Does anyone else here still use ball mice?

GivenZane

06 Oct 2020, 01:07

Hi everyone,
I was curious if anyone else here still uses a ball mouse regularly? I have several I still use when I'm not using my trackball and I just enjoy them so much more then optical mice. The analog input feels slightly different to me and I enjoy it much more.
Cheers,
--Given

whm1974

14 May 2021, 15:40

Bah!!! Ball Mice should Rest in Pieces...

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Muirium
µ

14 May 2021, 16:01

Only one I ever (very occasionally) use is a vintage Apple ADB mouse, when I'm playing around with a truly ancient Mac. It's… definitely retro. But not an objective improvement over modern stuff, the way vintage keyboards almost always are.

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raoulduke-esq

14 May 2021, 16:24

I break out a M0100 when I'm using my M0110 just for fun.

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an_achronism

14 May 2021, 16:26

Muirium wrote:
14 May 2021, 16:01
Only one I ever (very occasionally) use is a vintage Apple ADB mouse, when I'm playing around with a truly ancient Mac. It's… definitely retro. But not an objective improvement over modern stuff, the way vintage keyboards almost always are.
Aye, exactly. I've stopped myself from buying a bunch of trackball mice for this reason. It's kind of nice as a nostalgic thing but that's about it for me, I think.

Archie

14 May 2021, 19:08

I'm still actively using them, but in slightly unusual way. Being a trackball user, I often modify ancient models with incompatible/outdated interfaces - and ball mice are excellent source of controllers having quadrature inputs! :D

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an_achronism

14 May 2021, 20:15

Archie wrote:
14 May 2021, 19:08
I'm still actively using them, but in slightly unusual way. Being a trackball user, I often modify ancient models with incompatible/outdated interfaces - and ball mice are excellent source of controllers having quadrature inputs! :D
This is the only convincing argument I've ever seen for buying rollerball mice in 2021. Congrats. :lol:

A_Person

17 May 2021, 03:32

what is a rollerball mice in the first place? Are they those mice that also have a trackball built into them or they just a trackball? Or something completely different.

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Bjerrk

17 May 2021, 07:50

A_Person wrote:
17 May 2021, 03:32
what is a rollerball mice in the first place? Are they those mice that also have a trackball built into them or they just a trackball? Or something completely different.
You must be very young. Next you'll ask why people say "flat screen monitor" when all monitors are flat ;)

Archie

17 May 2021, 09:10

Bjerrk wrote:
17 May 2021, 07:50
Next you'll ask why people say "flat screen monitor" when all monitors are flat ;)
This is to distinguish them from non-flat ones! :lol:

Image

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TNT

17 May 2021, 13:48

Clearly, they're out of fashion and lose hard to optical mice, but I don't mind them. Saw this mod and I plan on doing that, but so far I've had no luck finding one of these fuckers for cheap
Wrong video, but still nice conversion. I meant to post one where he keeps the ball part, but can't find it rn.

Archie

17 May 2021, 15:31

Conversion of old ball mice by retrofitting optical engine is relatively popular thing. But deliberately keeping the ball as an movement sensor is an utter masochism IMHO...

A_Person

17 May 2021, 16:05

Yep. I am young. Only 13, as a matter of fact. My understanding based on your replies is that ball mice are sort of like the mechanical keyboards of mice. They used to be popular, but then manufacturers began to make optical mice for whatever reason, and then the public sort of just forgot about the ball mice. Correct me if I'm wrong.

A_Person

17 May 2021, 16:06

And I think I know what they are. They are a mouse with a ball on the bottom instead of the light(the word "optical "obviously has something to do with light) that is used to track the cursor.

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Bjerrk

17 May 2021, 17:54

A_Person wrote:
17 May 2021, 16:05
Yep. I am young. Only 13, as a matter of fact. My understanding based on your replies is that ball mice are sort of like the mechanical keyboards of mice. They used to be popular, but then manufacturers began to make optical mice for whatever reason, and then the public sort of just forgot about the ball mice. Correct me if I'm wrong.
That's more or less true. There is one important difference, though: while rubber domes were a cost-cutting measure, and in many ways inferior to "mechanical" keyboards, ball mice weren't all that great, and most would agree that optical mice are simply superior.

A_Person

17 May 2021, 18:37

makes sense

Archie

17 May 2021, 19:06

A_Person wrote:
17 May 2021, 03:32
what is a rollerball mice in the first place? Are they those mice that also have a trackball built into them or they just a trackball? Or something completely different.
Well, "rollerball mice" is a generic jargonism, sometimes used to describe either ball mouse or trackball, as both of them have a ball that rolls. Mice with embedded trackball existed as well, but aren't common thing. To make things more funny, several manufacturers use word "mouse" to describe a trackball...

