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Jon McElwain

Mouse recommendations??

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Jon McElwain

Hello all. I am new to the forum but I have been using AutoCAD for a number of years. My old mouse is about dead, and it is quite possible that I will simply kill it outright here in the next few days!

 

I was hoping to get some recommendations from you all on your favorite mouse. I have been looking at everything from a standard three button wheel mouse, to a gaming mouse with some extra programmable buttons, to a SpacePilot. I do not do any 3D drafting, so I don't think I need something like the SpacePilot, but I think that something a little more programmable than the basic 3 button would be helpful.

 

Any thoughts? I did do a search for previous threads, but nothing popped up in the first 6 or 7 pages, so I thought I would go ahead and post a new thread. Any help is appreciated!

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Jack_O'neill

Welcome Jon. I use a Logitech M570 wireless trackball in conjunction with a Saitek Cyborg gaming keyboard. The trackball has 4 regular buttons, plus the scroll wheel which acts as a 5th button. The keyboard, aside from being illuminated, has 12 programmable keys. They are arranged vertically along the ends of the keyboard. I have the 6 most common snaps on the left side, and macros to start the 6 most commonly used lisps down the right side.

 

I was a die-hard digitizer user for many years. Then the company I worked for sold, and the new owners wanted to "better utilize available space" so we wound up with 5 people working in the space that was previously occupied by one person. Needless to say, there was no room for a 12 x 12 digitizer. The bought us all the old style Kensington trackballs that had 4 buttons and a big ball in the middle. After about a month, I was hooked and have used trackballs ever since. I dont even know why they keep making regular mice! At any rate, on the one I use now, the ball is controlled by the thumb, leaving your fingers resting on the appropriate buttons. Unlike a mouse, this thing never moves except when I want to reposition my arm. No working off the desk, no picking it up and moving it back over, it just sits there beside my keyboard on the keyboard drawer and is at the perfect height for when I need to make the transition back to 2 hand keyboarding.

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SuperCAD

If you're going to stick with a mouse then you definitely want to go with a gaming grade mouse. I've been using my Logitech MX518 for over five years now and it still works perfectly. The problem I've had with other mice is that the buttons would wear out, or a single click would register as a double click, but this one is just fine. I even ordered another four of them for us to use at work.

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BBHP

I would definitely recommend a gaming mouse and mousepad combo, I use Razer Lachesis + Steelseries 5L. Mouse is a bit snazzy with a glowing wheel and pulsating logo (which can be turned off), but it offers 9 programmable buttons, ambidextrous design and the ability to save the button customisations on the mouse itself.

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paulmcz

Logitech MX518 is the one I use too. The best mouse I ever had.

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RocketSurgeon

I'm using the standard mouse, but with all this talk I started asking my co-workers. Only one uses something different, a Logitech, Trackman Marble.

http://www.amazon.com/Trackman-Marble-Mouse-Four-Button-Programmable/dp/B002BCMM74

 

Maybe I'll try to borrow theirs and see how I like the trackball.

 

I also picked up a 3D mouse recently as well. I'm still trying to get familiar with it.

http://www.3dconnexion.com/products/what-is-a-3d-mouse.html

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Jack_O'neill
I'm using the standard mouse, but with all this talk I started asking my co-workers. Only one uses something different, a Logitech, Trackman Marble.

http://www.amazon.com/Trackman-Marble-Mouse-Four-Button-Programmable/dp/B002BCMM74

 

Maybe I'll try to borrow theirs and see how I like the trackball.

 

I also picked up a 3D mouse recently as well. I'm still trying to get familiar with it.

http://www.3dconnexion.com/products/what-is-a-3d-mouse.html

 

I used a marble for a long time, but found I prefer the trackballs that you steer with your thumb. Marble is steered with fingers. They are ambidextrous though where the one I use is right handed. I think they make a left hand version too though.

 

If you get the latest drivers for them, you can program the buttons to some extent "per application". For instance, the two buttons on mine that default to back and forward in IE I have set to copy and paste in Autocad.

 

You can see it here: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6730806&Sku=L23-0126&SRCCODE=GOOAPI59005304&TId=2&SF=1

 

You will have to occasionally clean the roller and inside it's cavity on any track ball as dust bunnies will build up from time to time. If movement of the cursor becomes erratic, there's probably some lint or dust on the laser.

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Glen1980

I'm with Jack on the trackball. I have the 8 button logitech wireless trackman. It took me a couple of days to get over the weird feeling of keeping my hand still and a week or so to get up to speed with the buttons. This one you use your thumb for the left click and 2 extra buttons and the index, ring and middle fingers to operate the ball and other 4 buttons and scroll wheel. All are programmable but it is useless if you're a lefty.

 

I had to switch after 10 years of heavy mouse usage wore out my arm and caused quite a bit of pain.

