaming/desktop use.

Re:Yeah (5, Funny)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423603)

No, but finally I'll be able to play Crysis inside my sand castle!

Re:Yeah (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424143)

To be honest the parent is probably the target market, i.e. gamers. No-one else spends more than £10 on a mouse because there is no need to, the technology and usability of a £10 mouse is perfect.

Since anyone buying an expensive mouse probably also buys expensive mouse pads, this thing is doubly pointless.

Re:Yeah (4, Insightful)

gadabyte (1228808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424311)

i bought a razer mouse. not for the blue lights (the only reason i installed the razer driver was to turn the lights off), the gaming gimmick angle, or the razer name, but because it was the only mouse in either of the stores i went to that had the buttons i needed (5) and was actually comfortable in my hand and on my skin. i felt like a chump shelling out 40 bucks for a mouse, but after 2 years with it, i'm VERY glad that i did - especially when i use someone else's computer and their $17 mouse.

without a comfortable, durable interface, a computer is pretty damn useless, imo.

Re:Yeah (1)

Yst (936212) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424591)

Because we all use carpet padded desktops.

I'm a librarian (on the web/systems end of library work), and at my library, we do have a patron who frequently comes in to use our wifi, and uses his mouse on a thick, crocheted wool doily. Clearly, this is the mouse for him.

Re:Yeah (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424657)

I have a glass desk. Obviously the optical mouse has trouble. I would, however, love to get rid of the mousepad -- it always seems like one more piece of clutter (of which my desk already has enough, thank you). I'm guessing this new tech comes closer, but that there's a ways to go before glass surfaces are within reach.

Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (4, Interesting)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423465)

...and be done with it.

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (3, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423495)

Last time I checked, accelerometer-based position tracking alone didn't work too well as speeds become offset more and more over time, that is as errors accumulate your cursor would start to move even when the mouse isn't moving. However I guess that coupled with a more traditional tracking to add more precision to quick movements, it could be a great thing!

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423497)

Have you tried using an accelerometer as a pointing device? I played with a £400 device with six-axis accelerometers and it didn't have enough precision to track a movement to the right and then a return to the same starting point as returning to its original position. The only reason the Wii controller is accurate is that it constantly recalibrates itself from the bar under the display. Attach a bowling ball to your mouse, put it on a frictionless surface, and then move it with an elastic band, and you'll get an idea of what an accelerometer-based pointing device built with current technology would feel like.

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (4, Funny)

Jethro (14165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423637)

> Attach a bowling ball to your mouse, put it on a frictionless surface,
> and then move it with an elastic band,

I'll get right on that.

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423855)

Good luck with the frictionless surface.

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423947)

I'm sure he has plenty of lube to hand.

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (5, Funny)

brendank310 (915634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424185)

They sell them at Home Depot between the perpetual motion machines, and the objects of mass m.

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (2, Funny)

Jethro (14165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424487)

It's called "Butter" and it's available at any grocery store!

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25424289)

Attach a bowling ball to your mouse
Put it on a frictionless surface
Move it with an elastic band
?????
Profit!

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423647)

Attach a bowling ball to your mouse, put it on a frictionless surface, and then move it with an elastic band, and you'll get an idea of what an accelerometer-based pointing device built with current technology would feel like.

That'd be one heavy mouse indeed.

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423659)

Note to Raven: Pull head out of ass.

Re:Oh just stick a 2-axis accellerometer inside (1)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424235)

I once got ahold of an old Sidewinder Freestyle. It didn't take me long to detach it and shove it in a drawer never to be seen again.

where is jerry? (2, Funny)

eric-x (1348097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423487)

I expected at least a Seinfeld quote somewhere.

2.4GHz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423489)

Great. So it's a fancy new technology to let us use a mouse in a carpeted aquarium at night, but they use a RF band full of cheap cordless phones and microwave ovens???

