CAD Managers

Reply
*Allen Jessup
Message 31 of 54 (189 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 10:40 AM in reply to: *Howard K
Yes! Left handed aliases are great. Matchprop = QQ. Why. Because the M is on
the right side of the keyboard.

I'll stick with my Microsoft Trackball Explored. But that's just personal
preference. It too has very customizable software.

As far as hand movement. My thumb moves up and down to cover the pick,
programmed (F8) button and the scroll wheel. My pointer and middle finger
roll the ball. I can cover all of my 20" monitor with a simple flex. To get
to my second monitor I just "throw" the cursor over to the next screen.

All the movements are precise and the software has a pointer precision
enhancement. So the slower you move the ball the less the pointer moves.
Move the ball quickly and the pointer accelerates.

If you're talking bout the Logitech Trackman Marble FX. I started out with
one of those. But it doesn't have a scroll wheel. So you have to waste one
of the buttons to use the ball to scroll or zoom. Otherwise I liked it and
still have it as a backup. The ball on the MS TB Explorer is about the same
size. No access from the side. that's where they put the scroll wheel. But I
prefer to have the wheel. Goes for about the same $ on ebay. Another one
they should bring back.

Allen

wrote in message news:5442473@discussion.autodesk.com...
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.
Distinguished Contributor
JNieman
Posts: 1,744
Registered: ‎07-18-2006
Message 32 of 54 (189 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 11:21 AM in reply to: *Howard K
Maybe I have big hands, but I can hit "MA" without looking just as gast as I can hit "ZA", or as fast as "RE"

I use 'most' of the default aliases, some programmed mouse buttons, and VERY few buttons (for rare stuff like SW Iso view etc)
*Allen Jessup
Message 33 of 54 (189 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 11:39 AM in reply to: *Howard K
Different Strokes..... : )

wrote in message news:5442669@discussion.autodesk.com...
Maybe I have big hands, but I can hit "MA" without looking just as gast as I
can hit "ZA", or as fast as "RE"

I use 'most' of the default aliases, some programmed mouse buttons, and VERY
few buttons (for rare stuff like SW Iso view etc)
Distinguished Contributor
JNieman
Posts: 1,744
Registered: ‎07-18-2006
Message 34 of 54 (189 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 12:19 PM in reply to: *Howard K
heh... this is a side note but the engineer for the project I am working on came and sat at my desk to sign some drawings for me, and he was switching something around that he decided to do different, and when he grabbed my mouse it was shooting all over the place like a guy's first... well... never mind.

I remember using his computer, and you gotta move the mouse like 8 feet to get across his 1024X768 15" screen... it's nuts... then he gets to mine that goes across the 1920X1200 widescreen in 1.5" ( i just checked)... it's nuts.
*Lance W.
Message 35 of 54 (189 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 12:54 PM in reply to: *Howard K
I used this trackball till it finally died. Have a MX laser mouse now. I
really miss the trackball. Yeah a trackball takes a little getting used
to but I don't notice a difference in speed between it and the mouse.

Lance

Allen Jessup wrote:
> 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 thum b 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
>
*Allen Jessup
Message 36 of 54 (189 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 01:34 PM in reply to: *Howard K
One thing I'd take in to account for speed is all the times I'd hit the end
of the mouse cord that somehow would always get tangled with everything
else. Then I'd have to tug and swear until I got some slack. That would use
up time as well as bread my concentration. Even with a cordless mouse you
run out of desktop and have to pick it up to reenter it.

Allen

"Lance W." wrote in message
news:5442804@discussion.autodesk.com...
I used this trackball till it finally died. Have a MX laser mouse now. I
really miss the trackball. Yeah a trackball takes a little getting used
to but I don't notice a difference in speed between it and the mouse.

Lance
*Allen Jessup
Message 37 of 54 (189 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 01:37 PM in reply to: *Howard K
Yup. Just Nuts! Yup. I couldn't agree more.

wrote in message news:5442750@discussion.autodesk.com...
heh... this is a side note but the engineer for the project I am working on
came and sat at my desk to sign some drawings for me, and he was switching
something around that he decided to do different, and when he grabbed my
mouse it was shooting all over the place like a guy's first... well... never
mind.

I remember using his computer, and you gotta move the mouse like 8 feet to
get across his 1024X768 15" screen... it's nuts... then he gets to mine that
goes across the 1920X1200 widescreen in 1.5" ( i just checked)... it's nuts.
*James Maeding
Message 38 of 54 (189 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 02:24 PM in reply to: *Howard K
no kidding, its amazing how my daughter can talk at the same time as me, then tell me I'm wrong and that she already
knew it anyway! When I ask my wife "if I can finish" when interrupted, she just says "Why?"

I think I'm more whipped than I think.

Jerry G
|>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.
James Maeding
Civil Engineer and Programmer
jmaeding - athunsaker - com
*James Maeding
Message 39 of 54 (189 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-05-2007 03:06 PM in reply to: *Howard K
that key-in subject is funny, I also double up on keys on the left side.
Just for fun, do you have any letter keys that are not commands?
I don't have anything for Y, yet I have things for Z, ZZ, and ZZZ...

One cool thing I set up is key-ins for Line and Text layers.
You type T5 and it makes layer Text05, set to color blue.
T88 gives Text88 set to color 88 and so on.

Here is the code to do stuff like that, I put this in my acaddoc.lsp.
These functions set up the T, J, L, and C commands.
You run them by typing thr number after the letter, like J8 or C233
The T, L, and J set up text, junk, and line layers, and the C hardcodes to the color.

