Tag Archives: mouse

Control Scroll

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On my notebook, I use a touch pad to glide the cursor across the screen. You may use a different input device on your computer to allow you to push the cursor across your screen. I received a question from our sister community, PC PitStop. Jerry asks why the page starts going up and down really fast when he attempts to scroll up and down with his mouse.

The problem is that your mouse is too sensitive. It may have taken too many sensitivity courses in the manufacturing process. Your computer could be haunted, even! Okay, I’m kidding. It really is related to sensitivity though.

Controlling this problem is usually fairly simple. Go into your control panel (whichever operating system you are using), and click onto your mouse icon. In there, you’ll find areas to control the acceleration of scroll features. Adjust the slider bar up or down until you’re comfortable with how fast things react.

If your input device is too sensitive, just look in your control panel or system properties. It isn’t something to cry over, despite what you see me doing in this video. I’m not really a crier like that, honest!

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Do You Want a Tablet for Your PC or Mac?

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What’s your favorite input device? Maybe your favorite is your mouse or a track pad. Have you thought about trying something different – maybe a tablet surface, in conjunction with a stylus and a mouse? As long as your computer has a USB port, you can control it using either the stylus or the mouse!

The Genius MousePen Graphics Tablet is likely one of the coolest new gadgets you’ll find. The 6-Inch x 8-Inch working area with the cordless pen and mouse is great for Windows and MAC users to write, draw, sketch or sign emails. Just click the pen on any of the 29 programmable shortcut keys for instant access to Office and Internet functions.

You can use it to enter text in some kind of application on your computer. You can use it to edit photos, or even paint! It’s a pressure-sensitive device – up to 1024 levels, which is a tad tricky to get used to. I did my best trying to demonstrate it!

It’s not only a fantastic media tool for designers, a fun input device for a computer. Improve your hand-eye coordination while using the coolest and hottest new input device.

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How Much Do You Use Your Mouse and Keyboard?

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I bet you’re someone who uses a mouse and keyboard. Do you know how often you click your mouse or enter keystrokes? You could probably guess, but it’s not likely something you’ll do on your own. You may want to measure yourself against your friends, to see who is essentially doing more. In essence – you can take your computer pulse!

WhatPulse helps you discover and track your keyboard
and mouse usage. Track your usage history, compete against friends, or team up with your friends to compete against others. Do you feel that you could have moved your hands, keystroke by keystroke, across the globe twice today? Are you interested in finding out just how much you type a day? Sign up, download the client, and start tracking yourself now!

You run it in the background, where it syncs with your online account. It lets you see how many times you click your mouse, and how many keystrokes you enter. You can break it down by location, country, and many other types of measurements. It even tells you how many times you’ve moved your mouse!

You can set up your own teams if you wish. There’s one team right now, called the Dutch Power Cows, that is at the top of the heap. I’m thinking there needs to be a Geeks team, don’t you? We would so pwn the board, since that’s what we do!

WhatPulse is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux, so you have no excuse not to check your pulse!

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What do You use for a KVM Switch?

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Let’s say that you have a PC, but you don’t have a monitor, keyboard or mouse plugged into it. However, you do have a notebook computer sitting there with Windows on it, as well. You could use that notebook to run the PC with a KVM switch!

Not only are you saving energy by not running another monitor, you’re also saving space by not having another keyboard and mouse. Using a KVM switch is highly recommended for better productivity. You can use one keyboard, one mouse and one monitor for two different machines! I don’t think there’s an easier way to be efficient.

This is ideal for people who own a laptop and an older desktop PC and wish to keep using both for various functions or applications. The KVM features an on-screen toolbar with multiple functions such as file transfer, desktop image scaling and others. The built-in file transfer utility lets the user transfer files, presentations, business information and create backup copies between both computers or from external USB storage devices.

What’s interesting about this particular KVM is that it has an extra USB port built in. That allows you to plug in an external hard drive if you should need to! This is easy to use, and will allow you a ton of new-found freedom when managing your life. Keep and transfer files much faster using the IOGear Laptop KVM. All you need is open USB ports and Windows PCs and you’re ready to roll.

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How to Find the Best Computer Mouse

I recently uploaded a video in which I reviewed my new Microsoft Arc mouse. After the video aired, I heard from many people who claimed that Logitech mice are better – along with several other brands. So, I decided to ask some of you what mouse you prefer, and even why.

have always loved logitech meeses. But then, I’ve heard better things about Razor mice. – alphaxion

I prefer A4Tech / i have A4tech X6-20MD – DSaad69

I’ve never used a Logitech mouse so I can’t really say. I’ve liked all the Microsoft mice I’ve used though. – Daryl Burns

I have both and generally prefer Microsoft’s. – Kol Tregaskes

I like my Logitech Nano. I seem to like mice with lots of extra buttons, though. – Mark VandenBerg

