Saturday, May 08, 2004

Marvelous Mouse Makes Motions Monumentally Meaningful!

As I have chronicled, my ancient (in computer years) ThinkPad T20 from work had myriad problems then bought the farm.

The 'new' loaner T20 has it's own idiosyncrasies. The modem either refuses to function at all, or puts out a tone on the line, even when on-hook. Not a problem, as I have no road gigs in the offing @ work. (It would just break my heart to have to use the high-speed internet in the hotel room... ;->) The worst one is the docking station. The Ethernet port won't pass-through properly. So I have been plugging in/out every day. No big deal, except the T20 has only a single PS2 port for keyboard/mouse. I have been using my Targus USB Mobile Port Replicator.

This is a nice unit, which I purchased used on eBay to use with the Sony PictureBook C1VN. It has both keyboard and mouse PS2 style ports, plus serial, parallel and Ethernet. Also acts as a two-port hub. All 1.1, but still, quite a useful item, and completes the Vaio feature set quite nicely. I still haven't figured out if I will use the Sony enough to justify keeping it, but the Targus unit went a long way to making that a yes.

For the purposes of acquiring the ability to plug in both a keyboard and mouse, it is almost the definition of overkill. While the Targus unit will power off the T20, I find the power requirements are borderline enough to affect the speed response of the mouse. I know I have one of those 'splitter' dongles around home somewhere but have yet to run across the beastie... :-/

So, on my weekly pilgrimage to the local unclaimed/damaged freight outlet I ran across this:

MicroSoft Wireless IntelliMouse® Explorer

Hmmmm, I have run across other wireless mice at the outlet place, but this one looked really interesting. I remember someone commenting on his purchase of a Microsoft 5-button mouse and how essential it was to his net experience. I have not been a user of the multi-button mice prior to this, (After all, on the Mac all you have is ONE... ;->) but this is WAY COOL®! ;-) OK, so I haven't cracked the book yet, but heck, as I've said for years: "Having to read the manual is a clear sign of inferior product design." (I have actually made a practice of bugging my technical writer friends with this. Hi Bob! Hey John!)

So, the straight skinny: The left and right buttons function as, well, left and right buttons... ;-) And the scroll wheel/button allows the starting point of one-handed surfing. It's the two buttons that fall conveniently within the reach of your thumb that make net-life really interesting. They function as forward/back buttons in Explorer/Mozilla Firebird and do some kind of magical switching from place to place in Outlook according to some pattern I have yet to discern...

All in all, quite much more than satisfactory! I would have been happy to pay
full retail! ;-)

Highly Recommended!