April 3, 2008
Hi there. I want to talk to you about ducts.*
Sorry, when I said ducts, I meant mousepads.
As I have a long-standing mouse fetish, you might not be surprised to learn that I also fetishize the humble mousepad, as well. It's all perfectly healthy. Really.
Let's start with the obvious: do you even need a mousepad? It's a fair question. Are you using a traditional mouse? Maybe you're using a trackball, trackpad, trackpoint, or something else with the word "track" in it. If so, then thanks for reading this far. Come back for my next post.
For the rest of us using standard computer mice, consider the following questions:
- Is your mousing surface uneven?
- Does your mousing surface have an inconsistent texture?
- Does your mousing surface interfere with the optical LED or laser sensors in modern mice?
- Are you concerned that your present mousing surface will be damaged or marred from extended mousing?
- Do you struggle to find enough room to move your mouse?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you should probably have a mousepad. The average desktop often does not provide a consistent mousing surface; a well-designed mousepad does. That is its purpose: to stake out a consistent, reliable, and durable mousing surface on your desktop.
Believe me, I'd love to be a minimalist and go without any kind of mousepad, but I always end up needing one. I started wearing a permanent mark in my beloved Ikea Jerker desk with my mousing here at home, for example. I've also found that extended mousing leaves behind an unpleasant-but-cleanable residue, and I'd rather clean the mousepad than my desk.
Now that we've established the need for a mousing surface, it's time to decide exactly what you want:
- a wrist rest?
- raised and thick or low-profile and thin?
- smooth or textured?
- metal, glass, cloth, or plastic?
- small, medium, large, or obscenely large in size?
- square, rectangular, circular, or some other shape?
And that's before we get into issues of color and style.
The world is awash in hundreds of mousing surface choices, and they're all valid. If you consider the above questions, you can narrow it down substantially. I do have two broad recommendations, however.
I'm a big fan of the Razer Exactmat. If you want a relatively large mousepad, this 10.4" x 13" model is one of my favorites. It's built on a low-profile metal base to resist bending, with plastic inserts on each side. It's reversible: one side is "speed" (smooth), the other "control" (textured). It also bundles an optional wrist rest sized to nestle perfectly against the bottom of the pad.
If you're not into the whole noir thing, it also comes in white. And if you don't care for wrist rests, like me, you can pick up the Razer Exactmat mousepad alone.
If you're looking for something more basic, I can also recommend the XTrac series, specifically the hard plastic models. They're credit-card thin, rubber backed, and come in a variety of sizes. I have one literally glued to my desk right now with removable spray adhesive. The extreme thinness makes the XTrac a logical, permanent extension of my Jerker desk.
I don't recommend the cloth branch of the XTrac family tree (or any mousing surface, for that matter), though Dan thought they worked surprisingly well. The hard plastic models I recommend are the Hammer (11" x 17"), Pro HS (8.5" x 11"), and Micro (7" x 8.75").
I am not proposing either the above as the final mousing surface solution. These are two I've found to work for what I want out of a mousing surface. There are plenty of other great mousing surfaces out there. I've heard Scott Hanselman say very nice things about the unusual circular WOW!PAD, for example.
I could also talk about how I lubricate my mice feet and mousepads, but then I'd worry that people might think I've gone too far with my mouse fetish. I don't want to distract. It's my hope that after reading this, you'll be able to tell a well-designed, quality mousing surface from the cheap, floppy things that are mousepads in name only.
* Do your ducts seem old-fashioned? Out of date? Central Services' new duct designs are now available in hundreds of different colors to suit your individual tastes. Hurry now, while stocks last, to your nearest Central Services showroom. Designer colors to suit your demanding tastes.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
Isn't the Exactmat kind of big? I turn up the sensitivity on my mouse very high, and the cursor moves across the screen (1280 pixels) when I move the mouse ~1 cm. 10.4" x 13" seems like overkill.
