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Optical Mousetrap

Not what you were thinking..
  (+10, -1)(+10, -1)
(+10, -1)
  [vote for,

The optical mousetrap is a gag device designed to torture your coworkers.

It's a small clear sticker that affixes to the optical pickup on any optical mouse. Embedded in the sticker are small etchings designed to diffuse the light and cause the mouse to go crazy and fly off to the corner of the screen.

Coworkers go crazy trying to figure out what's wrong with their mouse and finally give up and get another one from the supply room. Luckily, the stickers come in a 10 pack. Fun for everyone.

Mr Burns, Sep 23 2002


       Wow! This is *exactly* what i was thinking!
[ sctld ], Sep 23 2002

       And then the victims call [thcgenius] for support. Who has more fun, the victim or the support person?   

       At least it's unlikely that anyone will lose an eye.
half, Sep 23 2002

       +1. Awesome. Will put into effect immediately. Standby for progress reports.
General Washington, Sep 23 2002

       It's all fun and games until someone loses an optical sensor...
Mr Burns, Sep 23 2002

       and it's an optical sensor for an optical sensor...
General Washington, Sep 23 2002

       Fresnel Mousepads?
Mr Burns, Sep 23 2002

       Has anyone tried an optical mouse on one of the mouspads with a 3D picture on it? (The ones with the surface that goes /\/\/\/\ so that the left eye sees one image and the right eye sees another.) I'm wondering if one of those might have that effect.
mwburden, Sep 23 2002

       The optical sensors have it!
Mr Burns, Sep 23 2002

       Awhile ago I chatted with one of the inventors of the "speckle mouse". According to him, the mouse works by using laser interferometry to detect bumps or other such dimensional variations in the surface underneath. I'd expect that a lenticular screen such as mwburden suggests would confuse it less than one might expect.
supercat, Sep 23 2002

       buggar, it dived away under the skirting board.
The Kat, Sep 23 2002

       RT: I'm not familiar with the latter; is it exceptionally smooth?
supercat, Sep 23 2002

       [Rods]: Hmm. My MS optical wheel mouse works just fine and dandy on my Intuos2 Wacom tablet. It's a black tablet with a translucent drawing surface.   

       [Nick@Nite]: Our conference rooms have maple conference tables and the optical mice don't work on it or work in a weird, sporadic way.   

       I tried the 3D mousepad (picture changing type) with the optical mouse and it seems to work fine.   

       I put that translucent, frosted Scotch tape over the optical emitter and guess what . . . it still works! Just as if nothing were covering it. Weird.
bristolz, Sep 23 2002

       Okay . . . some deep research (a couple of tests and a phone call) and the preliminary results are that the optical mouse is sensitive to . . . shiny stuff. The wood table in the conference room? It's the gloss finish that is the trouble more than the woodgrain (however the woodgrain does seem to interfere). The surface on my Intuos2 is matte but on the earlier Intuos it is . . . shiny. Another factor is if the work surface is even very slightly concave, enough to lift the light source above the surface--even a little teensy bit, it won't work or won't work consistently.
bristolz, Sep 24 2002

       And here am I making do with only a humble pen partner, rods.
yamahito, Sep 24 2002

       //enough to lift the light source above the surface--even a little teensy bit// So what you're saying is, instead of diffusers, we need lifters? Hmm.. I will test this tomorrow on fellow..subjects...mwuahahaha   

       Yama: I still have a 12x10 Digitizer II tablet.. I'm no designer so I have little use for it, but it's a nice novelty item.   

       Half: It's funny others have mentioned Wacom tablets.. While I have never taken a call regarding optical mouse hooliganism, I actually HAVE taken a call from a customer that could not understand why the puck from his Wacom tablet did not function when not on the tablet, even after I explained (repeatedly) that it was only another tool for it and NOT a cordless mouse. Apparently the fact that it behaved like a mouse, while the pen behaved like a pen was just too much to comprehend.
Mr Burns, Sep 25 2002

       Oh THAT's why that mouse never worked for me.
bristolz, Sep 25 2002

       you have IKEA down there? well, you learn something new every day.
yamahito, Sep 25 2002

       Bristolz: Was it you that called? ;)
Mr Burns, Sep 25 2002


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