Last year I bent my thumb back and it’s had a lump at the joint since then that sometimes irritates me and sometimes it just plain hurts. It happens to hit the edge of the desk when I’m using a mouse at times and my mouse wheel was wearing out and working inconsistently. I tried cleaning it but that didn’t seem to help all that permanently. It lost its clickiness over time too which led me to believe something was worn out inside. I’ve had it for a few years so it’s reasonable for it to physically wear. They seem to last me around 5 years and I buy cheaper Logitech ones. For some reason the movement was getting inconsistent which it shouldn’t have been given it was either an optical or laser one. The buttons seemed to have worn out and were not always clicking when I tapped them to. Again that’s physical wear and to be expected.
I decided early last year to stop being so cheap and just buy a new one. It’s always such a chore to buy new mice since I have a specific preference and can never remember the model I have. I decided also to look into track balls thinking they may be a better fit for me due to how my desk is set up and the fact that I usually have lots of shit sitting around it. The trackball wouldn’t need to move like the mouse does. I remembered having one back in the mid 1990s and liking it then. Windows 95 on the other hand was too crashy for my liking. If I remember correctly one of the dogs chewed the cord on that one and the store only had mice that were cheap so I ended up having to replace it with a mouse.
I’ve used mice since then until I went back to the trackball last year. I haven’t looked back and can’t imagine myself using a mouse by choice in the future again. It just seems so much more ergonomic to me. It literally took me a day or two to adjust to using it. I wanted it to be wireless and ideally work with the Logitech USB connector so I could switch back and forth if I chose to. I ended up getting a Logitech M570 since that’s what I’ve been using for quite some time and I already know it works well with FreeBSD.
It’s been working really well for me and seems to take some of the strain off my wrist a bit. Because of the way I have to sit to see the screen being visually impaired and all. the desk is an awkward height for using a mouse especially considering you have to physically move it around. The trackball solves this issue for me. Within a few weeks my wrist was feeling better. I would highly recommend giving one a try.
Another advantage I have noticed of the trackball over my old mouse is at least it seems that the battery lasts much longer. I haven’t measured it or anything like that but it seems like I had to replace the old one ever couple of months. I don’t remember replacing the battery in the track ball. I could have and forgotten about it since I don’t typically track when I do replace batteries.
It’s perfect for me that it sits on one place. I don’t even have to look to reach for it after typing now. It’s just muscle memory where as with the mouse it would just sit where I last used it.
Another advantage of it staying in one place is as I said earlier I tend to have stuff on my desk, especially when I am ripping CDs. Due to the way my monitor sits it blocks a lot of space. The monitor has worked well for me but it has a stupid design. Rather than having a base like most the front of it sits on the surface with a ring type of thing in the back. Another problem is I have USB cords everywhere and they somehow managed to migrate to just where the mouse needed to go.
Another advantage I have noticed and I didn’t realize it was that much of an issue before until I noticed it stopped is I don’t seem to have any more accidentally clicks. I guess it’s because my hand more less stays in one place other than my thumb spinning the ball. With the old mouse I would accidentally click occasionally while moving it. It tended to be the middle button. Well at least I think I would tilt it and give that click event. That’s one feature I never really found useful.