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Jon McElwain

I am a little hesitant on the trackball mouse because I used a finger type trackball for a couple of weeks once and almost injured my hand trying to get used to it. Something about the movement didn't agree with my joints.

 

Have any of you guys used anything like these?

 

27_A3113954.jpg

 

Special_Gaming_Keyboards_3.jpg

 

Special_Gaming_Keyboards_Images.jpg

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Jack_O'neill

I have a belkin n52te. Used it for a long time till I bought the cyborg keyboard. Very handy little device, but the programming for the keys is a little strange. They give you 64 spaces per key to put in macros, but if you are entering text like "m2p" it takes 6 spaces. A key press is one space, then the key release is a second space. You can have 3 layers of commands per key, and the led panel at the bottom of the screen tells you which layer you are in. Switching layers is as easy as bumping that large button next to the led's with your thumb. I put snaps on the top layer, commands on the second layer and lisps on the third layer. You can even set delays and pauses and that sort of thing. I used the joystick to pan, though it took some getting used to. Trying to draw with that joystick nearly drove me to drinking. I don't recommend it, but you can try if you want to.

 

As with most of this type device, you can create any number profiles and have different commands and what not in each profile.

 

I'm planning to move it to the new laptop I just purchased. I occasionally go onsite for a couple of clients and i'm going to put it to use there to make up for the laptop's shortcomings.

 

--edit-- Once you go track, you'll never go back! Sorry, couldn't resist.

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resullins

Wow... you guys are seriously fancy! I use a Logitech Wave K350 keyboard and mouse combo. I like it, but I have to say, I've never tried anything as fancy as what's described above.

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Jon McElwain

Did you use the Belkin in your left hand in conjunction with a standard right hand mouse? That is the setup I have been considering - get a good mouse for drawing, selecting, and menu buttons, then something like the Belkin for left handed commands, snap selection, lisps, and such. Can the Belkin be programmed so that the joystick is always set to pan? That would be pretty cool - pan with your left thumb so you do not have to use the mouse wheel button to do it! Speaking of, how do you pan with a trackball? Do you have to enter the pan command?

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Jon McElwain
Wow... you guys are seriously fancy! I use a Logitech Wave K350 keyboard and mouse combo. I like it, but I have to say, I've never tried anything as fancy as what's described above.

 

I've been super low tech for a decade. Dell mouse and keyboard that came with an old computer. I've started to see how a few minor customization could really speed things up. Now that I am working for myself, I am even more aware of the fact that time=money. Sometimes getting things done fast also means keeping a client!

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Jack_O'neill
Did you use the Belkin in your left hand in conjunction with a standard right hand mouse? That is the setup I have been considering - get a good mouse for drawing, selecting, and menu buttons, then something like the Belkin for left handed commands, snap selection, lisps, and such. Can the Belkin be programmed so that the joystick is always set to pan? That would be pretty cool - pan with your left thumb so you do not have to use the mouse wheel button to do it! Speaking of, how do you pan with a trackball? Do you have to enter the pan command?

 

Yes, the only time I touched the regular keyboard was to enter text, direct distance entry or a rarely used command that I didn't think was worth the effort to program the belkin for. To be honest, its been a while since I used it so I really don't remember how I had the joystick setup for panning. I do recall it taking some fiddling about with to get it to work like I wanted. As for a track ball and panning, the scroll wheel is also a button, just like on a mouse. Click and hold it, and pan all you want. Roll to zoom, click and hold to pan same as a normal mouse. That's the beauty of having the ball controlled by your thumb. Leaves the fingers free to click buttons and operate the wheel. [Egads...this is gonna feed the "out of context" thread for a week].

 

Anything you can do to cut down keystrokes, moving your hands from mouse to keyboard, will increase your throughput. As you said, you work for yourself now, so you have the freedom to move things around to suit yourself. Find the right height chair, a keyboard you like, all that stuff. I bought the cyborg keyboard mainly because it's illuminated and at the time, I was doing my freelance work at night most of the time. Could keep the overhead light off, and still see the keys. The 12 programmable keys were a plus. I used it with the belkin for some time, but found it less cumbersome to use the just the cyborg. I paid 90 bucks for the keyboard a couple years ago, and that is an enormous price considering you can get keyboards for 10 bucks or less, but it has paid for itself 10 times over. It doesn't mess up, it always works as expected, and its features really help me out. There is a wired version of the trackball I use for about half the price of the wireless one, but now that i have it, I don't know why they even still make wired mice or keyboards.

 

There is a learning curve to any of these tools. It takes time to remember which key does what, but now it's second nature to me. I don't even look at it anymore. It was the same with the belkin, but it took longer. And if the way it's all set up doesn't suit you, it's yours to change. Once you break out of the corporate mindset with all the rules and restrictions and the list of "thou shalt nots" you'll find that you can be far more productive than you ever were in that office working for big business. I suggested the n52te to an employer once and he was interested until he saw the word "gaming" on the literature. After that there was no way it would even be considered. "Thou shalt not game on company time" slammed the lid on it. Couldn't possibly be a serious tool if gamers used it. Break that mindset, and you will set yourself free.

