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Combo Roller Mouse

A mouse with a small embeded roller ball that replaces the wheel in a standard wheel-mouse
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,

Unlike a wheel which allows only vertical motion, the ball allows one to freely scroll in any direction within a window view. It works like the ‘hand’ tool in Photoshop, and with any application.

The ball can also be used to complement mouse pointer movement. With appropriate sensitivity settings, one can use the mouse for fast, macro movements and the ball for fine, pixel-width adjustments.

Greater flexibility of control is possible in all interfaces, applications and games. In Quake, for instance, the ball can be used for a free-mouse-look while the mouse is engaged in moving or firing a weapon.

baboo, May 07 2002

[1] Apple Mighty Mouse https://en.wikipedi.../Apple_Mighty_Mouse
[notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

[2] Kensington SlimBlade Presenter Media Mouse http://www.notebook...media-mouse-review/
The one I have [notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

[3] Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer with Tilt-Wheel https://www.cnet.co...er-with-tilt-wheel/
The one I used years ago [notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

[4] Pointing stick (e.g. TrackPoint) https://en.wikipedi...wiki/Pointing_stick
The pointing method I dislike. Not a scrolling method, but I mentioned it, so I'm linking it for anyone unfamiliar [notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

[5] Logitech MX Master (video) https://www.youtube...watch?v=JDJDeuJbiKc
The mouse I use now; my all-time favorite mouse [notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

[6] Jelly Comb MS001 https://www.amazon....table/dp/B01M6XU1M5
A few more mice with scroll balls in the similar products comparer, too [notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

[7] CyberEsport Orbita https://www.fastcom...ne-big-scroll-wheel
Whole mouse is a scroll knob? [notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

[8] IBM ScrollPoint http://ibmfiles.com/pages/scrollpoint.htm
Like [4], but for scrolling rather than pointing [notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

[9] Apple Magic Mouse https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Mouse
[notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

[10] List of Logitech optical mice https://en.wikipedi...oducts#Optical_mice
[notexactly, Apr 09 2019]

[11] Genius Traveller 355 https://www.techrad...-laser-53664/review
[notexactly, Apr 25 2019]

[12] Steampunk mod of a Genius mouse http://forum.moddin...ewtopic.php?t=27791
It's in Russian but you can have Google translate it for you, and the pictures are not in Russian. [notexactly, Apr 25 2019]

[13] Cherry MW-2800 Series Washable Mice [PDF] https://media.digik...%20PDFs/MW-2800.pdf
Available in black and "medical blue" [notexactly, May 24 2019]


chud, May 07 2002

       [chud], it is customary when proclaiming 'baked' to provide a link (click the 'link' button under the idea text) to a web site that shows the item as baked. Or if you own such a beast, you might at least mention the manufacturer's name and model number.   

       So, [baboo], instead of a wheel you suggest a trackball on top of the mouse. If my applications used it for nothing more than vertical+horizontal scrolling shortcuts I would be happy with such a device. It would be very handy for navigating big spreadsheets and poorly-designed web pages in windowed mode.
BigBrother, May 07 2002

       that would be so cool how about a hat switch that u find on joysticks u could use that to move and strath and the mouse to look
starman, Nov 18 2002


       I don't know about 2002, but this has been baked more recently by Apple (Mighty Mouse [1]), Kensington, and maybe others.   

       // It works like the ‘hand’ tool in Photoshop, and with any application. //   

       *with any application not written in Java. Java (and therefore any software built with it, unless that software goes way out of its way) does not support horizontal scroll wheels, despite a fix having been suggested (with code, IIRC) over a decade ago. (It does support horizontal scrolling by using the vertical wheel while holding Shift, but if a scroll ball-equipped mouse gave its input that way, it would be unable to scroll diagonally.)
notexactly, Apr 08 2019

       I keep reading this as "Columbo Roller Mouse", which would presumably have a stained brown gaberdine cover.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 08 2019

       "more recently"?!
The Apple Mighty Mouse came out in 2005 (so this DID pre- date it). Much as I hate to admit it (no fan of Apple), it is a good idea. I don't know why others didn't also do it, what with the proliferation of mice with a scroll wheel that also tilts left-&-right (which is kind of stupid when you compare it to a trackball).
neutrinos_shadow, Apr 08 2019

       // The Apple Mighty Mouse came out in 2005 (so this DID pre- date it). //   

       That's what I meant when I said it had been baked more recently than 2002…   

       Do you still have hard line breaks inserted when you save annotations on here? I assumed it was fixed for everyone at once.   