All the buttons in the world (2, Insightful)

EdZ (755139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423499)

I'll stick with my MX Revolution. I've yet to find a mouse with the same number of buttons arranged in an equally usable manner. And yes, I DO use all of them.

Re:All the buttons in the world (4, Funny)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423551)

My pointing device has about 103 buttons in a very convenient layout. It did take a little while to get used to, but some schools even have classes on how to use it effectively. It's great, because with this pointing device, I can also enter new textual information, rather than pointing and grunting at the stuff that's already on the screen.

Re:All the buttons in the world (0)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423823)

103? So it's an IBM Model M13? :P

(I've got an M13, an EnduraPro 104 (which has 106 buttons,) and a ThinkPad X61 Tablet (which has somewhere between 92 and 97 depending on how you count them.) ;))

Re:All the buttons in the world (2, Informative)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423611)

The MX Revolution is a piece of junk. I absolutely hate it. I have my desktop wired up to my HDTV and use the MX revolution along with the diNovo Edge keyboard. The keyboard, which is bluetooth, works amazingly well. No signal loss, no lag between typing and text appearing on the screen. Even the touchpad works reasonably well, however it has some difficulties determining double clicks but it's not my main mouse so who cares?

The Revolution, on the other hand, has been nothing but headaches. Mind you, it's not bluetooth. At first I thought I was too far from the PC. Now I sit about 8 feet away at most from the receiver. The mouse constantly stops moving, the system consistently registers single clicks as double clicks, and the driver install is all screwed up on my machine. The mouse has been such a huge waste of money.

Why can't someone make a decent bluetooth mouse?

Re:All the buttons in the world (2, Informative)

jebrew (1101907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423653)

http://www.gyration.com/ [gyration.com]

I've got one of these for my HTPC, stows well with the keyboard in a coffee table drawer for when the computer is not what's on screen. It works very well. I sit about 10' from my TV (under which the dongle sits) and it's fairly infrequent that I get missed connection with it. Though I did have it behind the TV for a while and it was extremely spotty then, so YMMV.

Also, they're not cheap, wait for them to go on sale online or at Fry's. Got mine for $60 for the mouse/kbd combo...two years ago.

Re:All the buttons in the world (1)

Christophotron (812632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423863)

the lack of decent bluetooth mice is frustrating, to say the least... Razer makes a REALLY shitty one with lots of lag and stuttering. Logitech makes the v470, which works flawlessly but is really basic (2button+scroll only). Apparently Logitech used to make a bluetooth mouse resembling the mx518 but it was discontinued. I'd still like to pick one up on ebay though, it was the mx900.

I hate the idea of proprietary RF devices and most of them really suck past 6ft away, anyway.. and when you lose that dongle, you are screwed.. Bluetooth is much better but only Logitech seems to get it right, and their options are extremely limited. if theres another company out there that makes quality bluetooth input devices that have good range, i'd love to hear about it.

Re:All the buttons in the world (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423623)

I'm picky about what mouse I will use and MX Revolution is definitely at the top of my list. It's my regular use daily mouse with the MX 5000 as backup. Throw in my DiNovo Edge and my wireless world is happy.

Mice (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423513)

From the article:

The Explorer Mouse uses a proprietary, Microsoft-designed complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) chip with advanced algorithms and pixel architecture for more precise tracking.

Get it through your heads, fellows: Proprietary is not an advantage. Patented is not an advantage. Don't go crowing about it! Proprietary is what brought us Windows. Are we supposed to be impressed and go "ooh, more of that"?

Re:Mice (2, Insightful)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423629)

What? Yes it is. Its an especially big advantage if the proprietary+patented new tech is actually better.

Of course some open source people might have a cry about "teh evils", but to me that sentance means "You must buy the cool new tracking from us."

Re:Mice (2, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423805)

"Propriety" and "patented" are there to show you that they're the only game in town with this technology, and that you can feel secure in buying from them without having to do anything like compare to other vendors, or anything else the intelligent consumer is supposed to do.