A_Person

17 May 2021, 20:29

Yeah I have always been confused with manufacturers and people using trackball/ball/mouse/rollerball, and other words like that interchangeably. To be honest, I actually did know what a ball mouse was, it just didn't come to mind specifically for that reason. Because I was so used to people using different words for trackballs and mice that I really didn't know which one OP and the others were talking about.

Archie

17 May 2021, 21:20

Yes, the terminology is old problem, as usually. One more warning: if you'll ever encounter word "RollerMouse" - please be aware that it's an official product name (even capitalization is identical) of totally unrelated pointing devices from different manufacturers, and neither of them is a mouse! :D

A_Person

17 May 2021, 21:49

Thanks for the warning!

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TNT

18 May 2021, 20:59

raoulduke-esq wrote:
14 May 2021, 16:24
I break out a M0100 when I'm using my M0110 just for fun.
I've heard those are rather shitty, is that true?

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raoulduke-esq

18 May 2021, 21:05

TNT wrote:
18 May 2021, 20:59
raoulduke-esq wrote:
14 May 2021, 16:24
I break out a M0100 when I'm using my M0110 just for fun.
I've heard those are rather shitty, is that true?
Absolutely. Native "resolution" is terrible and having only a single button and no scroll wheel is awkward. It's a lot better with Steermouse to change the acceleration and speed of overall movement so you don't have to flail your arm 900 times to get across a single 32" monitor. I just break it out for the look and the feels but typically keep my Magic Trackpad 2 close by.

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TNT

18 May 2021, 21:39

Oh, I was more referring to general built quality and so on. As I'm looking for one to convert, I've searched around a bit and heard someone talk about how they were kinda flimsy. How's the quality compared to those ADB ones with the single button, so those. Because the M0100 ones are so much more expensive :?

Archie

18 May 2021, 21:46

TNT wrote:
18 May 2021, 21:39
those ADB ones with the single button, so those.
Mmm... My very first Mac mouse! Oh yes, those were the days... ;)

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raoulduke-esq

18 May 2021, 22:32

TNT wrote:
18 May 2021, 21:39
Oh, I was more referring to general built quality and so on. As I'm looking for one to convert, I've searched around a bit and heard someone talk about how they were kinda flimsy. How's the quality compared to those ADB ones with the single button, so those. Because the M0100 ones are so much more expensive :?
Ah - ok. I don't find the M0100 to be flimsy. I think it's built very much like the M0110 - thick ABS. Mine is converted with a Drakware. I have the other one as well and connect it through a keyboard when using it. I think the perceived higher build quality on the smaller ADB mouse comes from the fact that the ADB has a larger/heavier ball, so it makes the whole thing seem more substantial. Sans ball, both are really light.

If you're going to rip the guts out and go optical or something the big one gives you more room to play and you could add weight more easily.

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TNT

18 May 2021, 22:39

Ok, that's good to know. I'll keep on hunting then, hope I find one soon that doesn't cost me a kidney.

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raoulduke-esq

18 May 2021, 23:02

TNT wrote:
18 May 2021, 22:39
Ok, that's good to know. I'll keep on hunting then, hope I find one soon that doesn't cost me a kidney.
It took me about a year of waiting to snag one. No way am I paying the $100 people seem to think that thing is worth.

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TNT

19 May 2021, 11:43

raoulduke-esq wrote:
18 May 2021, 23:02

It took me about a year of waiting to snag one. No way am I paying the $100 people seem to think that thing is worth.
Exactly!

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robo

28 May 2021, 16:05

There's a reason there are multiple busy fan communities on the web around vintage keyboards, and not around vintage mice.

Maybe it's because computer keyboards were already a mature technology by the time personal computers started to appear in the 70s, whereas mice were not manufactured at scale until the mid-80s, but basically there are no advantages of a ball mouse over a modern optical mouse. It's simply a cruder, worse way to track movement.

Rayndalf

29 May 2021, 12:56

I like old mice. I replaced the ball in a Logitech M-S43 with a 3360 a while ago, the wiring was filthy but it mostly worked until my stupid scroll wheel solution broke again.

I prefer old mice in a lot of ways. Easy to take apart (often only one screw, not hidden under feet), durable (no rubber coating to wear down) and light (once the ball is gone it's very light, and without the honeycomb holes that many new light mice have).

They also compliment old keyboards very well, go figure.

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