I tend to prefer mice with 2 buttons and a scroll wheel. Ones on the thumb get activated by accident when I’m using it, their main function appears to be making me speak cursive words 😉 – alphaxion

I like my logitech, very function w/ the extra buttons ~ for Mac there’s no such thing as a good mouse – sofarsoshawn

Better for what? – Bwana

I guess it depends on what it’s for. I really like microsoft’s arc mouse; it has served me very well. – Brandon Titus

Wow, you’re the first I’ve heard with an Arc mouse Brandon… how long did it take you to get used to the form factor? – Bwana

I used Microsoft mice before I tried the Logitech G5. Love the weight customization feature and programmable buttons. – Jody is unwired

I use an Evoluent vertical mouse and I absolutely love it! http://www.amazon.com/Evoluent…April Russo

I think it’s a hand preference. I have tried logitech, and now matter how ergonomically pleasing they make them.. I still don’t like the feel. Ironically I still have an old version of Microsoft mouse that I love. – Strong One

I have better experience with the Logitech ones. – Amit Morson

razer diamondback for shape, feel, programmability and accuracy. Anything with a DPI around 1600 is ok. – Toby Graham

i LOVE microsoft mice (mouses) – andy brudtkuhl

My MS mice have always rocked – ditto their keyboards. – Soulhuntre

I have always had great luck with MS mice. but, in reality, it’s probably a Nikon vs Canon thing. They both rock, it’s a matter of personal preference. – Jason Shultz

What mouse do you prefer, and why do you love it so much?

Which Do You Use More: Mouse or Keyboard?

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Which input device do you rely on more – the keyboard or the mouse? Are you someone who uses them equally? I still use a keyboard more than my mouse. I love keyboard shortcuts. They increase my productivity by quite a lot. There’s a really cool website I found that doesn’t require me to use a mouse ever. Simply type in the search query, and the results fill themselves in automatically. You can use your keyboard arrow keys to navigate through the results, as well. keyboardr allows you to search without ever using your mouse.

keyboardr is a homepage. It speeds up your Internet experience. And if you like, it helps you keep your hands on the keyboard.

In the first place, keyboardr is a meta-search. You get Google, Wikipedia, and Youtube search results all together in one easy place. The instant search and the keyboard navigation are replacing the feeling of “searching” with the feeling of “launching”.

keyboardr will utilize many more Web services. Apart from usual web search services like Google, we are planning to support Friendfeed, De.li.ci.ous, Twitter, Flickr, Google Docs and many more. And in the final stage, we will have an extension system, open for any developer, to integrate any web service into our interface. So keyboardr will be a central station for you to get all your common Internet tasks done much faster.

This is nice and clean, which I love. It’s very simple to use, of course. And the developer is right – it’s much faster. Why not try it out today? You might end up making it your homepage, as well.

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The Problem with Trackpads

Fellow geek Psorakis Yannis has an issue with cursor control:

I was wondering what’s your best pointing device excluding the mouse. I am totally annoyed by the fact that all laptop companies focus on trackpads. Touch surfaces are not accurate, they are very dependant on the pointing distance, they won’t work if your fingers are sweaty, and they have accidental clicks all the time, especially when you use the keyboard because you wrist often touches them.

I find IBM’s “pointing stick” (the little red dot) as the best mouse alternative. It is accurate, it is has infinite pointing distance, it minimizes the transition time between writing on the keyboard and pointing, and uses a very small portion of the laptop surface. I used it on my old Toshiba with excellent results, even to the point of playing games if I didn’t have a mouse available.

I don’t understand why the laptop manufacturers do not adopt that technology. Maybe because it appears “old fashioned”? Dunno. What’s your opinion? Which do you think is the best mouse alternative for laptops?

Honestly, I used to hate trackpads / touchpads, but quickly got used to them when I was given the choice between them on one particular notebook computer (one of the last IBM-branded ThinkPads). The nub actually caused undue strain on my inner wrist, whereas the trackpad was virtually frictionless. You can always adjust the sensitivity on ’em, too. I do carry a portable USB mouse with me when I travel, but seldom use it.

Everybody seems to have a different favorite; there is no “one size fits all” for input or output devices. The best alternative is the one that you like. I’ve taken heat for being in love with Apple’s Mighty Mouse – it fits my hand, the omnidirectional scroller is a dream come true, and I don’t need much more in a mouse than what it offers. I also love multitouch touchpads on notebooks – to the point where if I use a device that doesn’t have one, I feel limited and frustrated.

What alternative would my friends recommend?

What's Your Favorite Computer Mouse?

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In all of your history of using a computer, what has been your favorite mouse? Is it the one your using now, or one that you had years ago that has since broken? Mine happens to be the one I’m using now. I’ve had several that I’ve really liked, but this one is just “it” for me. I’ve been using Apple’s wireless Mighty Mouse for about six months now, and I couldn’t be happier. At first, I didn’t think I’d take to it. But I love it! It’s very sleek. It doesn’t force my hand to sit a certain way. The wheel isn’t a “scroll” wheel, it sort of moves in all directions. The buttons on the side can be mapped to different commands. Even though there’s no right click button, there is a right click feature. I don’t know how Apple could even improve upon this. It would take a very very “mighty” mouse to get me to change.