Re:Mice (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423865)

If it wasn't it would have been copied in China right after it shipped. Who would have developed that chip if they knew they would not get paid for doing so?

Re:Mice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25424409)

Umm... why would the Chinese bother to copy run-of-the-mill technology that isn't even patented? It's not like they are bothered by patents.

Re:Mice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Conrad (600139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424037)

Proprietary is not an advantage. Patented is not an advantage.

That's not from the article per-se, it's from MS's press release [mshardwareguide.com] that the article quotes. The article tells you it's a quote and uses a different font even so it's pretty obvious.

Patented and proprietary are advantages to MS's investors. That's why they put it in the press release.

Just what we need... (5, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423521)

From the article:

We got some hands-on time with this handsome wireless mouse and were impressed by its tracking accuracy, stylish design, and mesmerizing blue glow.

Yeah, because we haven't got enough glowing gadgets. I'm not sure who considers "mesmerizing" as a positive aspect of consumer electronics. End the madness, people! Or are you too hypnotized by blue LEDs to move?

Re:Just what we need... (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423579)

Yes, it's totally non-functional, but it moves units. And if your product isn't selling, what's the point?

Just what we need...Nightlight. (3, Informative)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423959)

Oh I don't know. I haven't needed a nightlight since I got into consumer electronics.

Re:Just what we need...Nightlight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25424129)

I haven't needed a nightlight since I turned 8

Re:Just what we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25424581)

Yeah, because we haven't got enough glowing gadgets. I'm not sure who considers "mesmerizing" as a positive aspect of consumer electronics. End the madness, people! Or are you too hypnotized by blue LEDs to move?

What? I'm sorry, you were saying something, could you please repeat it? I was distracted staring at my glowing keyboard.

Didn't you break a rule? (1)

Bunderfeld (1113805) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423523)

I thought any posting about Microsoft had to be hate-filled and fear-mongered at /.

Aren't you going to get in trouble for posting that Microsoft actually did something right?

Tag story as "itsatrap" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423555)

They did do something right wth this story, reporting another M$ trap. All M$ junk is inferior to their comptetition, which is why M$ prefers to remain a monopoly backed by the shrub administration and the Republican party. M$ will fall in the next couple years and the M$ addicts like you will have to commit suicide.

--

Friends don't help friends install M$ junk
Friends do assist M$ addicted friends in committing suicide.

Re:Didn't you break a rule? (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423581)

No, we all pretty much agree that Microsoft makes some decent hardware. If they'd stick to what they're good at then we'd all be happy with them. It's just when they try to get into markets where they have no competence, such as software, that people don't like them.

Re:Didn't you break a rule? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423933)

Decent is relative. I have some of their hardware. The laser mouse left mouse button is a royal pain sometimes and the Lifecam was questionable. The wheel however is nice for the price and the gamepad/mouse was just funky.

Re:Didn't you break a rule? (0, Redundant)

Columcille (88542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423635)

I was a bit surprised as well

Weird (2, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423531)

I was very convinced that optical sensors was LESS picky than laser ones. Everyone I know have had issues with laser ones (ok, I may not have heard any complaints on the Logitech G5 but..)

Haven't read the article though, just woke up. (My mouse is an optical Razer DeathAdder and works good as long as there are no huge contrasts on the material or on my white melamine (?) desk or white paper. Brown table, piece of unbleached paper box, pants, all good.)

A solution without a problem (5, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423547)

This is just another optical type of mouse. What we really need is an ACTUAL mouse that has been genetically modified with a USB cable for a tail that can transmit the information issued to its brain by the aggregate information provided by its belly hair as you push it across any surface. More advanced versions will do the same using mental telepathy to another mouse head that was severed and merged with a USB dongle.

Re:A solution without a problem (1)

url00 (1345327) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423609)

I can't wait for this to come out! I already have $100 saved just for the basic edition!

