Gnu Mouse…

Just about two years ago I bought a new computer from Dell. It came with their basic, give-away, mouse. Up until that point I’d been using Microsoft mice for nearly a decade.
The Dell mouse used the default mouse drivers from Microsoft which aren’t all that configurable.
For years I’ve used the scroll-wheel’s click feature as a double-click, it was handy. Even though the scroll-wheel on the Dell would click, it couldn’t be set to do anything.
I complained about this to one of the Dell tech reps on their forums (before I got banned for approx. 1,100 years, that’s another story).
The Dell rep to make up for their crappy basic mouse sent me a $75 electronic gift certificate. With that I purchased a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 4.0 a memory card for my camera and a new gel wrist-rest.



Intellimouse Explorer 4.0

I loved the ergonomic shape of the Explorer. It was big and fit my meaty hand quite well. It also had two buttons on the side just above the thumb rest. These became invaluable as a double click and a back button. The scroll-wheel click on the Explorer was so stiff it was unusable as a button. They did this because they added a completely useless feature to the wheel, side (left/right) scrolling but I was happy with the two configurable side buttons.
A few months after getting the Explorer I found it was starting to double click when you wanted a single click. Even with the double-click speed set as high as possible it kept doing this. I called Microsoft and was told that was a known problem with the mouse and they’d be glad to send me a new one, I didn’t even have to send the old one back.
A few months after getting the replacement mouse the same garbage started cropping up, it’s incredibly annoying and potentially, with all the viruses floating around out there, dangerous.
I called Microsoft again. This time they wanted a credit card number to secure the return OR I could send them the mouse, wait for them to test it and verify the problem and then wait some more for a new mouse to be shipped out. I got a supervisor on the phone, climbed up one side and down the other and half an hour later a new mouse was on its way, no CC or return required.
A few months after that… you know where this is going, right? Same shit, different month. Different supervisor, same riot act. It’s under a damn warranty, I’m NOT paying a freaking cent to get it replaced, send the defective unit back or giving them a damn CC number. A new mouse was on its way. This time though I was told it was my last insecure replacement, any further problems would require the CC deal or shipping it back and waiting.
About a year later… yes, I know, how crappy is this version of Microsoft’s mouse family? Double clicking, sometimes not clicking. I decided I needed a new and different mouse… but I still wanted another MS mouse, I really have loved them in the past, plus it wouldn’t require removing the old drivers and trying to install new ones.
With my knee in really bad shape I didn’t want to go crawling around under the desk to fish wires around so I decided I’d finally go wireless. I shopped around for a couple weeks and found the Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000 on Walmart’s site for a reasonable $44. Checking prices around the net I found that every other store was selling the Version 2.0 of the Laser Mouse 6000.
The version 1.0 of the mouse, which was what Walmart had displayed, had a form factor very similar to the Explorer I’ve used for almost two year. Getting something similar would be good, it wouldn’t aggravate my carpel tunnel problems and would take very little getting used to.
I wrote to Walmart to make sure I would be getting the mouse pictured on their site. The link to view a ‘demo’ of the mouse took you to pictures of Version 2.0 of the device. It took twelve days and several emails but I was finally assured, promised even, that the mouse they were offering was indeed the one pictured. Not being able to stand the malfunctioning of the Explorer mouse I broke down and spent the $50 (including shipping and tax) for the mouse.
It arrived today, four days sooner than Walmart’s original shipping estimate. Guess what they sent me… If you said Version 2.0 of the Laser Mouse 6000 you’re right.



Laser Mouse 6000 v. 2.0

It doesn’t look or feel anything like the one pictured above. Walmart got a really angry email about that batch of lies and wasted time.
Not feeling like driving to Walmart in the heat of the day (the only time customer service is open, damn them), returning it and then heading off to Best Buy, Office Depot, wherever to look for a new mouse I decided I’d give it a try.
Setup was a breeze. I attached the USB receiver to an extension cable so I can have the dongle at the front of the cubby the computer’s in just in case I feel like taking it back next week or something. Shut the computer down, unplugged the old mouse, plugged in the new, turned the PC back on and it worked without a problem. A few minutes of adjusting scroll speed and pointer settings and it’s working like a champ. Accurate and no disconnects or hitches in the response.
Feel is a lot weird and it is going to take some getting used to. I have no doubt it’s also going to cause quite a bit of discomfort if not pain. The two side buttons on this are under the top lip instead of on it so using them requires an upward lift of the thumb instead of the side or downward push I’m used to. With the two AA batteries inside it’s got a LOT more heft than the old mouse. I actually like this, it feels substantial as opposed to the light and almost flimsy feel of the previous mouse. One thing people mentioned quite a bit in the reviews of this was the difficulty in picking the mouse up if you tend to reposition your mouse often as they do (and yeah, I do it too) it’s a bit of a pain but so far it’s not horrible. Only time will tell…

Hawk (wow, that was long…)

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  1. Pingback: Gnu MouseĀ… | networking-the.info

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