Hardware

Peripherals - The mouse

What's a mouse?

No, we are not talking about those four-legged hairy creatures sitting next to your computer late at night so you can keep the women away. This is the device you use to move the cursor on the screen and to select or highlight various things as you go about working or playing on your computer.

What mouse should I look for?

There are many types of mouses to choose from. But if you want a good quality mouse, keep in mind the following points:

  1. Don't buy a perfectly round mouse (like the silly ones originally supplied with the early Apple iMac "CRT screen" desktop models). When you are not looking at your mouse, there is a good chance you will inadvertently rotate the mouse and eventually lose track of the direction the mouse should be pointing to keep your cursor moving properly on the screen.
  2. Look for a mouse with the least moving parts as possible as this will extend the lifespan of your mouse. Consider the new optical "LED-based" mouse which relies on light to know where the mouse has traversed on a mouse mat rather than the cheaper trackball types. Or, where glossy surfaces may render these old-style optical mouses useless, the new faster laser-equipped mouse version such as LogiTech MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse will prove to be invaluable (a bit expensive, but truly an accurate, ergonomically comfortable and beautiful piece of engineered tool).

    Or, if space is limited for moving a mouse around, try out the revolutionary new Quattro mouse that enables 3D control of the mouse pointer without any need to move the mouse on a mat. Just tilt the mouse to one side or the other and the cursor will move on its own!

  3. Buy an ergonomically-designed mouse that feels comfortable in your hand. The mouse is by far the most used item on a computer. So find a mouse that is comfortable to use at all times. LogiTech MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse fits this description to a tee.

    Update
    June 2005

    LogiTech has bundled its great wireless mouse with a quality wireless keyboard for A$245 called Logitech Cordless Desktop MX3100. The keyboard is perhaps overly punctuated with heaps of multimedia buttons on top of the standard keyboard. Despite the somewhat complicated looking keyboard unit, its quiet and stylish keyboard design is a winner.

  4. The wireless variety of mouses can be useful if you want to get away from the cable variety and you are not too concerned about security. Less cable generally equates to greater elegance and simplicity (and a greater burden to your wallet). Just plug the small thumb-sized USB receiver into your computer and the wireless mouse is automatically engaged. The only problems with wireless mouses are the need to recharge the batteries regularly (nice to have a battery meter such as LogiTech MX1000) and to have the USB ports in the right position on your computer (some mouses rely on infra-red or other optical signals to be transmitted in line-of-sight of the receiver).

    To solve these technical problems, look for a quality mouse that can be attached to the USB port on your computer for recharging its batteries (e.g. LogiTech MX1000), and try radio frequency (e.g. LogiTech MX1000) or "Bluetooth" technology for transmitting the signal between mouse and receiver for USB ports hidden behind your computer.