Trackball Say No to Tunnel Syndrome

    I met computers a long time ago. In those days, when the “mouse” was something exotic, even among the few PC users. For the era of Windows has not yet arrived, but otherwise calmly dispensed with it. Even occasional launches of Windows 3.1 were more experimental than working.

    But over time, this manipulator has become more and more popular. And with the release in 1995, Windows 95 is completely indispensable. The transition to a purely graphical environment led to the fact that the "mouse" rarely left my hand.

    In those days, the Computer Press magazine was published (I don’t know if it was published now). From it, I learned, among other things, about the so-called "tunnel syndrome." When from long use of the keyboard without a stand under the hands or “mouse” pain occurs in the wrists. The cause of the disease is compression of the median nerve between the bones and tendons of the wrist muscles. However, Vicki claims that a direct connection between computer scientists with a similar syndrome and the nature of their activity has not yet been established, because ordinary people are also prone to this misfortune. And my right wrist got sick. Who cares - welcome to cat.

    In general, one way or another, but my right wrist began to ache. About a year since 2002. At first a little, then more and more reminded of myself. Sometimes you had to wrap your wrist with an elastic bandage to fix the joint and relieve pain. Various brush pads, such as varying degrees of elasticity of the silicone pads on the mouse pads, were of little use. when you move the mouse, the wrist is still somehow involved.

    The need to do something in the situation grew. Wrist hurts. And it’s not that they cut straight, but it is nasty. Like a mosquito at night - like a trifle, but so disgusting. The need to ensure peace of hand became increasingly apparent. And then I decided to try trackball.

    For those who don’t know, trackball is an inverted “mouse” (remember, were there mice with balls?). In ordinary "mice" you control the cursor on the screen by moving the "mouse" around the table. Displacements spin the ball (I'm already old school), the ball spins the wheels with slots, to the light that passes through the slots, the sensor reacts and the cursor moves on the screen. In the trackball, the device itself is in place. You move the ball, performing the role of a table with your finger, on which the "mouse" fidgets.

    In the yard was 2006. After reading reviews and reviewing the models, I came across two unexpected points:
    1. Trackball turned out to be expensive.
    2. In our stores, their choice is extremely limited. Now, it seems to me, the range has become even poorer.

    In those years, ordering something via the Internet was not particularly accepted, and not particularly affordable due to the low prevalence of plastic cards. Therefore, I chose from what I could reach. I needed two main parameters from the trackball:
    1. The presence of a “wheel”
    2. Large size to fit in the palm of my hand (yes, yes, I also thought that the ideal when placed in the palm of my hands also touches trackballs)

    As the study of available trackball models showed, not all of them have such a wheel for vertical scrolling, which is obvious on the “mouse”; Surprisingly, it is. Two keys, a ball to move the cursor and all. Extremely uncomfortable solutions for everyday life. Different wheel emulation options did not appeal to me. Moreover, even though the circle of models was limited, it still was.

    And the size, so that the palm rested, solved the issue of finding the brush in a state of maximum rest. With this size, brush movements are minimal. You just touch the index and ring fingers and twist the ball moving the cursor with your thumb. No more movements in the hand.

    And be sure to wired. I don’t know why, but somehow it doesn’t work out with wireless input devices. Then the charge suddenly ends, then the connection begins to be lost and the cursor jumps jerky across the screen. In general, it did not work out with us.
    Having tried the requirements for what was available at that time in stores, the choice would be stopped at Logitech TrackMan Whell. Which was successfully acquired all in the same 2006. Usually they say "a miracle did not happen." But in my case, this is exactly what happened. First, the pain left the wrist. About two to three months, and pain ceased to appear. Secondly, the trackball turned out to be a very universal thing. I'm not a professional gamer, but sometimes I like to shoot a couple of reptiles. Surprisingly, even in shooters like Counter Strike, the trackball was quite in demand. Well, the most interesting thing is that this device from Logitech is also very tenacious. Until now, he has been working quite successfully. Those. for almost 8 years now. It is only necessary to periodically remove the ball and clean the bumps (I don’t know what to call them differently) through which the ball slides inside its hole.

    Well, in conclusion, a small summary: my many years of experience using the trackball has shown that this is a very good choice. When choosing a device, you should pay attention to its convenience for placement in your hand and the presence of the necessary wheel buttons for your tasks. Who needs positioning accuracy, you should pay attention to such a parameter as DPI. Personally, what is on TrackMan completely suits me. But I heard complaints that the players are few.

    And the trackball has a huge plus in saving work space. Because You no longer need to move the manipulator around the table. The problems of the suddenly ended table no longer exist for you.

    Well, and most importantly: if you are not working alone, then keep your usual “mouse” for your colleagues. It’s funny to watch how a person with no habit will struggle with accumulated motility and try to move the trackball around the table, but from experience I’ll say that's all. The person who first picked up the trackball looks extremely helpless. Therefore, if your colleagues sometimes have to take control from you, give them what they are used to working with. And feel the power passing through the universe and causing a slight tingling sensation in your fingers. After all, you know how to masterfully master both this and that.

    Good luck.

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