I've played around with various mice and mousepads. I couldn't stand the Habu since it's a palm mouse, and I'm more a finger control type of guy (you want to do a story, do a story about how mice manufacturers leave out what sort of control their mice are -- the most important thing! -- on the boxes). Using a copperhead right now. I tried out the Razer mousepad and a different soft one, and found that I had the most control just using my table, sans-mousepad.
The main reason for a mousepad these days is 1) Comfort and 2) Providing a reliable mousing surface. Glossy tables and tables with no markings on them can confuse mice - my old roommate's mouse would dance around every time he turned on his desk lamp. So a mousepad is recommended then... but I actually notice better control without the pad on my table, so I just go with that. Less friction, I think.
The wrist rests can help if you keep your palm low while mousing, but for people like me that steer with their fingertips, I never touch the thing, so it just serves to get in the way, and gets knocked around accidentally.
I was right into LAN gaming for a number of years and practically HAD to have a decent mouse pad because the surfaces at the different LAN shops could be horrid. I'm using my Everglide Ricochet for the computer in this room, and a newer Func 30.r (rough) on my main PC.
As far as mice go, I haven't been able to go past the mx518. They don't last as long as they should, but they have all the right buttons, and more importantly, the right weight.
By the by, the 'residue' you refer to I believe to be sweat and hand muck that gets left behind where the heel of your palm touches the pad. I occassionally get a build up in one particular area that slows down the mouse.
Lubricating mice feet? Just buy a set of mouse skates! They were every gamers gatorade.
The mousing surface strategy suggestions are fantastic so far. Keep 'em coming.
@mattman206 http://www.carr-engineering.com/Mousepad.htm is hilarious:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the mousepad contain subliminal messages?
Amazon was CodingHorror'ed again. Let's see how long it takes till those pads are out of stock :)
Great to see that you are a fan of "Brazil" !
My biggest problem with mousepads is that they tend to slide around on my desk. You suggest a non permanent adhesive, but you can also get little non-slide mats which can fit between an object and a table or desk (don't know the brand unfortunately, as mine was a give-away from a pharmaceutical company). One under the mousepad works wonderfully.
I've been using several mice on my current desk for years, without a mouse pad. Never had any tracking issues or damage to the desk. I prefer the freedom.
You've gotta stop using that flimsy IKEA furniture!
Forget the mouse and use the keyboard. I only use the mouse about 10% of the time (mainly when surfing the net). It is worth learning your way around the keyboard, as it saves a lot of time, especially when developing software.
I bought myself an eXactMat a while ago. Decent purchase, fairly pricey though.
I'd say it was worth it.
I use, with great delight, the Razer Mantis mouse pad: http://www.razerzone.com/index.php?main_page=product_infoproducts_id=15
Similar to the Exactmat, it has two sides for speed and control, respectively. It works equally well with analog and optical mice, is easy to clean, and provides little resistance when mousing (if my mouse doesn't go where I want it to go, I have to clean the mouse ball :P).
What I like the most is, that it is rather soft, so that you can rest the wrist on the mousepad, if you don't like wrist rests.
Lubricating the feet of the mouse and the mousepads. Now that's efficient!
Jeff, I searched your blog looking for some thoughts on the keyboard, and while you rightly talk about the proper use of keyboard short-cuts, how about an article on the keyboard itself? For my line of coding and administration, I personally do not use the numeric keypad on the keyboard. Just because I don't use it doesn't mean the keypad is not needed. It does means that I want the option to buy a high quality keyboard without the keypad. Especially since I find that my whole body gets twisted trying to align myself to the left side of the keyboard, and then reach out to the right for my mouse. I have seen some small keyboards such as the Happy Hacker, and others but I don't like the way they cram the keys together. All I want is a normal keyboard layout but sans the numeric keypad.