Specs better but Technology Point-Less (2, Interesting)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423557)

Testing on granite, carpet, marble, and other surfaces, the reviewers were impressed with the responsiveness of BlueTrack, but they also noted that laser mice were competitive on these surfaces as well. Even though the mice didn't get a recommendation from the reviewers (price being a major concern), they did admit that this BlueTrack is the best tracking system available today.

I wonder if they realize that this is flat out saying "yeah its nice tech, but no one really noticed much of a difference and isnt worth the price". Slashvertisements are getting a little weird these days.

Re:Specs better but Technology Point-Less (2, Insightful)

Starcub (527362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424033)

Yeah I could care less about the tracking system myself, I still use an old MS Intellimouse ball mouse. No batteries to replace, no lag, and good enough tracking. I really don't need an LED on my mouse, or weights, or other gimmicks. All I really want is solid construction that will last.

I might be tempted to upgrade if there was a significant reason to do so, like for example, the inclusion of an analog thumb hat switch similar to what the Saitek Cyborg mouse has. Unfortunately, I've yet to see a useable implementation. The Cyborg has a intrusive shelf on the bottom, so either you put your thumb on the shelf (awkward), you to put your thumb on the switch. Another gives no room at all to put the thumb, 'cause the switch takes up the entire face. Still another put it out of normal reach of the thumb forcing awkward finger positions to use it. Just a 4 position hat and not analog...

Quite odd that nobody can seem to get it right.

Re:Specs better but Technology Point-Less (1)

Anonymous Conrad (600139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424159)

Yeah I could care less about the tracking system myself, I still use an old MS Intellimouse ball mouse. No batteries to replace, no lag, and good enough tracking.

but you do need to de-gunk the internal rollers every few weeks. That's one thing I don't miss about ball mice.

A solution without a problem? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423563)

There's apparently a problem with the ever-increasing popularity of granite and marble computer desks, complete with optional shag carpet mousepads.

Mice are odd beasts. Seems you find one you get REALLY comfortable with, and stick with it forever. I've still got one of my favorites that the primary click button I have to find the sweet spot and mash down on it hard to get it to work, but the damn button arrangement and tracking is just so comfortable...Very few have really made THAT much of an impact to get me to switch long-term. Hate to say it, but Microsoft does manage to do some things right. Logitech has some nice hardware too.

Re:A solution without a problem? (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423645)

"complete with optional shag carpet mousepads." Well I keep hearing the 70's are making a comeback so... just an example of trying to be prepared for emerging markets?

Re:A solution without a problem? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424291)

Well I keep hearing the 70's are making a comeback so... just an example of trying to be prepared for emerging markets?

No, the 70s revival happened during the 1990s, we're at the peak of the 80s revival now. Fortunately, when the 1990s revival comes around you can can revive the 1990s' 1970s revival...?!

Re:A solution without a problem? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423797)

"There's apparently a problem with the ever-increasing popularity of granite and marble computer desks, complete with optional shag carpet mousepads"

That's why I use a Logitech Marble Mouse.

No RSI issues (for me anyway), no requirement to move the mouse itself, ambidexterous (I can switch sides while in my recliner or at my desk), and solidly built.

Re:A solution without a problem? (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424355)

Ooh the marble mouse!

I used one back in 2000 - 2001 and loved it! When I left the company I couldn't take one with and only recently saw them on the shelves again.

Now I am a laptop user though so the trackpad is my weapon of choice as far as work goes.

I live in South Africa and don't see many trackballs (like the marble mouse) for sale...

seriously... (0, Flamebait)

nx6310 (1150553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423577)

I'd rather buy one cheap laser mouse a month for $10 than one $100 mouse for a year

Re:seriously... (4, Insightful)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423617)

Uhm...
So you want to spend $120 a year on crap vs. $100 for something good?

Now that makes a whole lot of sense..

Re:seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423935)

Which is exactly why people who are bad at math lease things...

Either that, or his mouse gets 'very dirty' quickly and is hard to clean so he'd rather do the landfill thing.

