It’s strange. Back when mice were new technology, when they had track balls and wires connecting them to the computer, they worked just fine. You could rub your mouse on any surface and–presto!–a neat little cursor on the screen would select whatever you wanted without you having to enter a long and obscure program directory.
We’ve come a long way since those days. Now we have nice that sense movement using lasers. They can operate without wires connecting them to the computer. Keyboards can be wireless too, and they’re often designed to relax the muscles in your wrists. We have ergonomics these days.
I bought one of these devices–an optical wireless mouse from Engage–thinking that it would be a lot easier and cooler to use than the touchpad on my computer. It works fine, except when it doesn’t.
The Engage mouse doesn’t register on most surfaces. It doesn’t register on wood, has trouble picking up glossy surfaces, can’t read on glass, has trouble picking up paper, and often doesn’t work on mouse pads designed specifically for optical laser mice. Because it’s wireless, it runs on AA batteries. These it drains in about a week. There’s a nifty switch on the back you have to remember to turn off to save power. But regardless of how charged the batteries are, the mouse movements may or may not register with the wireless USB receiver attached to my laptop depending on what mood it’s in.
The only nice thing I can say is that it fits nicely and comfortably in my hand. Like a paperweight.
My wireless keyboard is much more cooperative. I have a Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 3000 v2.0. Its keys type easily and smoothly, and the keyboard is packed with shortcut keys for internet, volume control, and even spell check. I hardly notice that I’m using a wireless keyboard at all, except when I type from several feet away.
It would be nice to be able to control my computer from across the room. But I’ll need to buy a better mouse first. Eng