Some more highly motivated people than myself have taken this into their own hands: http://tlb.org/keyboardchop.html
But you're a man of the 'net, so perhaps you have found such a beast available for purchase in your browsing? If so, please share the wealth!
Huh? Clean your mousepad? I have a hard enough time getting laundry done on the weekends, now I need to wash my mouse pad also?
I'm confused. Was this article about mouses or mousepads. I think it was about mousepads lol.
I've been using a Logitech diNovo (doesn't have a numeric keypad section) for a few years and love it more than any keyboard I've ever used. If you like those semi-laptop type keys, it might be right for you.
KISS - plain old black mousepad. Why? Funky colors and textures seem to trip up the ball or the sensor. And, if you have kids and are using a laptop at the kitchen table and it's made of glass, no optical mouse works on glass.
What's funny is as I look around the office, 99% of my co-workers use the default mouse, default pad, and default layout, and they're all a case of RSI waiting to happen.
Personally, I like the cloth mousepads because they don't collect the gunk that plastic mousepads seem to collect. Remember, kids, you're shedding skin all the time, so having it go somewhere other than the bottom of your mouse is an option. :)
"Do you struggle to find enough room to move your mouse?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you should probably have a mousepad."
Hu ? A mousepad is going to be bigger than my desk ?
My mouse works great right on the desk (ikea). I never saw any wear and tear due to mousing.
Not really thinking ahead when ordering furniture, I soon discovered that a glass desk and optical mouse isn't a good combination. I can, however recommend these: http://www.steelseries.com/int/products/surfaces/ss if you need a excellent, very thin, mousing surface.
About 8 or 9 years ago, I bought an Everglide mouse surface, I guess you'd call it. It's a hard textured plastic thing roughly shaped like a fat crescent (think Batman logo) and about a quarter inch thick with beveled edges. The logo has almost worn off, but it's otherwise still totally functional. It was billed at the time as a super-fast gaming mousepad, designed for the then-relatively-new optical mice. It's easy to clean, and hard to imagine it wearing out anytime soon.
a a href="http://www.ratpadz.com/"ratpadz XT/a will last you for years, I've never had to replace either of mine
they are marketed as gaming pads, but I use them for their longevity
I'm sure main of you here have seen them before, as they are designed buy the guys at [H]
Well, after reading this piece only one thing comes to my mind....Is this some kinda advert for Exactmat and Xtrac mousepads????
Surely we got much simpler better options....
I use laser optical mice and I like using those two layer clear mouse pads where you can insert a paper photo. I dislike company logos and non-changable designs. Here's an example:
The visible layer above has some special mosaic like pattern which helps the optical mice track better, while at the same time lets you see your photo. I play Unreal Tournament series with it with no perceived problems.
Then again I also use a background switcher on my computer with all the icons hidden. And my desk has a clear cover so I can customize yet again. Gotta have _my_ photos showing and stuff.
Although I agree with mousepads - I keep one around for my laptop (I hate touch pads), and I use one with my computer at home. But I don't bother getting anything fancy - just plain old tourist-trash ones with pictures of pirates, paintings, or just various snapshots of scenery work fine with my mouse without any need for high-tech stuff.
And since they're basically cloth with rubber behind them, they're easy to fold up when I'm going around with my laptop.
Thanks Jeff!, there goes another one click purchase, nice thing about your blog, it's like Christmas all year long...
Jeff, I too have a full force mouse fetish and I have tried a several mouse pads most consider overkill. Imagine my delight when I see you are using the same mousepad as I am (validation of overpriced equipment is always good). I have also heard some really good things about the Func Industries mousepads, and they are half the price of the razor.
My favorite "mousepad" was a desk I had at a previous job; the entire surface was covered in a thin rubber mat, and it was great. You never had to worry about "mousing off" the side of the pad, because it went on as long as the desk. Since it was rubber, it worked equally with old school ball mice and the (at the time) new-fangled optical mice. Now, if I could just find a source for that material, I can recreate it on my Jerker....