Re:seriously... (2, Insightful)

Columcille (88542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423673)

you'd rather spend $120/yr than $100/yr and get a lower quality product? And people wonder why the economy is in trouble.

Re:seriously... (0, Redundant)

Columcille (88542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423683)

I should have structured that differently: You'd rather spend $120/yr - and get a lower quality product - than spend $100/yr for a better product? And people wonder why the economy is in trouble.

Re:seriously... (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423973)

My six (?) year old Microsoft Optical Intellimouse is still working fine, even though I've covered it in paint splashes and it's gone a rather nasty yellow colour.

$100 for a mouse? Screw that.

Re:seriously... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424333)

My six (?) year old Microsoft Optical Intellimouse is still working fine, even though I've covered it in paint splashes and it's gone a rather nasty yellow colour.

I'm still using my Logitech Mouseman mechanical model as my main mouse, despite its 9th birthday being imminent, the plastic having gone a bit yellow and the logo rubbed off the top (and there being a gap from when I took it apart and couldn't quite snap it together again). I can't recall ever having to have made any serious repairs/fixes beyond cleaning.

'Course, I appreciate that there are probably many older mice in regular use...

Battery: 3 weeks !!! (2, Informative)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423589)

Pass.

Re:Battery: 3 weeks !!! (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423663)

Actually three weeks sounds pretty amazing for a wireless mouse, unless that is three weeks with very little use. A three week charge would be nice. I can only go a few days between charging mine.

Re:Battery: 3 weeks !!! (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423831)

Actually three weeks sounds pretty amazing for a wireless mouse

I get much more than that with a wireless Intellimouse. ~70-90 days, maybe, before it yells. And the Logitech trackball is almost as good.
And then, just swap in another pair of rechargeable AA's.

Re:Battery: 3 weeks !!! (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423839)

Until my cat chewed the USB cable, I had a Microsoft wireless mouse that would go months between battery changes, and I used it at least a couple hours a day. Everyone else I know with wireless mice said that they were always replacing batteries. What gives? The one I had (actually I still have it and would like to fix it, just haven't gotten around to trying) was an optical LED-based mouse. I think I'd replace batteries in it two or three times a year.

Re:Battery: 3 weeks !!! (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424459)

Really? I think the last time I changed my cheap Logitech wireless mouse's battery was 2 months ago.

Trackball (4, Insightful)

envelope (317893) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423675)

I use a trackball, it works well on any surface at all - sand, carpet, wood, jello, etc.

Re:Trackball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25424195)

except that it's not a mouse, and you have to clean the damn ball often..

Re:Trackball (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25424615)

except you:
-don't ever have a cord/wire attached to a moving device (which back then was heavy enough to often make the said mouse fall behind the desk...)
-don't have to replace batteries in the said device (batteries being an attempt to solve the previous point)
-don't ever have problems of it being not so responsive as batteries weaken
-don't ever run out of mousepad area, then have to lift the thing, move it across the whole pad, and continue your previous motion (not as much of an issue nowadays, I know)
-don't need to sacrifice much space on your desk to move it around

It "just works", and once you're used to it, they're generally faster, and for some people even more precise.

How about a trackball? (4, Insightful)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423693)

I use my trackball (Logitech TrackMan Wheel) almost exclusively for everything except playing FPS games.
It just fricking rocks. After fiddling around with sensitivity and getting used to in (one or two days) it's the best mouse I ever had.
Never again will I run out of space or need to lift my hand and reposition the mouse.

Of course people who use mice to draw stuff will be somewhat crippled by it, as I have a little more difficulty when using it in order to doodle something quick in paint, but what self-respecting artist uses a mouse as their main drawing interface?

Re:How about a trackball? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423723)

but what self-respecting artist uses a mouse as their main drawing interface?

Disney?

Re:How about a trackball? (2, Funny)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424331)

Self-what?