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Jack_O'neill
Wow... you guys are seriously fancy! I use a Logitech Wave K350 keyboard and mouse combo. I like it, but I have to say, I've never tried anything as fancy as what's described above.

 

I discovered the advantages to customizable keys on a keyboard several years ago quite by accident. I knew that in autocad you could rename commands with aliases and do stuff with the F keys, but one day I bought a new computer that came with a keyboard that had 15 buttons across the top that were intended to be internet shortcuts. You could save your favorite websites on these buttons and have one touch access to your favorite web pages. I discovered thanks to my daughter's cat jumping up onto the keyboard one day that in autocad or word, if you hit one of the buttons that didn't have a webpage saved in it, it simply pasted the word "empty" into whatever you were doing. Since I didn't really use them anyway, I pulled up the editor that programmed these keys and put "end" on the first one, "mid" on the second and "int" on the third. Opened a drawing, started the line command, and hit the first button. Lo and behold...it activated the endpoint osnap! The others worked the same way. I was hooked instantly. LISP routines could even be loaded if you didn't run out of characters in the string, and you could certainly start the ones that were already loaded.

 

I brought it to work with me after I'd perfected it, along with the software and the profile I'd created. This was all saved on a 3 1/2 floppy ( a primitive storage device used before flash drives were invented) and loaded it up on my work machine. Coworkers were ooo-ing and ahhh-ing...bosses were saying this could be a real time saver. IT guy came by, saw what I was doing and nearly blew a gasket. Started spouting all sorts of gobbledygook about security risks and system incompatibility...long story short, it went back home, the program was removed and I got my butt chewed. Turned out that the IT guy left the company about 3 weeks later after bringing a different keyboard in and submitting a justification for all the time it would save...basically the same thing I'd said but presenting it as a totally new idea (all his of course). When pressed as to why this one was ok and the one I'd brought in was so bad, it boiled down to the fact that it simply wasn't his idea. They told him no, and he quit after throwing a tantrum that would embarrass a 3 year old.

 

Ahh...the good ol days. Long past, thank God!

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Jon McElwain

That's pretty funny. I remember the first time I asked for a second monitor. I got laughed out of the boss's office. There was no way they were going to throw down $200 for an extra monitor. I persisted and finally asked if I could buy my own and bring it in. They reluctantly said yes. Within 2 months, everyone in the company had two monitors. I found a super cheap source at the State surplus warehouse. Can you even remember drafting on one screen?

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Tankman
Logitech MX518 is the one I use too. The best mouse I ever had.

 

I'm with the Logitech too. Couldn't stand any other. And, like the Logitech wireless keyboards too!

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RocketSurgeon
I used a marble for a long time' date=' but found I prefer the trackballs that you steer with your thumb. Marble is steered with fingers. They are ambidextrous though where the one I use is right handed. I think they make a left hand version too though.

 

If you get the latest drivers for them, you can program the buttons to some extent "per application". For instance, the two buttons on mine that default to back and forward in IE I have set to copy and paste in Autocad.

 

You can see it here: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6730806&Sku=L23-0126&SRCCODE=GOOAPI59005304&TId=2&SF=1

 

You will have to occasionally clean the roller and inside it's cavity on any track ball as dust bunnies will build up from time to time. If movement of the cursor becomes erratic, there's probably some lint or dust on the laser.[/quote']

 

I ordered one yesterday. $48 and free shipping. It'll be here tomorrow. Anxious to see how it is, and what the learning curve will be. I get so aggravated having to put the mouse back on the mouse pad. I like the idea of the mouse not moving.

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Jon McElwain
I ordered one yesterday. $48 and free shipping. It'll be here tomorrow. Anxious to see how it is, and what the learning curve will be. I get so aggravated having to put the mouse back on the mouse pad. I like the idea of the mouse not moving.

 

You'll have to post your initial thoughts on the new mouse! I've been toying with the idea now that you guys have been talking about the trackball. It seems like people either love them or really hate them. I just don't want to waste $50 if I can't stand the thing. I am really leaning towards getting the Belkin though! Any good used places to get stuff like that, or is it just better to buy new?

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Jack_O'neill
You'll have to post your initial thoughts on the new mouse! I've been toying with the idea now that you guys have been talking about the trackball. It seems like people either love them or really hate them. I just don't want to waste $50 if I can't stand the thing. I am really leaning towards getting the Belkin though! Any good used places to get stuff like that, or is it just better to buy new?

 

You can get that stuff on ebay or craigslist from time to time, but if you buy a new one, keep your receipt. Use it for a few days and if you hate it, return it to the store. If you buy one on ebay, the only way to get rid of it is on ebay.

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