Kensington Orbit trackball

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.


waiting for my iPhone SE

I will hopefully have my new iPhone SE tomorrow.

Figuring out the logistics of getting this phone has been a bit of a task. When I ordered it from Apple, in-store pickup would have been easiest for me, but wasn’t an option. Next-day shipping was free, but they didn’t say which carrier they’d use. It turns out they’re using UPS, which complicates things a bit for me.

There was an option (via Apple) to waive the signature requirement. If I did that, then UPS would probably have left the phone for me today, and I’d probably have it. But there would have been a non-trivial chance that someone would have stolen it, and waiving the signature requirement means Apple and UPS take no responsibility for that. So I kept the signature requirement.

Once I got the e-mail with the tracking number, I was hoping I could tell UPS to hold the package at their office in Bound Brook, so I could just pick it up. But you can’t do that with just a tracking #, unless you’re in their “My Choice” program. Which I can’t get into, since they think my address is commercial and not residential. I spent some time on the phone with them last year trying to straighten that out, but didn’t really get anywhere. And I checked last night, and the issue still hasn’t been fixed.

So I had to wait for them to make a delivery attempt and leave an info notice. Which they did today. With the info notice number, I can have them hold the package at their office. So I did that, and I can probably pick it up tomorrow. Of course, the office is only open from 8:30am to 6pm, so if I want to pick it up in the morning, I need to come into work late. And if I want to pick it up after work, I might not make it in time, if traffic is bad. Maybe I’ll go over on my lunch break. (And they’re not open on the weekend, so if I don’t get it tomorrow, I’ll have to wait until Monday.)

It’s kind of funny how many hoops I have to jump through just to get this package. But hopefully it’ll be worth it!

worst gadget of the year?

I see that my new cellphone, the BlackBerry Storm, won the editor’s choice award for “Worst Gadget of the Year” from Engadget. I’m actually starting to get used to it, and I kind of like it. I’ve got nothing against the iPhone 3G, which won “Gadget of the Year”, both editor’s choice and reader’s choice. I’m comfortable with the Storm though. I think I’ve finally got the problems with Missing Sync resolved, though I’m hesitant to say that out loud, since I’m worried I might jinx it.