I’ve been having trouble with my right shoulder recently. (Well, OK, by “recently,” I mean for the last twenty years or so. But it’s been getting worse lately.) I’m doing some exercises now, at the suggestion of my doctor, that might help. But I’ve also decided that maybe I’ve got a mouse problem. I currently use an ergonomic mouse, from Contour Design, and it works really well. It’s much more comfortable than any other mouse I’ve used. But I’ve been thinking that maybe I should give my right arm a rest, and try using a trackball with my left hand for a while, and see how that works.
So I bought a Kensington Orbit trackball and started using it today. I’m not having as much trouble with it as I thought I would. I’m not nearly as accurate with it as I am with my Contour mouse (and my right hand), but it’s workable. And I suppose I’ll get better at it if I keep using it. I might switch back to right-handed use at some point too. Maybe I’ll see if I can switch between left and right once a week or once a month, and see if that helps or if it just confuses things.
The Kensington Orbit is a pretty simple trackball, and cost me less than $30. It’s got just the ball, two buttons, and a scroll ring. The scroll ring works well; I think I’d be lost trying to use a pointing device of any kind that didn’t have some sort of scroll function. I miss having a third button though. I’m used to using three-button mice, and I do use the middle button (though mostly just in Firefox). I used Kensington’s software to map it so that when I press both buttons at the same time, that registers as a middle-button press. But pressing both buttons at the same time is a little awkward. Maybe if I decide that I like the trackball, but can’t live without having more than two buttons, I’ll trade it in for a fancier trackball.