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Scroll Ball

Multi-directional "scroll wheel" for mice
  [vote for,

For web pages and other documents which scroll horizontally rather than (or as well as) vertically, a small rubber ball in place of the rubber scroll wheel would let you effortlessly skim sideways along it. Also useful for large CAD schematics or photoshop documents where you're zoomed in on a small portion of the whole.

Note: this isn't a trackball placed on top of a mouse - it moves the page around rather than the mouse pointer.

Jim, Aug 02 2001

Intellimouse http://www.http://w...se/intellimouse.htm
Intellimouse. Strangely does not boast about ability to scroll sideways [redpony, Aug 02 2001]

Micro Innovations Microscroll Mouse http://www.mic-inno...om/micro-scroll.htm
Mouse with horizontal and vertical scroll wheels [mwburden, Aug 02 2001]

Not a mouse, but... http://www.alsos.co...ices/SpaceBall.html
[egnor, Aug 02 2001]

Apple's Mighty Mouse http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/
What do we do with inventions that have been stolen from the 'bakery by large corporations and introduced as one of their standard products? is it [MFD] or [marked-for-lawsuit]? [theleopard, Jun 06 2007]


       My microsoft mouse does this.
redpony, Aug 02 2001

       The IntelliMouse does it vertically, but there's no horizontal wheel. You can use the cursor keys, but a scroll ball would be good. Award your elf a baked good.
angel, Aug 02 2001

       [redpony] what model of mouse do you have? Please provide a link if possible.
Jim, Aug 02 2001

       Intellimouse. Tap the wheel and a circle with arrows appears. Move the mouse in the direction required and the screen moves.
redpony, Aug 02 2001

       My mouse is two years+ old. Make sure the page you are on has a sideways slider and try again Jim.
redpony, Aug 02 2001

       i know what you mean, but i'm talking about a physical rubber ball - not a wheel that you click and then move the mouse in the direction of the arrows.
Jim, Aug 02 2001

       Just yesterday I was wanting what Jim describes. My mouse has "HP" on it, but works the same as an Intellimouse, but Jim's device would be better. PS's Kensington mouse is almost as good, but a scroll ball would also allow better control over scrolling speed. The only drawback I can see with the ball is that you might have to roll it from side to side multiple times on a very wide page. So maybe the best thing would be a short, tiny joystick that would move the page faster as the stick is moved farther off-center.
beauxeault, Aug 02 2001

       I suppose you probably can get mice with a notebook-style `nipple` (i hate that word...when applied to computer equipment anyway) on top. But that wouldnt be enough for some people; oh no! They`d then need a trackball as well `so I can navigate popup menus`. Then they`d want a numeric keypad on it, so they could enter a few numbers when they were over the right hand side of a webpage, on a popupmenu generated window. Then they`d want alphanumeric buttons...
Pallex, Aug 02 2001

       Yes! Let's put the whole keyboard right on the mouse. It will save deskspace, and allow you to operate your computer with just one hand.
PotatoStew, Aug 02 2001

       [PeterSealy] Not baked: there's no scroll ball on the Kensington Webracer.
Jim, Aug 02 2001

       Rocker is probably better anyways in that sloppy dogs like myself gum up rollerballs awfully fast even when they're on the mouse's belly. I use a Logitech optical and love it.   

       Hey, how about an infrared lightsource and sensor instead of a wheel, ball, or rocker" You just pass your fingertip over the thing in the appropriate direction to scroll the page. (Infrared so's it don't glim in your eyes, don't you see.)
Dog Ed, Aug 02 2001

       [PeterSealy] Not end of discussion. The functionality is not baked unless you can show me a mouse which has a scroll ball. Stop saying Baked or I'll hit you. You say I describe it variously as a wheel and as a ball - the only time I refer to it as a wheel is in "inverted commas" so that you'll understand what kind of thing I'm talking about. Once again, the idea here is for a physical rubber ball (sphere) which _replaces_ the scroll wheel on a mouse. Not anything else. A rubber ball. Sphere of rubber. Got it?
Jim, Aug 03 2001

       Planet no have rubber, need information.   

       On another front: magnification. If the mouse had a 'magnify' aspect to it, you could specify which direction on the page you wished to see and it would appear larger to you until you actually scrolled there; at some point the approaching text would shrink to an appropriate size for window viewing. This effect would be as if you could superimpose the subject page onto a three dimensional radar image of a typhoon and track to any desired area as it moved to the 'eye' of the browser window. I can't say I'd prefer doing this action with a mouse to sitting inside the browser window and willing it to happen around me, but, I really can't say.
reensure, Aug 03 2001

       (more random trivia from the peanut gallery... in Photoshop, if you hold down the spacebar, any mouse movement will scroll the image vice the cursor. not what you're describing, but tangentially related and mayhap useful?) I used the parentheses to indicate whispering due to off-topicity, but I suppose there's really no reason for all that subterfuge after all.   

       I wonder what Peter's favo(u)rite word was *before* he found this place?
absterge, Aug 03 2001

       Scott McCloud, author of _Understanding Comics_ and _The Future of Comics_ (I may be a bit off on the second title), sees the web as a window, not a page. Comics, for instance, could go back to the original Egyptian (and even older) forms -- walls and scrolls. No more pages.   

       Shouldn't the whole web be like that?
decafsilicon, Aug 03 2001

       Pallex: My mouse, which came with my IBM computer, does indeed have a notebook-style "nipple" (never knew they were actually called that) in the center that allows me to scroll in any direction. It's really quite convenient.
FakeGreenDress, Aug 03 2001

       Perhaps the ideal would be a combination trackball/IntelliMouse. The ball acts as a normal trackball, but when pressed, it acts like the IntelliMouse wheel only sideways as well.
angel, Aug 03 2001

       Pallex: 'nipple' is probably better than what we call Trackpoints <IBM's name for it> here at work...
StarChaser, Aug 04 2001

       Then another one on top of that. Like turtles.
angel, Aug 06 2001

       But first you'll have to wait for Dog Ed to finish having his way with the mouse he loves.
thumbwax, Aug 06 2001

       The Mighty Mouse's, "innovative Scroll Ball gives you 360 degrees scrolling capability." [linky]   

       The cheek! Innovative? Innovative?! It's about 6 years late to be calling it 'innovative' isn't it?!
theleopard, Jun 06 2007

       This has been around for ages. Ridiculously baked.
punk_punker, Jun 06 2007


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