I gave up on using 'mousepads' a few years ago, I couldn't find a single one - although a 3M precision optical surface mat got closest - that didn't in some way interfere with the optical sensing process, usually it would just be slight jitters when crossing slight colour boundaries, but it was enough to be annoying.
I switched after reading something stating that the best surface for a wireless optical mouse was a *bright* surface, and that paper was ideal, so since then I've been using a sheet of A4 paper taped to the desk - it needs changing every couple of months, but its a quick, cheap and easy procedure.
On top of being a great and fast mouse surface, I also get the benefit of being able to scribble phone numbers and such in the edges of my mouse mat, although that does reduce the lifespan of that particular sheet, obviously.
My ideal mouse pad would come as a calendar. 12 pages, one for each month. Each month you tear off the top page and you get to start over with a fresh, clean surface.
I have used trackballs exclusively since the eighties, but I read the whole article (and comments) anyway.
Jeff oils his mouse feet? %-)
I have a Razer mouse too, but for a mousepad I have a genuine Indian wool woven mousepad. It looks cool, but I suspect Jeff would be appalled. Every now and then a strand of wool catches one of the mouse feet. I think all but one of the foot pads has now been ripped off this way.
I've about come to the conclusion that mousepads are superfluous today. I recently started using a laptop and an accessory mouse at home. I sit in a LazyBoy recliner for most of my general web-surfing (and the occasional game of Civilization). I've used my "invisible" LED notebook mouse on the uneven cloth arm of the recliner chair.
I understand the need for precision mousing if you are playing some new shooter, but for about 99.9999999999% of mousing being done by the total mousing population... I'd say mousepads are not needed anymore.
Sometimes fun to have and talk about... but not necessity.
There seems to be a lot of people that like the thin, hard plastic mouse pads, but I just don't find those comfortable. I've always despised the gel wrist pads because of the way it puts your wrist at a different elevation than the mouse itself. That's why I fell in love with this mouse pad:
Above all else it's comfortable. I've never had any problems with accuracy (I use it for gaming as well as every day use). My razor coppperhead mouse (the blue one in the picture Jeff posted) works great with it.
I have a cheap-o Dell optical mouse that came with my system; it works ok, but not with the mousepad that came with. What works best? A piece of brown cardboard (like the ones that are at the end of an 8X11 pad of notepaper)! Good size, not too think, good traction, and my pointer doesn't jump at all like it does with the pad or the desk. This is one case where lo-tech works best (at least for me).
I have had a Func F30 mousepad for years now, It's a pretty great mousing surface and large area taboot around 11x17.
not too THICK, not think, sorry. :)
I'm a big fan of the SteelSeries QcK+, especially since I'm a laptop user and you can just roll it up and take it with you.
I have created a mobile mouse pad for myself. I found a thin laser mousepad from WalMart (also found here: http://www.handstands.com/retail/mouse-mat/laser-mousepad.php). I bought a piece of finished plywood (3/8 inch thick) and cut it to a shape just larger than the pad and rounded the corners and smothed the edges. The pad just sticks to the surface of the wood (after smoothing the surface by sanding) and I can take it anywhere when I use my laptop. When using it at a desk, it is no thicker than the traditional foam backed mousepad. I can also slip it into my backpack with my laptop without taking up too much space or adding too much weight.
I have a RatPadz GS and an old-skool original RatPad (now brought back as the XT). I bought the original when it first came out...maybe around 2000? And it still works like a champ. Picked up the GS for my laptop a few years ago and it is still going strong as well. No tracking issues here, mouse moves almost effortlessly over the surface and when it gets dirty I just throw it in the dishwasher.
Here at work I have no pad. I'm a Spartan like that. At home, I use an old circular Macromedia Studio 2004 cloth pad that my brother acquired while he was in college.
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the old-school Sun optical mousepads, for retro-'leetness. The ones that were *required* to use the Sun mouse.
