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*Terry Scanlon
Message 21 of 54 (453 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-04-2007 08:58 AM in reply to: *Howard K
Saying you were a soldier does not mean you would have necessarily been
exposed to graphics software. Being a construction worker, one may not see
high end graphics software either. I would imagine the Army utilizes some
technology in their work today, including graphics software.

https://tsc.wes.army.mil/


wrote in message news:5440987@discussion.autodesk.com...
I don't think i would trust any study that was done by the Army that had to
do with graphical input. the Army is not exactly up there with intense
graphics.
not that i am not all for the Army, I am a former soldier. But I have never
seen the Army with any high end graphics software.
Distinguished Contributor
jseefcoot
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎08-10-2006
Message 22 of 54 (453 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-04-2007 11:06 AM in reply to: *Howard K
I use a trackball, not because of wrist pain or any other ergonomic reason, but rather because I wanted more precise control with the mouse.

As has been stated elsewhere in this thread, the input device is nowhere near as important as the operator using it. The trackball I use is a Logitech with the thumb-side ball, and two buttons with a scroll wheel on the other side. I have to keep a regular mouse plugged into my CPU at all times because I am the only person here who drafts with a trackball. But when others come to my station, not even the ten-year veterans can match me for speed when they use the conventional mouse and I use my trackball. Even if they best me when I use a normal mouse (and I'm still pretty quick with one, since I don't have a trackball at home.)

The most important thing about using a trackball is to find the right settings within the mouse itself. I never got the control I sought until I played with the settings. My Logitech came out of the box set up great -- if all I had to do was surf the net. It took a few days of adjusting, playing with the trackball speed and orientation, etc. before I had it the way I wanted it, but it didn't hurt my productivity any while I figured it out. I just started drawing, and whenever the trackball didn't behave the way I wanted it to, I went and fiddled with the settings.

Remember the first time you sat at a computer and tried to move a mouse? I'm willing to bet that it took a little time before your 'aim' got good. It's the same when switching to a trackball. It seems weird just because you've never done it before. If this guy brought it with him, then I would just watch him use it. Make an educated guess about his productivity and go from there. If you have other operators then there will be a good yardstick against which to measure his productivity.
*James Maeding
Message 23 of 54 (453 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-04-2007 04:22 PM in reply to: *Howard K
Dean, what kind of trackball do you have?
I'm a bit surprised because highlighting text and writing code is hard with trackballs. Anytime you have to click and
drag, its hard to roll tha ball and hold on the button at the same time.
What's your experience on that?

Dean Saadallah
|>Been using a trackball since my first one back in 1992.
|>I've been dual-tasking with a Wacom Tablet and Pen for a few
|>years now, depending on application.
|>
|>Only ever use a mouse when I'm on my laptop, and only then
|>because they are small, easy to pack, and come with short
|>cords: hate the laptop pad.
|>
|>--
|>Dean Saadallah
|>Add-on products for LT
|>http://www.pendean.com/lt
James Maeding
Civil Engineer and Programmer
jmaeding - athunsaker - com
*James Maeding
Message 24 of 54 (453 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-04-2007 04:26 PM in reply to: *Howard K
interesting, any comments on your use of the keyboard compared to the 10 year veterans?
Like you said, its the operator that matters so that tells me you know your tools and shortcuts and they don't.
Dang, now I want to try one of these things.
Do most people use the thumb ball types as opposed to the palm ball types?

jseefcoot <>
|>I use a trackball, not because of wrist pain or any other ergonomic reason, but rather because I wanted more precise control with the mouse.
|>
|>As has been stated elsewhere in this thread, the input device is nowhere near as important as the operator using it. The trackball I use is a Logitech with the thumb-side ball, and two buttons with a scroll wheel on the other side. I have to keep a regular mouse plugged into my CPU at all times because I am the only person here who drafts with a trackball. But when others come to my station, not even the ten-year veterans can match me for speed when they use the conventional mouse and I use my trackball. Even if they best me when I use a normal mouse (and I'm still pretty quick with one, since I don't have a trackball at home.)
|>
|>The most important thing about using a trackball is to find the right settings within the mouse itself. I never got the control I sought until I played with the settings. My Logitech came out of the box set up great -- if all I had to do was surf the net. It took a few days of adjusting, playing with the trackball speed and orientation, etc. before I had it the way I wanted it, but it didn't hurt my productivity any while I figured it out. I just started drawing, and whenever the trackball didn't behave the way I wanted it to, I went and fiddled with the settings.
|>
|>Remember the first time you sat at a computer and tried to move a mouse? I'm willing to bet that it took a little time before your 'aim' got good. It's the same when switching to a trackball. It seems weird just because you've never done it before. If this guy brought it with him, then I would just watch him use it. Make an educated guess about his productivity and go from there. If you have other operators then there will be a good yardstick against which to measure his productivity.
James Maeding
Civil Engineer and Programmer
jmaeding - athunsaker - com
*James Maeding
Message 25 of 54 (453 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-04-2007 04:56 PM in reply to: *Howard K
in disguise? have you ever seen me?
Believe me, with two daughters and a (cute) wife, I know what you mean.


