Does your Mouse have a Mind of it’s Own?

July 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm Leave a comment

Cats love mice.  And Computer Cats love computer mice.  I have a very nice collection: some are beige, some are black, some have balls and some have lights.  And all of them have nice long tails that plug into computers that my paws can play with.

Sometimes, you find that the mouse you are using isn’t controlling your screen’s cursor properly. You might find the cursor moving strangely, especially when you only want to move it a little bit to delete a word or click on a button.

Several years ago the cause would be due to dirty mouse balls (giggle). The first mice used hard little rubber balls to move the cursor. Over time, dirt would collect from the ball into the rollers inside the mouse, forming what I call “mouse plaque”. This build-up made it hard for the mouse to control your cursor. If you still use one of these mice, you can easily remove the plaque. All of these type of mice have around the ball a plastic ring that holds the ball in place. Just give the ring a quarter-turn counter-clockwise to remove the ball, then use a toothpick or a wooden chopstick to clean the mouse plaque stuck on the rollers (My Human uses actual dental tools to clean mouse plaque!). Shake out all debris from the mouse, reinsert the ball and ring, and your mouse is good as new.

Today’s mice use a bright red light instead of a rubber ball. These “ball-less” mice are known as Optical mice and don’t require the maintenance or the special foam mouse pads like the old mice. But there is one quirk I noticed with “female” (optical) mice that the “male” (ball) mice did not have.  Female mice are very sensitive to the surface you put them on.

The cheap solution for optical mice on wood grain

Most people already know that a table with a glass or a shiny top will prevent an optical mouse from controlling the cursor’s movements. But most people don’t know that wood tables with certain types of grain can affect the mouse’s movements too. Wood tables that have large dark grains make the cursor movements jerky. These kinds of wood patterns are found in the more expensive tables for conference rooms. While impressive looking, these kind of tabletops are lousy when trying to use a mouse in a presentation.

But fear not. A blank sheet of paper makes a nice recyclable mousepad and solves the problem of the jerky mouse.

By following these nifty tricks, your mouse will behave the way it should. And if your mouse still misbehaves…get a cat!

— The Computer Cat




Entry filed under: computer help, grandparents, newbies, school, seniors.

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