Trackman Marble Wheel user here, the greatest pointing device ever made.
Now that we've established the need for a mousing surface
I don't believe you have. I've used no mousepad for about 6 years, spend serious amounts of time using my computer (playing games [pixel-sniping] and otherwise), on an uneven surface (it's a home-made wooden desk,but a random dispersion of the wooden fibres were sanded off. These roughly centimetre-long, millimetre wide and deep ridges are not filled with the laminate), have no mark and do not impede my mouse. One of five mouse feet has come off. There are usually a few cat hairs trapped in my optical sensor.
We have a 'serious' mousepad on the other computer. I've experimented with it and found no difference.
It's my hope that after reading this, you'll be able to tell a well-designed, quality mousing surface from the cheap, floppy things that are mousepads in name only.
You haven't really said anything about the differences - apart from implying that the cheap and floppy ones are worthless. If you spend enough, it must be good? If it's rigid, that's quality?
I've been using one of the glass icemat mousepads for a few years now at home. Excellent for gaming, if you don't mind spending a little more than you probably should for something like a mousepad. But computing as a hobby is not for the faint of wallet...
In my workplace I have a large array of different coloured cardboard sheets at my disposal. After some experimentation I found that a piece of red cardboard seems to work well (for my optical mouse), and I have been using that as my mousepad for many months. The best bit is that when it gets tatty or marked, I can simply replace it with another sheet. Not a bad price either at around 2.00 for 250 sheets/mats.
Also, when you get bored you can make half decent origami with it.
I still think that mousepad are useless (--not a troll), but I liked the idea of a "persian rug mousepad" :
I got a free novelty mousepad in a case of beer and it was one of those "look-at-it-this-way-you-see-a-picture,-look-at-it-another-way-you-see-a-different-picture" things. Let's just say it didn't exactly work with an optical mouse. Marketing.
I use the Wow!Pad. Cheap and replaceable, which is good, because it's also kinda flimsy and bendable.
Actually, I'm not really vouching for it, I think I need something new.
This was one of my favorite blogs, then you whipped out Brazil, and now this IS my favorite blog.
I have a couple of unique mousepad points to add.
Forst. a few years back my right hand developed a quarter-sized numb spot at the lower center of the palm. When it didn't go away, I went to see a specialist. They x-rayed my wrist, didn't see anything obvious. The Dr asked me if there was anything that pressed on my right wrist. After thinking, I realized that my mouse pad's wrist pad did exactly that. He told me to stop using it. Within two days after stopping, the numbness was gone.
At that point I stopped using a mouse pad altogether at home. After several months, I noticed that the mouse's laser was bleaching the finish of my desk quite badly. So, I now use a very thin, cheap mouse pad just to preserve the finish of my desk. Otherwise, the desk surface itself was superior and did not limit my movment like the mouse pad does when you go off the edge.
I thought I was the only one who oiled his mouse feet! Ah, I feel normal again! P.S. - sewing machine oil works the best... it's really 'light' and not greasy. If you have a cheap desk like I do, feel free to rub it in to the wood directly; you'll be AMAZED at how your mouse glides. Also, it usually lasts for about 6 months.
When I'm somewhere else on the laptop, I find a sheet of colored paper does the trick, no reflectivity and the optical mouse picks up the hue better then white to track with.
I don't understand, what was the Berlin Intro reference for?
I have been using a left-handed keyboard for years. I use the mouse right next to the keyboard on a 3M mousing surface and use the numeric keypad / arrows with my left hand. Works great and saves on the shoulder blade pain!
The persian rug mousepad, "Exclusive to computergear.com" (not!) is one of the line of "mouse rugs". I've had one for years, and I love it. Back when I had a mechanical mouse, it helped to keep the mouse clean. Now that I have an optical mouse it provides a consistent surface that has just enough friction for me to move the mouse smoothly. The plastic laminate that is my desk surface (at work) is too slippery for my taste.