Jerry G
|>You must be a woman in disguise if you can talk all day without getting
|>tired.
|>
|>James Maeding wrote:
|>> I am thinking voice control has to enter the equation some day.
|>> As anyone I have met knows, I can talk all day and not get tired...seems like we could incorporate that into the
|>> computer somehow.
|>> I am aware of the current voice solutions but have not tried any, but I hear they don't work well.
|>> Even if I could just have two items "osnap" and "pan" to pull up the osnap menu, or start the realtime pan command (exc
|>> to finish), that would be worth lots of money to me.
|>> Throw in some foot pedals for enter or escape, and I would be a dancing, singing fool on autocad!
|>>
|>> Josh Nieman <>
|>> |>I wish a 3d puck such as those at 3dconexxion, etc were a viable solution for me.
|>> |>
|>> |>two fistin' cad would be awesome, but I would need the keyboard too much. I do not like clicking icons at all... have very few displayed. I'm a keyboard-shortcut lover, as well as starting to get used to the world or programmable-button-mice. I guess I'm just a fingertip user regardless of the tool.
|>> |>
|>> |>I don't see being able to ditch the keyboard though.
|>> James Maeding
|>> Civil Engineer and Programmer
|>> jmaeding - athunsaker - com
James Maeding
Civil Engineer and Programmer
jmaeding - athunsaker - com
*Jerry G
Message 26 of 54 (453 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 05:28 AM in reply to: *Howard K
And have you noticed that talking all day means that they are the ones
doing the talking. Heaven forbid you actually are allowed to finish even
one sentence.

James Maeding wrote:
> in disguise? have you ever seen me?
> Believe me, with two daughters and a (cute) wife, I know what you mean.
>
>
> Jerry G
> |>You must be a woman in disguise if you can talk all day without getting
> |>tired.
*Allen Jessup
Message 27 of 54 (453 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 05:41 AM in reply to: *Howard K

If I might comment. I use the Microsoft Trackball Explorer. Unfortunately
unavailable any more except on ebay.

 

I have no problem highlighting text. This is something I was thinking about
last night. I think one of the most important points in purchasing a trackball
is to get an ergonomic one. The shape of mine puts the buttons naturally under
the fingers. I have the lower left button set for pick. My thumb rests naturally
on it. So if I want to highlight text or click and drag. I just put a
little pressure on my thumb and roll the ball with my pointer and middle
fingers.

 

I look at some of the trackballs, like the square
ones with the ball in the center and the buttons around the ball and wonder how
people use that. Those I would see as difficult to click and drag or pick in a
drawing.

 

With 4 buttons and a scroll wheel I find I'm quite
productive. As I said the lower left is set for pick, the upper left toggles
Ortho (F8), Alt +upper left toggles Osnap (F3), the scroll wheel works like any
other, the upper right is a tight click and the lower right is an enter. Since
these are all programmable they can be set to whatever a user
needs.

 

I have this trackball at both my jobs and at home.
I'm thinking of picking up a few more on ebay as backups. But they're going for
over $100 now. I don't understand why they stopped making these. They bring a
high price now.

 

Allen

 

 

 

Trackball Explorer
src="http://www.microsoft.com/products/info/CatImg/ProdImg/1/22/TE_l.jpg"
border=0>

 

 

"James Maeding" <jmaeding...hunsaker...com@>
wrote in message

face=Arial size=2>news:5441832@discussion.autodesk.com

face=Arial size=2>...
Dean, what kind of
trackball do you have?
I'm a bit surprised because highlighting text and
writing code is hard with trackballs.  Anytime you have to click
and
drag, its hard to roll tha ball and hold on the button at the same
time.
What's your experience on that?

Dean Saadallah <info from
pendean>
|>Been using a trackball since my first one back in
1992.
|>I've been dual-tasking with a Wacom Tablet and Pen for a
few
|>years now, depending on application.
|>
|>Only ever use
a mouse when I'm on my laptop, and only then
|>because they are small,
easy to pack, and come with short
|>cords: hate the laptop
pad.
|>
|>--
|>Dean Saadallah
|>Add-on products for
LT
|>http://www.pendean.com/lt
James Maeding
Civil Engineer and
Programmer
jmaeding - athunsaker - com
*Tony Wheeler
Message 28 of 54 (453 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 07:51 AM in reply to: *Howard K
I have used a Logitech Trackman Marble Thumb Ball for the last 12 years and
would never go back to a mouse. I have one of my guy that i convertted to
useing the same track ball and he loves it
"James Maeding" wrote in message
news:5441835@discussion.autodesk.com...
interesting, any comments on your use of the keyboard compared to the 10
year veterans?
Like you said, its the operator that matters so that tells me you know your
tools and shortcuts and they don't.
Dang, now I want to try one of these things.
Do most people use the thumb ball types as opposed to the palm ball types?

