Click and tell: Mice tales

Click and tell: Mice tales

We know the X-Y Position Indicator—often hailed as one of the greatest breakthroughs in computer ergonomics—only by its nickname, the ‘mouse’. Invented in 1967 by Douglas C. Engelbart, it consisted of two wheels encased in a square wooden shell, and was first demoed on a massive 198KB main frame. This contraption was issued a patent on 17 November 1970, and officially christened the ‘X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System’. It completely changed the way mankind interacted with computers. And thereby hangs a tale or, as you can see, several!

Sony Vaio VN-CX1A/B VoIP Phone Mouse

www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?cata-

logId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921665227494

Price: $80

NaturalPoint smartNAV AT

No hands or feet involvement for cursive coordination here. Just use your head. Literally. Mount the device atop your monitor and watch it cue the mouse pointer with your head movements. X-Y coordinate controls apart, a virtual onscreen keyboard and clicking techniques are also included, as is a feature to snap your cursor to clickable items to speed up navigation. Smoothing controls dampen unwanted head movement. Controls can also be adjusted to accommodate users with a limited range of head movement. This is some head-turner!

www.safecomputing.com/naturalpoint_at.html

Price: $400

Mouse Phone

Graham Bell’s first clunky telephonic ‘baby’ Bell was fashioned out of a funnel, a wooden stand, some copper wire, and a cup of acid. Wonder what he would say if he saw these quaint, quirky, multitasking tele-gadgets. Yes, the 170g AP-100 phone mouse has married its point-and-click talents to telecommunications to double up as a regular telephone, replete with an embedded dialling pad. Its earphone lends you hands-free capabilities.

www.howard.co.kr/computer/mouse/mousephone.htm

NoHands Mouse

For those with acute carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), this one here can prove to be a very handy option. This unique appliance is a foot-operated mouse—while one pedal controls cursor movement, the other is used for clicking. The pedals are made from an injection moulded plastic shell and feature a 360-degree, pressure sensitive mechanism. Apart from eliminating stress on the delicate hand-wrist area, it also reduces repetitive ‘keyboard-to-mouse travel time’ for the hands.

www.footmouse.com

Price: $350

People with special needs can also consider the foot mouse and programmable pedals at:

www.kinesis-ergo.com

www.specialneedscomputers.ca/em-footm.htm

Mus2

Appearances can be deceptive, especially as far as the Mus2 goes. This snazzy ‘mouse pointer in an operating system’ look-alike is, in fact, a cordless optical two-button mouse “work-alike". The uncomfortable vertical alignment of the left and right-click button clearly makes it a form-over-function desktop enhancement. A creation of Art Lebedev’s design studio, it comes with a USB receiver, is available in black or white ‘dull plastic that feels like thick suede to touch’, and is comfortable sniffing around in both Mac OS and Windows environments.

www.artlebedev.com/everything/mus2

Price: $40

Logisys MS601BK Potical Finger Mouse

www.svc.com/ms601bk.html

Price: $25

CP-1 USB Spy Mouse

This killer roller ball is licensed to rat on you. For, lurking inside its otherwise propah, prissy, plasticky shell, is a condenser microphone capable of listening in on ambient conversations. This CP-1 USB Spy Mouse listener points, clicks and scampers about like any one of its non-furry desktop cousins, but has the sonic ability to eavesdrop on conversations while connected to a PC by transmitting them via a receiver—marked “for your ears only"!

www.endoacustica.com/details_cp_1_en.htm

Mario Bros-inspired USB Mouse

Feel like going really retro? This one looks geeky and isn’t exactly ergonomic. You can pick between Mr Mario himself or one of the Mario Brothers associated Gold Stars. It rolls along on the old mechanical ball apparatus. Windows, Mac OS and Linux compatible, 400dpi resolution, two-button, sans scroll wheel. But yes, fortunately it is USB plug-and-play. Maybe ideal for compulsive computer users afflicted with the carpal tunnel syndrome as you can’t stay in paws mode with one for long durations.

www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/japanfan/8c38/

Price: $25

Logitech MX Air Mouse

No, it’s not the first recruit in the airborne mouse division. But unarguably among the best. Laser technology guides it cordlessly on your desk. Freespace motion sensing (a blend of micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) sensors, digital signal processing (DSP), and radio frequency (RF) wireless technology) manoeuvres it in the air—upto 30ft away. The MX is amazingly responsive and accurate on surfaces (including uneven ones) and in the air. In-built algorithms negate involuntary hand-in the-air tremors beautifully. But why would you want to use a mouse in the air? Because a flying mouse is a tool nonpareil for PowerPoint presentation mavens who like to strut and squawk. Then, its backlit media function buttons for Play/Pause, Volume/Mute, Back and Select make it a neat remote device for across-the-room media management and mouse-capers—albeit an expensive one. Surprisingly , this energetic rodent’s rechargeable Li-ion juice pack doesn’t run out of horsepower easily either.

www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mice_pointers/mice/devices/3443&cl=in,en+

Price: Rs8,995

MoGo Mouse X54 Pro

www.newtonperipherals.com/mogo_mouseX54pro.html#

Price: $80

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