who do trackballs appeal to?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jb60606, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

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    Chicago
    #1
    I'm a (programmer)developer first, web-surfer second, web-developer third, graphics-artist fourth, garage band musician fifth, video/still photographer sixth.

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but which of my hobbies/skills will a trackball appeal to the most? Which will I struggle with the most? Will using it on a 30" ACD be a nuissance?

    I love the idea of a stationary mouse, but fear I'll find it useless in my real world scenarios.

    This is the mouse I was looking to purchase. Are there any better models?

    Thanks
     
  2. belvdr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #2
    I never liked those types of trackballs. I had a Logitech trackball, where the ball was situated over the thumb. The real enjoyment comes when you don't have a lot of desk real estate to move a regular mouse.

    I enjoyed mine for everything except gaming.

    EDIT:

    Mine was this model.
     
  3. jb60606 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I can see why that logitech would be more desirable. Seems like there would be less of a learning curve too.

    Thanks
     
  4. Randman macrumors 65816

    Randman

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    #4
    I use [​IMG] for both work and at home.

    Do design work, editing, writing at work and usually play WoW at home.
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #5
    I've never liked Kensington's trackballs. I love my logitech though. But I went with it due to CTS. Doctor's orders. ;) :p
     
  6. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #6
    Me

    I'll admit it

    I'm a trackball user, I have the Kensington one the OP linked to.

    I love trackballs, been using them for 10+ years.

    I use it for eveyything, unless my laptop is on my lap or I'm on the go.

    I've been using it since I started learning photoshop, back in the day of version 3 and my Radius (clone of PowerMac 8100/110.) I've gone thru 3 of them, upgrading because of newer features, not because any of them had any problems. The current optical is the best, because you don't have to worry about cleaning them as often. It's got great tracking too.

    It's a must for me with photoshop, and although I don't game much anymore, I preferred it over a mouse for first person shooter games. Such as the Rainbow 6 series of games.

    I'd recommend buying one, using it for a month and return it if you don't like it.
     
  7. millerj123 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 6, 2008
    #7
    This is my current tackball as well. It's USB, so I can use it on the desktop or with the laptop and I don't have to worry about too much desk space. Sucks for gaming, though.

    I also had the logitech t-cl13, which my wife currently uses on her PC. The Trackman wheel is a bit of an improvement because you can just pop the trackball out to clean the rollers. On the t-cl13, you have to remove a ring to clean it.
     
  8. petermcphee macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #8
    Do you trackball users ever get sore thumbs? I would think that these devices would require some getting used to and would utilize different muscles than a "regular" mouse. True?
     
  9. skorpien macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #9
    Absolutely. Or at least that was my case. I had what I believe was Logitech's first trackball ever (it was the TrackMan Wheel without the wheel), and while I loved the fit in my hand, my thumb would get incredibly sore after a large amount of mousing. It was horrible for games, and honestly I couldn't see myself using another one of the same style.

    Although I would consider getting the trackball posted by Randman since it uses your index finger to scroll rather than your thumb. I already use the scroll wheel quite extensively so I can see the transition to trackball being very easy in comparison to the thumb one. Not to mention it would be great for the times when I'm not working at a desk or am otherwise unable to use a conventional mouse.
     
  10. Randman macrumors 65816

    Randman

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    #10
    My Track man lets you use your finger(s) and not thumb so no fatigue.
     
  11. petermcphee macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

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    #11
    Interesting. Thanks for the replies.

    I have thought often about going this route, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to substitute thumb pain for wrist pain. Maybe I will see if my co-worker will loan me his.
     
  12. Macintosh.Class macrumors newbie

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    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    I got a trackball form 1991 on eBay for a buck! I only really use it on my Macintosh Classic, and the powerbook's. I find they do the job, but I don't think I could use one for gaming.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #13
    I've not had any thumb fatigue at all. Perhaps it's to do with the details. I changed the cursor settings to suit me, and I don't have small hands.

    Like a mouse though, you do have to clean them. ;) :p
     
  14. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #14
    Missile Command, Centipede, and Millipede fans.
     
  15. skorpien macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #15
    They apparently appeal to me :p

    Thanks to Randman's post, I had to go out and get one of these babies (Logitech Cordless Optical TrackMan pictured) and I'm loving it. This is so much better than the original TrackMan I had with the ball under the thumb. The strain is actually decreased from using a regular mouse as I don't have to move my wrist at all anymore. Clicking with my thumb has become natural to me in under a day of use. And to top it off, I just realized a few moments ago that I completely forgot that I was using a trackball. That's the true sign of a greatly designed product.

    BTW, I'm using this at work for design software as well as surfing.
     
  16. jb60606 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I just received and installed the Kensington ExpertMouse Trackball (linked in my original post) for starters, since it was so popular. The learning curve, surprisingly, hasn't been too difficult thus far though it doesn't feel as natural as I was hoping. I'm going to continue using it, though, because it is unarguably much more comfortable on my arm/hand/back. I'm just going to leave my MM plugged in and stowed behind the monitor for certain situations.
     
  17. romanaz macrumors regular

    romanaz

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    NJ
    #17
    I use the expert trackball nearly everyday. I have all 4 buttons mapped for aperture and fcp and I find it invaluable for editing anything for long periods of time. I've never noticed any thumb pain, but then again I'm an Olympic wieghtlifter who hook grips and that puts more strain on my thumbs so they are used to it.

    When I work on my laptop it's nice but maybe a bit much, but on the dual 23inch monitors at my school or on a 30inch it's the best way to move around that large of a workspace. Mice don't come close.
     
  18. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    Lancashire
    #18
    I'd love it if they made a blue tooth all in 1 keyboard with an integrated trackball with left and right buttons that would attach to either side of the unit for lefties like me but I don't think I'd deliberately get a track ball in addition to the keyboard as a replacement for a mouse.
     
  19. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #19
    My grandmother uses a trackball due to her arthritis. I use it sometimes, and it's a little awkward for me, but it seems easy to get used to if you give it a chance.
     
  20. dazz macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2009
    #20
    I work R and L handed, to relieve the stress on my hands (I had a mild case of RSI once), since then I started working with the Kensington ExpertMouse. I think it's great, user-programmable and you can use it both R and L.
    It's on my left side, right side is a traditional :apple: mouse plus, in case I get tired of that, a trackpad with pen.
    But what I wanted to say was: Kensington ExpertMouse is good!
     
  21. jb60606 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I've been playing with the settings all night long and it's starting to grow on me. With proper hand/finger placement, it can be as accurate/precise as a mouse (if not more). I realized that I was still slightly pushing with my arm (as if I was driving a mouse) when trying to precisely position the cursor.

    ditto on the perfectly placed and user-programmable buttons. The wrist rest and scroll wheel were also nice additions.
     
  22. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    Wichita KS
    #22
    I liked using one for video editing, but thats about it.
     
  23. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816

    XnavxeMiyyep

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    Location:
    Washington
    #23
    I've used the Kensington Expert Mouse for a long time (it used to be called the TurboMouse!:D ). I couldn't imagine switching to anything else.
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #24
    I don't use the Kensington, but I've actually got two Logitech's I've kept in use for 10 years! They still work flawlessly, with an occasional cleaning. :D

    I don't remember a mouse lasting that long. But it's been awhile. :p
     
  25. remmy macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 1, 2007
    #25
    I did try them a while ago but never got used to it. Gone for a drawing tablet instead which I find almost luxurious.
     

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