jseefcoot <>
|>I use a trackball, not because of wrist pain or any other ergonomic
reason, but rather because I wanted more precise control with the mouse.
|>
|>As has been stated elsewhere in this thread, the input device is nowhere
near as important as the operator using it. The trackball I use is a
Logitech with the thumb-side ball, and two buttons with a scroll wheel on
the other side. I have to keep a regular mouse plugged into my CPU at all
times because I am the only person here who drafts with a trackball. But
when others come to my station, not even the ten-year veterans can match me
for speed when they use the conventional mouse and I use my trackball. Even
if they best me when I use a normal mouse (and I'm still pretty quick with
one, since I don't have a trackball at home.)
|>
|>The most important thing about using a trackball is to find the right
settings within the mouse itself. I never got the control I sought until I
played with the settings. My Logitech came out of the box set up great -- if
all I had to do was surf the net. It took a few days of adjusting, playing
with the trackball speed and orientation, etc. before I had it the way I
wanted it, but it didn't hurt my productivity any while I figured it out. I
just started drawing, and whenever the trackball didn't behave the way I
wanted it to, I went and fiddled with the settings.
|>
|>Remember the first time you sat at a computer and tried to move a mouse?
I'm willing to bet that it took a little time before your 'aim' got good.
It's the same when switching to a trackball. It seems weird just because
you've never done it before. If this guy brought it with him, then I would
just watch him use it. Make an educated guess about his productivity and go
from there. If you have other operators then there will be a good yardstick
against which to measure his productivity.
James Maeding
Civil Engineer and Programmer
jmaeding - athunsaker - com
Distinguished Contributor
jseefcoot
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎08-10-2006
Message 29 of 54 (453 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 08:57 AM in reply to: *Howard K
These veterans mostly know their stuff -- but the true speed, I think, comes right down to customizations. Mine work better for me than theirs do for them. As far as keyboarding goes, of those who use the keyboard, most accept the ACAD defaults, while I have set up a left-handed macro set; every command is invoked with three keys or less. I essentially draft two handed, RH on the mouse and LH hovering over its 'normal typing position'. All of my macros are keyed off of the left side of the keyboard, in such a way that I do not have to look down at all, and so that all commands are invoked using keys I can reach without moving my left hand. The result is a huge increase in my speed. The only guys who are faster than me around here are the ones who stay up on changes -- it's the "ain't broke so why fix it" crowd who lags the most.

As far as the Microsoft explorer trackball, the Logitech is very similar, and I think it's actually better. The software is very flexible, and it was easy to set up for drafting. It's very comfortable -- I never realized how much I was hurting my hand with all those mouse movements.

Having used other trackballs for other things, I at first found a thumb-based ball to be a little more awkward than a palm ball when drafting. But in the end I like it better, because there is virtually NO hand movement. With a palm ball, you are still moving your hand around, manipulating the ball with your palm so your fingers are ready for the buttons. I found this a little uncomfortable because my tendency was to keep my hand flat, fingers extended until I needed to click a button. This caused some muscle pain in my wrist, the top of my hand and in my fingers. The thumb ball eliminated all of that. Now I only get hand discomfort when typing for long periods.

If you've got the cash to blow, I would look into a discontinued mouse called the Logitech Trackball F/X. Have never used one, but I would buy one sight unseen if I knew it worked and the price was right. It features a trackball that is so big it is accessible from the top AND the side of the mouse, allowing you to control the ball with the tip of your index finger (on top of the mouse) and the tip of your thumb (side of the mouse) at the same time, while still leaving your other fingers free for the mouse buttons. Sadly, this mouse frequently sells on Ebay for around $80-$100 USED. If they would bring it back, unchanged, I would probably pay twice that for a new one.

So, I would not discount a trackball right offhand; I would at least try to inform myself about the various types, and then experiment with one to see if it works for you. It's all in the setup. I am half-convinced that I made such a successful switch because I WANTED to, and that might be the most important thing.
Valued Contributor
k.baxter
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎08-02-2006
Message 30 of 54 (453 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 09:06 AM in reply to: *Howard K
On my home network I have a primary computer in front of me where I do a majority of my drafting, and to the side I have my secondary computer. The secondary computer is controlled by a track ball and the primary by the mouse. I did this because of the lack of desk space available for a second mouse. After using this setup for only a few months I have become just as efficient with the track ball. It just takes time to learn a new skill; though I must say that I would be the first person drafting on a track ball that I have seen.


It’s getting to the point that I have debated purchasing 2 more trackballs (one for work at “work” and one for work at home). I hate the though that perks up around that there is only a single efficient way to do anything. I know several “gamers” that use trackballs exclusively. It’s the same type of motions and accuracy required as drafting. It all comes down to keeping people comfortable and happy. If a trackball dose this then let them run with it.
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