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I wish they'd bring back the Microsoft Trackball Explorer - the button switches on mine eventually wore out. This had five buttons - left, right, scroll-click, forward, back (all programmable).


Question for the lefties: what kind of pointing device do you prefer? Mouse? Touchpad? Do you prefer to swap L&R clicks when you use other people's computers?

Symmetric Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse, configured for right-handed use but on the other side of the keyboard. I left-click with my left middle finger, and scroll and right-click with my left index finger.

It's great having the mouse to the left of the keyboard - so much less distance to move my hand when I switch from the keyboard to the mouse!

(I used to just use a mouse right-handed, but then RSI/OOS kicked in and I switched over. I wish I'd done it sooner!)

I'm a leftie but started on mice in the 90s with my right hand, so I never had to relearn. I used the Microsoft Trackball Explorer for a decade. I'm many years into the Logitech Cordless TrackMan Optical, but mine is starting to have problems. Every couple of months I look for the "next thing" but didn't know there's a patent on trackballs preventing production. Heartbreaking.

Same here: lefty but mouses with my right hand (which is pretty much the only thing I use my right hand for). Are there actually any lefties who use their left hand to use the mouse? Using the right hand is so much more convenient because then I can simultaneously type with my dominant hand. I'm surprised more righties don't mouse with their left hand, tbh.

Righty and use left hand at my office and right hand at home. CST trackball in both locations. Keeps the wear and exercise even across my left/right hands.

Probably can't effectively play fast-twitch games with my left hand, but only took a couple weeks to get up to speed for normal PC work when I started using my left hand.

Amusingly, I switched to trackball with my right hand from mouse after I'd already been using trackball with my left hand for a while - the muscle memory didn't transfer over, so I was more adept with my left hand for a few weeks until my right caught up.

I do this. It's much quicker to switch my left hand to the mouse than my right because I don't have to get past the number pad.

My Trackball Explorer thankfully is still chugging along. When it expires (could be a few years away at least), I'm planning on trying Logitech Trackman Marble. It looks similar enough...

I tried to replace my Explorer with the Trackman Marble. Not even close.

Sorry, just saw this. What was the biggest difference? You are getting me worried :(

I use a trackball in my right hand. I use a trackball as it's more ergonomic, and I've had wrist pain in the past from using a mouse. I use my right hand because the oppressive burden of living in a rightie dominated world has made me somewhat ambidextrous. I switch to a mouse in my left-hand for the occasional times I'm gaming.

My last two trackballs have been imports from Japan. Apparently somebody claims a patent on the trackball, and sued Logitech, who have since ceased production of them.

> Apparently somebody claims a patent on the trackball, and sued Logitech, who have since ceased production of them.

Huh? I'm confused.

Thumb: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/wireless-trackball-m5...

Finger: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/trackman-marble?crid=...

I don't remember the details but I think it related to the wired models.

Are you speaking of the Gart lawsuit? https://www.finnegan.com/images/content/3/4/v3/3446/00-1088-...

Apparently they won, but decided to drop the product anyway?

Any tips on Japanese models, and where to buy them?

I have an Elecom Deft, there's also the Deft Pro which I may upgrade too. It's essentially the closest thing to a MTE. Ebay and Amazon have them.

What xkfm said: Amazon, and Elecom or Sanwa Supply. I had a Sanwa Supply and it broke after a couple of years (switches died). Not really a big deal but I'm now using an Elecom and it's been fine for the year or so I've had it. I wanted thumb operated and wired, for which there is no other option AFAIK.

I use an Elecom HT1DR and like it quite a bit. It is their "huge" trackball and I have found it to be pretty comfortable in daily use. The only issue I have is that some of the extra buttons don't work on Linux with the current driver.

FYI you can take it apart and replace the switches

As an ambidextrous-enough person (lefty for a lot of things but write right-handed), for a while my preferred computer setup was a mouse on the left—buttons not swapped, so primary click was on the (stronger) middle finger and right-click/scroll was on the (literally more dexterous) index finger—and a drawing tablet on the right, since I was doing a lot of digital design/painting. Having two pointing devices, one relative and one absolute, felt really useful, as if I could really get in there and manipulate the computer more directly & precisely. Dunno if that was just my perception or if it actually made me any defter.

Nowadays I just use the touchpad on my MBP.

I can't use thumb balls, I want a large ball. I've bought these continuously since they were first released (now in a wireless version and cheaper buttons, but same basic form factor):


And for those who loved the old Microspeed trackballs:


I love my Trackball Explorer. I was getting wrist pains (RSI) using a normal mouse and so I switched to the Trackball Explorer because when using it the hand is in a natural position and the ball is controlled by your thumb - which has 40% of your hand's neural wiring.

When they were discontinued I bought 2 spares to ensure I could continue to use one. They all still work.

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