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An Exemplary Mouse

20 October 2017

PG just wore out a lovely mouse.

Fortunately, he had a spare so his online life could continue without tears.

Animal cruelty had nothing to do with this. It was the other kind of mouse, the one his hand grasps many times during a day without the conscious intervention of his mind. PG suspects that, over many years of computing, his brain has developed a lobe devoted entirely to sliding his right hand around his desk in precise patterns.

It would be unfair to call PG a mouse connoisseur. He’s not at all snobbish about his mice. French designs and limited edition mice hold no attraction for him.

He is, however, persnickety about his mice. Long ago, he learned he could work faster and longer at a computer if he used something other than the cheapo mouse that arrived in the same box as as a new computer. He is similarly particular about his keyboards.

PG doesn’t regard his high finger and palm standards as moral failings. Collecting Italian sports cars is far more expensive.

For a long time, PG was partial to a couple of different Logitech mice and used each until his palm wore off the silkscreened company logos and they stopped working.

A couple of years ago, PG had a wrist problem that required a wrap. Unfortunately, it was his mouse wrist and the wrap made it difficult to use his mouse.

A family member suggested an ergonomic mouse made by a company called Anker. PG had tried a couple of ergonomic mice in past years and found them both overly expensive and, while comfortable, not terribly good at being mice. Evidently the manufacturers had put all their money into the cases and scrimped on the quality of the inner works.

Back to Anker. Here’s a photo:

Here’s a photo of a hand belonging to an unidentified human holding the mouse:


PG was not instantly adept with this mouse, but his wrist felt better and, over the course of a couple hours, using the mouse became automatic (perhaps his large brain lobe had something to do with that). And the mouse was comfortable. In a few days, the wrap went away but the mouse stayed.

Tweaking photos often requires much more precise mouse control than dealing with documents, so PG used his prior mouse with Photoshop and Lightroom for a few weeks, but the Anker quickly came to dominate his right hand for all purposes.

Did PG mention that this mouse doesn’t cost a lot of money?

PG had looked at ergonomic mice prior to learning about the Anker and typically prices ranged from $75-150 on Amazon. The Anker mouse currently sells for $19.99.

PG keeps a spare mouse as a backup (although this is the first of the Ankers to wear out) plus another in the computer bag he takes on trips, so the demise of his original Anker mouse (with the logo mostly worn off) has not slowed down PG a bit (although he has, of course, been distracted enough to write this post).

Here’s a link to PG’s favorite mouse of all time.

Your carpals and metacarpals will thank you.

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16 Comments to “An Exemplary Mouse”

  1. If you are in the market for a more typical mouse, may I recommend the TeckNet Classic. I find the enhanced sensitivity reduces strain. I have multiples of this model.

  2. That is either a space-age mouse, or the gear shift from an expensive sports car. I can’t use a mouse. I have a weird thing happen — my hand will suddenly jump and the cursor is lost. Takes me forever to get things back under control. I can use a roller ball with more control, but for me the touch pad is the best invention for navigating.

    • I use a Logictech Trackman roller ball mouse, and have for years. I’ve “broken” a couple, dropping the ball on something that dented it while cleaning, so always keep a backup handy.

      Love them. No wrist strain using them, feels natural to use.

  3. I switched to one of these a few months ago when I noticed some chronic wrist stain where my hand twisted onto the regular mouse. It took a few days of getting used to, but now my wrist feels better. It keeps your arm and wrist in a more natural position.

  4. Oooh, shiny. For over a decade I’ve used a Logitech Trackman marble mouse, which is the same price. But since the cord is fraying I’ve been wondering what advances there have been in ergo-mouse technology. The Logitech doesn’t quite track with the way I hold my wrist, especially since I stand at my desk.

    I also once saw a guy use a Wacom tablet as a mouse. Looked efficient, but seems too expensive.

    • Another Logitech Trackman thumb mouse man here. Unfortunately, Logitech quit making the USB wired Trackman, so I’ve been searching for alternatives.

      My first attempt was a central trackball mouse by Kensington, but I discovered the scroll wheel at the base of the mouse was both over-sensitive and easy to move accidentally.

      I finally settled on a trackball by Perixx, and it’s worked pretty well for the last year.

      • I switched to a wireless Logitech trackball several years ago (because, as you note, they stopped making the wired version — very annoying).

        It works fine other than having to change the battery once in a while. The battery life is decent, though — several months under heavy use.

        The one I have is an M570. The build quality and ruggedness are comparable to the classic wired model, and I didn’t have to develop a new set of muscle memories. 🙂

  5. My masseuse was describing something like this to me recently. She was telling how well it works for aligning the muscles properly to avoid many of the musculoskeletal issues many of her clients have from doing desk work all day.

    • It definitely helps. Try one though, to be sure your hands are big enough. I had one at one, and when the stars aligned, it was great, but then I’d have to right click or move something and fitting my fingers all the way around was hard. Wound up straining other bits of my hand trying to keep hold of the thing.

  6. Well, bought one when I saw you mention it some time back. Tried it for a month and had to switch back. Sorry!

  7. I use a Logitech gaming mouse. It’s fairly expensive, but very comfortable. Another option is an Intuos ‘pen’, although that may be more useful for graphics than ordinary mice manoeuvres. 🙂

    p.s. if wrist/shoulder strain is an issue, you might look at your desk posture. You should be sitting high enough that your mouse arm forms close to a right angle at the elbow. This means the wrist is almost completely horizontal to the desk. Think how your piano teacher taught you to hold your write/arm. Same principle.

  8. Same mouse here! After going cray-cray to finish a series and sitting at the computer for 16 hours a day as a result, I got a massive mouse elbow thing. Once that happened, I changed to this one and never looked back.

  9. I bought this mouse because of my wrist issues, but I could never get used to it. I finally figured out that it was because my hands are on the small side. When I bought my new iMac I started using the MagicMouse and to my surprise my wrist pain went away. I think it’s because you don’t use a roller ball as much as just your finger movements.

    If they come out with a smaller sized Anker mouse I’ll try it again.

  10. I bought one of these after reading your post, PG. However, the scroll wheel won’t work at all. I am wondering if I am missing some sort of magic trick or did I get a defunct product. On the positive side, the way my hand rests on it does alleviate my hand/wrist pain. But I need a scroll wheel. 🙁

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