Mouse rugs: http://mouserug.stores.yahoo.net/
My collegue is using steelseries products
From what I can tell, these are top-quality pads.
I use a trackball at the office. I do have a mouse connected for the occasions when a co-worker needs to use my machine... but the desk is my mousing surface.
At home, on the other hand, I have an OLD Everglide pad. They no longer offer the pad I have. Instead, they now offer various mats: http://everglide.com/
I also have a gel wrist rest that came free with an old pad. It's lasted for years and is very comfortable. It was just some off-brand package I picked up at a gaming store on sale.
Sadly, I may need to look into a new mousing surface soon. My old Everglide pad, which is a large slab of textured plastic, is being worn smooth to the point where the mouse sometimes misses movement.
My only requirement is that my mouse surface be low enough. It hurts my wrist to reach up to the mouse, so I use an extra-large keyboard tray and set the height so it's right on top of my legs. The surface is sort of pebbly so I use a smooth mouse pad, but other than that I have no preference.
For a long time, I used a Mighty Mouse with a random Dell mousepad.
It would occasionally randomly jump to the upper-right corner of the screen, and other people online also reported this. I suspected the strange hexagonal pattern on the pad was, in some obscure condition, confusing the heck out of the mouse.
So I realized I had an old Sun optical mouse pad, from the days when optical mice needed a special magical pad (http://www.sunshack.org/data/sunpix/type4_mouse.jpg) to work, and put that under the mouse instead.
Now it works perfectly at all times. Plus the old Sun pads are super-smooth and really cool lookin'.
(Some people, like my coworkers, swear by gel wristpads. I swear *at* them.)
I've been reading this blog for a while and i'm happy to see i'm not the only one with a Jerker desk ;) And it's true that the wood starts having permanent glitches after a few weeks mousing on it.
Unfortunately, mousepads are ofter really ugly!
The best mousemat is...
...a white A4 envelope, placed in "portait" arrangement.
I wedge the top edge under my second monitor stand (but if you can't do that, tape the edge down carefully). It seems to give a really nice glide to the mouse, doesn't have raised edges to keep brushing your wrist on, and at 10p a pop, is disposable, and so always clean.
I use a $15 optical mouse in combination with the heavily-padded arm of my Lazy Boy, or sometimes just the leg of my jeans.
The SURFACE1030 is the best thing to ever happen to me. I've had it for 6 years now.
ThaNerd, as much as I love the Jerker, calling it "wood" is more than a little generous. Laminate surface, perhaps.. :)
I was so depressed when Ikea discontinued the Jerker. It is such a great computer desk; as far as I can tell it might have been the *perfect* one:
There are some great suggestions for mousepads in the post and the comments; surely one of those works for you?
Brazil is a brilliant movie. Mousepads are useless.
Your point is not lost on me. At some level, mousepads are as useful as ducts in thousands of designer colors. That's the intention of the Brazil reference, if it wasn't entirely clear.
Still, it is quite possible to be stuck with uneven and irregular mousing surfaces, which is where a mouse pad comes in handy.
Or, just take a look at my poor Jerker, with the unsightly wear mark in the desk laminate where my mouse goes. :(
I only use a mousepad when I can't even move my mouse properly!
On a simple wood desk, I don't find it very useful.
On my desktop, I've used several mousepads but didn't like any of them. I prefer free mousing!!
I even have more room for my mouse without the mousepad than with it!
Jonathan Levy, your answers are my answers! I completely agree with you!
Mousepads are really needes if you play even a little.
First I also thought that mousepads are useless, but now when I have a good one im not going back.
I don't have that much experience of different mousepads, but I love my qpad ;).
Brazil is a brilliant movie.
Mousepads are useless.
1) Is your mousing surface uneven?
No. It's a desk. Why would a desk be uneven?