Is there a gain for trackballs? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423749)

While this new technology may be great for mouse users, I'm not up in arms with joy. Would there be a gain for trackballs? I'm using the Logitech Marble Mouse(*), and as far as I can tell, the optics goes on between the ball itself and a camera below the ball; as a producer, you control the surface completely. Would there be anything gained by tolerating more diverse surfaces if you're never going to use them?

(*) I can recommend everyone to go out and buy one, it's great. You can put more clutter near your 'puter since you don't need the surface to move the ball around, and it feels nice in your hands. It comes with scroll buttons instead of a wheel; if you use one as the EmulateWheel button (man ${xorg mouse driver}), you can use the ball as a vertical and horizontal scroll wheel. Horizontal scroll wheels is one of these things you don't know you want until you try it [so go out and try it].

Blue LED mod? (1)

Mad-Bassist (944409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423775)

Being a fan of blue LEDs since they were invented, I wonder what would happen if one switched out the red one in a typical mouse, and how much modification it would take for it to work.

For the record, I like my old Logitech wireless. I discovered the charger in the base was slowly destroying the NiMH cells, so I run it without the cover and charge them with a Maha smart charger on my desk. It's just as well: it was hard to make positive contact with the base.

Please, no more damn mice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423795)

Bring back the Trackball Explorer. Best pointing device that was ever made, by anyone. I have 2 and I wouldn't part with either of them even for the $200 asking price i see them going for on eBay.

Blue track...Blu ray...Blue this...Blue that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25423815)

Well blow me!

No thanks, waiting for something better (2, Funny)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25423867)

I'm still waiting for the first GSM triangulation mouse, which will eventually be succeeded by the first GPS mouse.

As a Linux user (3, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424005)

I can also say that I've always enjoyed Microsoft's mice, especially their Intellimouse Explorer, and will probably continue to do so.

And this sounds like a nice step forward. But $100? I could get a secondary monitor for that price. Or enough ram to max out my 32-bit system. Or a new hard drive so I can raid my system. The list goes on. Also, I'd prefer to be rid of my mouse at this point. Unfortunately, hitting those slashdot preview/submit buttons is a pain in the ass without a mouse.

Re:As a Linux user (1)

prestomation (583502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424419)

I still use a "Microsoft Intellimouse Optical 1.1a" 7-button. It's older then I can remember and it rocks.

I Tested It With Vista (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424053)

So it works fine when using it on shit.

7% of the Population (1)

abarrow (117740) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424077)

Leave it to Microsoft to not consider the 7% of the population that is left handed.

"They're probably lefty commie Mac users anyway"

Better buy them up quick ... (1)

louzerr (97449) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424121)

... before the touch screens become the default pointing device!

Also, is there much point in having a mouse that offers better precision than my hand can deliver? For those who need precision, wouldn't a stylus be a better choice?

They may as well put together a VCR that can record in High Def with Digital Surround Sound.

Re:Better buy them up quick ... (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424297)

If I need precision I'll just type where I need the mouse to go. You might be surprised how easy this gets. I had to be thrifty back before I even had an optical mouse and I used this application to type +x400 pixels and -y318 pixels.

I just wish I could remember what it was called. I can't seem to figure out the right words to google it.

Of course, I didn't use this for every little thing like I do with a mouse now, I became very familiar with every keystroke Win98 had to offer. I could have used the mousekeys but they were so frustrating sometimes, even with the speed modifiers.

I wish I'd been into GNU/Linux back then, I tried I think it was Caldera first because my dad bought it and he couldn't do anything with it, guess why it took me so long to try another dist.

Bwa? (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424231)

Short of mirrored and reflective surfaces? That's very interesting, considering I use a mirror as my 'mousepad' for my optical mouse and it's the best mousepad I've ever used.

I doubt it! (1)

TavisJohn (961472) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424373)

"they did admit that this BlueTrack is the best tracking system available today."

I take it the reviewers never used a Wacom Tablet. Granted it does not run on any surface... But it is wireless, never needs batteries, is more accurate than any mouse out there (Yes even gaming mice), And comes with a pet for graphic work as well.

