[Wolves] Trackballs

Stephen Parkes sparkes at westmids.biz
Wed Nov 28 10:48:46 UTC 2012

On 28 November 2012 10:22, Iain Cuthbertson <iain at cuth.eu> wrote:

> Question is, would I be better off with a fingers or thumb operated
> version?
I've used both (but don't currently own either) and find they give me quite
a lot of RSI.  I can't suggest either but if you can try and loan one for a
few days to see if it improves the situation.

I have a feeling that people who say they improve things don't use them
extensively and don't use them correctly.  If you're just
browsing YouTube and using a trackball Missile Command style then it might

>From a physiological point of view it's difficult to understand how using
the fingers/thumb is going to improve things.  You're swapping using a
couple of large muscles moving a large complex joint a few degrees on a
fixed plane to using small bundles of fibre in a couple of large muscles to
move several simple joints in complex ways over a larger angle.  IUnless
you lack gross motor control over the shoulder and wrist I honestly think
trackballs are going to be a cause of new RSI problems in the future.

Touch screens are the devils own bastard child when it comes to ergonomics
before anyone goes there :)

I have a graphics tablet that I use for graphical stuff but it's not much
better than a touch screen  as a mouse replacement for anything other than
fine control.  It would certainly lead to RSI long term if you attempted to
use it as one.

I can't type, use a mouse, game controller, drive or ride my bike without
Naproxen these days thanks to the arthritis I was diagnosed with at age 14
deciding it would be a wonderful present before my 40th birthday to
completely mess with my life.  So I completely understand your difficulty
in finding a comfortable way to work.

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