       // Much as I hate to admit it (no fan of Apple), it is a good idea. //   

       Yes, but (as not quite a "fan" of Apple but someone who likes a good proportion of their stuff) Apple's implementation was terrible. The ball picked up oil and dirt easily, and could not be removed for cleaning. Apple's official advice on how to clean it was to wet a paper towel with isopropyl alcohol, put it on the desk, and vigorously rub the inverted mouse's scroll ball on it. Obviously, that didn't do a very good job.   

       I have a Kensington mouse with a scroll ball, but I haven't gotten around to trying it yet.* I haven't spotted a ball removal mechanism on it either, not that I've looked. But the ball is smooth hard plastic, unlike Apple's soft-touch ball, so it might be less prone to picking up oil and dirt. It's still upward-facing, though, so stuff will still fall in.   

       *Looks to be the SlimBlade Presenter Media Mouse [2], and I don't know if I have the receiver, but maybe I can use an SDR… They have at least one other model with a scroll ball, too—SlimBlade Media Mouse.   

       // mice with a scroll wheel that also tilts left-&-right //   

       I used to use Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer with the tilt wheel [3], and I've recently seen it on other (Logitech at least) mice. I was never a huge fan of it, because it only allows one horizontal scrolling speed (or at least the one I used did, but even if it's proportional it's still velocity control and therefore harder to be precise with (which is the same reason I dislike pointing sticks in the middle of laptop keyboards [4])). With a trackpad, a scroll ball, or a separate scroll wheel for horizontal (like on my Logitech MX Master [5]), you can scroll horizontally just as precisely as vertically.   

       And just to add another uncommon scroll mechanism to the discussion, Kensington and at least one Chinese company have made mice with narrow capacitive scroll pads instead of wheels. The Kensington one I remember from about 15 years ago was a pretty typical-looking slim mouse with an inset rectangular scroll pad where the wheel would be. The Chinese one I spotted just now when looking up my Kensington mouse above, and it's a washable mouse that needs to use a seamless scroll pad as well as capacitive click buttons to have a fully sealed enclosure. And of course the Apple Magic Mouse [9] used touch scrolling, but its wider touch surface was used for other gestures as well. Wikipedia tells me Logitech has done a few other mice with both of those more recently too [10].   

       Added after further searching:   

       Another mouse with a scroll ball is a certain Jelly Comb model [6].   

       The CyberEsport Orbita [7] is claimed to be a mouse whose whole body is a scroll knob. But CyberEsport appears to be out of business and I don't know if the Orbita progressed beyond the concept stage.   

       There's also the IBM ScrollPoint [8], which I'd forgotten about until I saw it in the image results, basically a lever for scrolling that works like the TrackPoint laptop keyboard pointing stick. That page claims it's a superior scrolling mechanism, and it may in fact be superior in the ways claimed, but they neglect that velocity control results in inferior positioning precision. Way far down on the page, it mentions that it can scroll both vertically and horizontally, so that brings us full-circle.
notexactly, Apr 09 2019

       Mine looks to be the non-presenter one, now that I've actually looked at it.   

       I just spotted yet another scrolling technology: optical sensor. This was used in BlackBerry smartphones (not just for scrolling but also for pointing), but I'd never seen it in a mouse until today. It turns out some Genius brand mice use an optical sensor for 2D scrolling. One such model is the Traveller 355 [11]. I learned of it via seeing a steampunk mod of a Genius mouse [12], where I wondered what the thing in the middle was and how it scrolled.   

       ETA May 24: I found another, quite an obvious one now that I see it. It's a mouse with a scroll up button, a scroll down button, and a middle click button. This is necessary because it's a washable mouse, and a wheel or ball would prevent sealing. [13]
notexactly, Apr 25 2019


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