OT cheap gaming mice? (1)

Sark666 (756464) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424395)

I remember when optical mice first came out, they were actually worse in a sense than the old ball/roller based mice. For gaming if you would move the mouse quickly from side to side, your pointer would lose track sometimes and typically would go lower and lower instead of panning across the middle.

Long fixed with optical mice, but I've had for a few years a fairly nice logitech that needs replacing.

Is it still pretty much necessary for gaming to get a high end mouse? I believe when they made dual optical it solved the tracking issues, do not all mice by now have dual tracking?

I'm not so concerned about some insane dpi, I just don't want the pointer drifting if it's used quickly. When I look at reviews, it's usually for highend mice; it's hard to find out info on current run of the mill mice.

Kudos to MS (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424431)

Well I am by no means a Microsoft fan, and vastly prefer a thumb trackball over a mouse. But for once, MS has actually come up with something new and innovative that truly is new and innovate. I at least have not seen any tracking system like this before. It's not a huge improvement over current laser mice, that is true, but it is a definite improvement. Better DPI will come with time I am sure, as will lefty/ambi mice.

So give credit where it is due.

Oh wow. They made the LED Blue and pattented it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25424437)

This is total BS. You can replace the red LED in a regular optical mouse with a blue one and it works just fine. So, what exactly is revolutionary about this? Nothing. Custom CMOS designed by Microsoft just for this mouse? BS. Super duper optics? Please.

Typical Microsoft marketing crap:

"Hey guys, we haven't done a new mouse lately."

"Well, I'm afraid there's not much more that we can do. Apple already scooped us on infrared lasers. What else is there?"
...

"Hey, I know! Make it blue!"

"But, sir, that's not exactly 'new'."

"You ever seen a mouse with a blue LED?"

"Well, no . . ."

"Great! Then we can patent it!"

"But it's just a different color. Don't you think that's just a little too 'obvious'?"

"You must be new here, kid. Nothing at Microsoft is ever too obvious. Don't you worry. I'll talk to the guys in hardware and convince them they just invented a new sensor. The boys on the patent team will eat it up. The public will go 'Ooooo! It's blue... So pretty...' And we can charge three times as much without spending a penny more!"

"Brilliant!"

"Brilliant!"

I want one that works on mirrors--here's how (4, Funny)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424527)

This continual failure of mouse makers to address mousing on mirrors annoys me. Hey, mouse makers, here's how you can address this.

Originally, your mice were based on a rolling ball. The mouse felt the ball rolling, and figured out the movement. In human sense terms, your mice were based on touch.

The current mice are based on sight. They look at the surface under the mouse and see the relative movement.

The sense you should be looking at is smell.

In the center of the bottom of the mouse, there should be an emitter that leaves a chemical trail on the mousing surface. The rest of the bottom of the mouse should be covered with odor sensors that can sense when they are near the chemical. By laying a pattern of odors, and sensing them as they move under the mouse's "noses", the mouse can determine position.

Think ants and the chemical trails they leave to find their way around.

Not only would this address the mirror problem, you could also use this technology to address a serious workplace health issue. You could make it so the tracking chemical has antibacterial properties. This would help keep shared computers sanitary during cold season, reducing sick days and boosting overall productivity.

I've liked MS mice for a long time (1)

wwphx (225607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25424619)

When I went from PC to Mac, I bought a decent USB wireless mouse and it worked fine for a long time. Then I tried to use their "Mac" Bluetooth mouse: doesn't work worth **** with Macs, Best Buy said they get lots of returns on those. So I tried an Apple BT Mega-Mouse, was not impressed with that. Finally found one that was BT, had a decent feel, and good right click support, so I'm content.

But I am definitely troubled by this right-handedness. I can mouse with my right hand, but it's uncomfortable and I'll only do it if I'm briefly using someone else's PC. I don't mind if they do a mouse for righties, but they're ticking off lefties by cutting back on their ambi mice.

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