Why am I bringing this up? RyanK sent me an email with his top five tips to keep in mind when shopping for a new mouse.

  • Don’t make your decision based only on price. If you see an 8$ mouse, don’t just run out and get it. It may be cheap, but it will probably break soon. In this case, buying name brands will benefit you. You may want to buy the same brand of mouse as your computer, as these mice were built with your computer in mind.
  • Think of what you want. Do you want wired or wireless? Keep in mind that wired mice don’t require batteries, and wireless mice do. Not all wireless mice are truly wireless. Some come with a “base station”. These type of mice are meant for a desktop, and are a hassle for laptops.
  • Keep it simple. Unless your are a super gamer, or would like to have 7 buttons on a mouse, a simple mouse is what you would want. Three buttons are usually what you will want or need. Five buttons just allow you to press a button and perform a task without clicking. If you’re not a computer guru, you could continually bump one of those buttons accidentally… and that can be disastrous at times.
  • Size does matter. Keep in mind what purpose this mouse will hold. If you’re not typing, chances are your hand is on the mouse. A smaller, portable mouse may work on the go, but sitting at a desk with hand cramps won’t. I suggest buying a regular size mouse. Don’t waste money on a portable one. Besides, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is nothing you want.
  • Don’t forget the mouse pad. When purchasing the pad, look at the material, not the picture. I found that softer material works better for an optical mouse, and plastic-like material works better for a ball. Make sure you spend the money for a good quality mouse pad, so it doesn’t begin to tear in just a few weeks.

So what mouse is your all-time favorite, and why?


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How to Change Your Mouse Cursor

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I used to be addicted to cursors. In fact, back in the day I would create them. Heck… people sometimes even paid me to create them! What is a cursor you ask? And how can you change it? Elementary, my dear Watson.

A cursor is that little pointer thingie on your screen when you move your mouse. They are simply an icon that is turned into a cursor using software designed for tha treason. In Windows, you can change it with relative ease. Simply go into your Control Panel, select the Mouse icon, and then click on the Pointers tab. From there, you can use the drop-down box to choose a few different pre-installed cursors from Microsoft.

Of course, these aren’t very exciting cursors. If you want to make your own, well that isn’t hard either. For creating the icons, I suggest using Icon Workshop. They have a free 30-day trial, and the Cursors program itself is a steal at only $14.00. You can choose from hundreds of presets in their gallery, or upload your own images. It’s an easy matter of drag and drop.

Once you have created your icon, you will need to turn it into an actual cursor. You can do this with my favorite program for this: CursorXP from the folks at Stardock. There is a free version, as well as a Pro version. However, most people will only need the free version, as it does quite a lot. Don’t let the name fool you, it works for Vista, as well. Not only can you use CursorXP to create your cursors, you can also use it to add cool effects to them, as well. There are effects such as explosions, ripples, and plasma. All in all, this is a very cool way and simple way to create your own customized cursor that will make all of your friends jealous.

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How to Access Your Computer Remotely with a VNC KVM

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I have a monitor hooked up to one MacBook Pro, the other monitor hooked up to my Vista desktop machine, and the other MacBook Pro all sitting on the desk here. I have ONE mouse, and ONE keyboard. Now… watch as I play around and move things on all three screens using that one little mouse.

No, I’m not using the Synergy software I had planned to use for this. It’s a pain to install and configure, and it wouldn’t even work. It hasn’t been updated since 2006, and didn’t want to work with Vista or Leopard. So again I turned to my chat room at live.pirillo.com to find an answer. iKteck, who is one of our chat moderators, suggested a totally free program called Win2Vnc. What’s that you said… FREE? I love free, so I went to check it out.

This little program is amazing. The primary machine needs to be a Windows machine. It acts as a VNC Viewer and will connect to any other machine where the VNC service is enabled and running. You cannot drag and drop things from one screen to another, no. To set it up, you simply need to tell the host machine which direction (N, S, E, W) the other machine(s) are from it, and then when you move your mouse in that direction, it will switch over to that machine/system. It can’t get any simpler than that. How it works:

The program will open a small (one pixel wide) window on the edge of your screen. Moving the pointer into this window will trigger the program to take over your mouse and send mouse movements and keystrokes though the RFB protocol to a VNC server running on another machine. When the pointer is moved back towards the opposite edge on the other screen, the mouse is returned to your primary display.

Now, this only works if the host machine is a Windows machine. When I make the final switch over to Leopard as my primary system, I will likely use Teleport at that time. It only works between Mac machines, which is all I will be using then anyway.

All in all, I have to say: Win2Vnc FTW. It’s an excellent program that just works… for free. It doesn’t get better than that.

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