2) Does your mousing surface have an inconsistent texture?
No. It's a desk. Why would a desk have an "inconsistent texture"? What are you talking about?
3) Does your mousing surface interfere with the optical LED or laser sensors in modern mice?
No. Never met one that did. I suppose there are such surfaces, but I've never encountered one.
4) Are you concerned that your present mousing surface will be damaged or marred from extended mousing?
Extended mousing? Damaged or marred? Excuse me? It's a desk! It's pretty durable. You'd need sandpaper or metal to scratch it. What's a mouse or a hand going to do?
5) Do you struggle to find enough room to move your mouse?
Sometimes. I've got a lot of papers on my desk. I push them away with my hand. A mouse pad isn't going to change that.
My "mousing" leaves a residue on the underside of the mouse, and on the top. Hardly anything on the table. This type of dirt can be cleaned up in a few seconds with a damp tissue. I think a laminated desktop is about as easy as it gets to clean. It's not a carpet.
Sorry, but this post sounds like really cheap product placement. Why would I waste $40 on a useless piece of junk? Am I working in a sandbox?
Personally, I believe that mousepads are nothing more than a brilliant marketing scam. If they had not been invented, no-one in their right mind would miss them. They're about as necessary as a hood for the keyboard (so it won't get dirty when you're not using it!), or as vital as vibration-damping padding for LCD monitors (so the Hard Disk rotation won't ruin the pixel alignment!).
It's the type of useless junk whose necessity is suggested solely by the fact of its existance, rather than by a pre-existing need. There's always someone brilliant enough to market crap well enough, that a bunch of suckers will be willing to pay for it.
Just my 2 cents.
Get a wood-based desk. Give it some wood polish about every other month. No mouse pad required.
Brap! Brap! I love the IBM kb that you recommended.
I have to agree with Nikki and Stu Smith. I used to have a mousepad to protect the lamination on the desk and prevent the ball from slipping randomly, but all my mousepads got worn down to a glossy surface very fast. Wrapping the pad in a piece of white paper solved the problem nicely, and I can use the discarded covers for scribbling; I have since switched to an optical mouse, and it works flawlessly.
Totally agree with Nikki, Stu Smith, and Tepsifles: No mousing surface like normal A4 paper.
My optical mice tend to dislike any other surface.
Well, the comments prove it, ther eis no perfect thing for everyone. Thing being mouse, mousepad, desk, keyboard, you name it. Personally, you couldn't pay me enough to use the jerker desk! It looks absolutely dreadful. I do use an Ikea model, though, but a galant.
Avery Dennison Flex View Two pocket folder is perfect for high-def optical mice. The back is black and dark gray pinstripes. The front is good for low-res optical mice because you can drop whatever letter-sized image you want in the front. I cut it in half with scissors and round the corners. It is portable, light, rugged, and slick enough to present no resistance. One folder = two mouse pads.
Hi! I've been using a Gorizont NeiroBel Pad for a 2-2.5 years and like it more than any keyboard I've ever used. If you like those ;), it might be right for you.
I use a barmat as a mousepad. It's very good, and covers the length of my desk surface.
I use a barmat as a mousepad. It's very good, and covers the length of my desk surface.
I use a trackball. No need to move my arm/hand around all day. I can comfortably rest it on my ergonomic trackball and move the ball with my index, middle and ring finger (that were mady by mature to do fine grained movements). And whoever says this is slower than using a mouse has never seen me in action. Actually you can even play 3D shooter that way and you will get very fast and precise at aiming :P
I had my desk custom-built with a fly-out keyboard/mouse tray, which has essentially the same surface as one of those expensive mouse pads, and also a 180 semi-circular gel pack. WAY better than those horizontal gel packs at the front of the mouse pad, which only seem to hurt your wrists more if you're at any kind of an angle.
The trays are actually not that expensive. I think the widest one costs a few hundred - money well-spent if you spend hours at your PC.