[Wolves] Trackballs

Alistair Scott alistair at mobell.co.uk
Thu Nov 29 09:57:36 UTC 2012

> I use Logitech Marblemice, with the trackball in the centre.  Like
> you I was
> in pain using the mouse.  Also, I have a very small desk, and I could
> never
> find enough space to push the mouse around without running into
> anything :)
> My first trackball was a Trust Ami Track Dual Scroll, which is huge
> and flat.
> Great for resting your hand on.  It also has enormous buttons which
> stick out
> of the sides, two scroll wheels and a centre third button.  Brilliant
> design
> but I wore it out after a couple of years.  The Logitechs are well
> over 10
> years old and still going strong (home and work).  I do miss the
> scroll wheel
> though.  Both brands are finger operated balls; I've never tried a
> thumb one
> but I think they look very awkward.
> When I switched to trackballs, I started using them with the left
> hand.  Being
> right handed, the left hand doesn't do a whole lot.  The double
> learning curve
> was tough, but I've been pain free since the switch.
> I work in a school, and it's great fun when students and staff use my
> PC to
> show me a problem they are having.  They slide the trackball all over
> the desk
> and wonder why the mouse pointer doesn't work.  I keep a vistors
> mouse plugged
> in, but hidden from view and if I'm feeling kind, I let them use it.

I've suffered from pain in my right hand and wrist and have tried a few solutions.

For a long while I used a 3M Ergo Mouse, which was good as it kept your hand in a different position, putting less strain on it. Also, it doesn't have a scroll wheel, which I think was one of the causes of my problem. It takes a bit of getting used to and is less precise than a traditional mouse, but I would recommend them. A chair with an elbow rest helps make it easier to use.

However, currently I'm just using my mouse with my left hand. Again, this has taken me a while to get used to, but I get by fine now. If I was doing work like Photoshop where precision is needed I might have an issue though.

I think it's worth the effort to re-learn with your other hand - rather than doing some permanent damage.

I've found that using the touchpad on my laptop exacerbates the problem with my right hand, so I try not to use that too much if I can help it - especially for long sessions.

Other things to do are make sure you're keyboard is setup in the right position, so it's not putting extra strain on your hands.

Also, make sure you take regular breaks to stretch. Workrave is a good tool to force you to do this:


More information about the Wolves mailing list