So C5 would hardcode whatever picked to color 5, pretty slick eh?
I know the caps are ugly buy I do lisp in caps...

;FUNCTION TO DEFINE MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS
(DEFUN DEFINE-FUNS (FUN-LIST / ITEM)
;DEFINE FUNCTIONS
(FOREACH ITEM FUN-LIST
(EVAL (READ (STRCAT "(DEFUN C:"
(CAR ITEM)
" () "
(CADR ITEM)
"(PRINC))"
)
)
)
)
)

;HARDCODE COLORS
(DEFUN DO-COLOR-HDCODE ( / INDEX FUN-LIST)
(SETQ INDEX 1)
(REPEAT 255
(SETQ FUN-LIST
(CONS (LIST (STRCAT "C" (ITOA INDEX))
(STRCAT "(princ \"\nchange color " (ITOA INDEX) " :\")"
"(setq obj (ssget))"
"(command \".change\" obj \"\" \"p\" \"color\" \"" (ITOA INDEX) "\" \"\")"
)
)
FUN-LIST
)
)
(SETQ INDEX (+ 1 INDEX))
)
(DEFINE-FUNS FUN-LIST)
(PRINC)
)

;CREATE TEXT LAYERS, T1, T2....
(DEFUN DO-TEXT-LAYERS ( / NUM INDEX FUN-LIST)
(SETQ INDEX 1)
(REPEAT 255
(COND
((< INDEX 10)(SETQ NUM (STRCAT "0" (ITOA INDEX))))
((>= INDEX 10)(SETQ NUM (ITOA INDEX)))
)
(SETQ FUN-LIST
(CONS (LIST (STRCAT "T" (ITOA INDEX))
(STRCAT "(princ \"\nSet or create layer Text" NUM "\")"
"(SET-LAYER-TO-P \"" (STRCAT "Text" NUM) "\" \"" (ITOA INDEX) "\" \"CONTINUOUS\")"
)
)
FUN-LIST
)
)
(SETQ INDEX (+ 1 INDEX))
)
(DEFINE-FUNS FUN-LIST)
(PRINC)
)

;CREATE LINE LAYERS L1, L2....
(DEFUN DO-LINE-LAYERS ( / NUM INDEX FUN-LIST)
(SETQ INDEX 1)
(REPEAT 255
(COND
((< INDEX 10)(SETQ NUM (STRCAT "0" (ITOA INDEX))))
((>= INDEX 10)(SETQ NUM (ITOA INDEX)))
)
(SETQ FUN-LIST
(CONS (LIST (STRCAT "L" (ITOA INDEX))
(STRCAT "(princ \"\nSet or create layer Line" NUM "\")"
"(SET-LAYER-TO-P \"" (STRCAT "Line" NUM) "\" \"" (ITOA INDEX) "\" \"CONTINUOUS\")"
)
)
FUN-LIST
)
)
(SETQ INDEX (+ 1 INDEX))
)
(DEFINE-FUNS FUN-LIST)
(PRINC)
)

;CREATE JUNK LAYERS J1, J2....
(DEFUN DO-JUNK-LAYERS ( / NUM INDEX FUN-LIST)
(SETQ INDEX 1)
(REPEAT 255
(COND
((< INDEX 10)(SETQ NUM (STRCAT "0" (ITOA INDEX))))
((>= INDEX 10)(SETQ NUM (ITOA INDEX)))
)
(SETQ FUN-LIST
(CONS (LIST (STRCAT "J" (ITOA INDEX))
(STRCAT "(princ \"\nSet or create layer Junk" NUM "\")"
"(SET-LAYER-TO-P \"" (STRCAT "Junk" NUM) "\" \"" (ITOA INDEX) "\" \"CONTINUOUS\")"
)
)
FUN-LIST
)
)
(SETQ INDEX (+ 1 INDEX))
)
(DEFINE-FUNS FUN-LIST)
(PRINC)
)

;------SET-LAYPROP-TO.LSP------
;CREATES LAYER WITH PROPS IF IT DOES NOT EXIST

;SUPPLY:
;REQ-LAYER LAYER TO SET TO
;REQ-COLOR COLOR
;REQ-LTYPE LINETYPE
;RETURN:
;NOTHING

(DEFUN SET-LAYER-TO-P (REQ-LAYER REQ-COLOR REQ-LTYPE
/ CUR-LAYER)
(IF (= REQ-LAYER "CURRENT")
(PROGN
(SETQ CUR-LAYER (GETVAR "CLAYER"))
(COMMAND "-LAYER" "ON" CUR-LAYER "SET" CUR-LAYER "")
)
(PROGN
(IF (TBLSEARCH "LAYER" REQ-LAYER) ;CHECK IF IT EXISTS
(COMMAND "-LAYER" "ON" REQ-LAYER "THAW" REQ-LAYER "SET" REQ-LAYER "")
(COMMAND "-LAYER" "MAKE" REQ-LAYER "COLOR" REQ-COLOR "" "LTYPE" REQ-LTYPE REQ-LAYER "") ;ELSE
)
)
)
(PRINC)
)

;RUN THE MULTIPLE FUNCTION DEFINERS TO SET THINGS UP
(DO-COLOR-HDCODE)
(DO-LINE-LAYERS)
(DO-TEXT-LAYERS)
(DO-JUNK-LAYERS)


Josh Nieman <>
|>Maybe I have big hands, but I can hit "MA" without looking just as gast as I can hit "ZA", or as fast as "RE"
|>
|>I use 'most' of the default aliases, some programmed mouse buttons, and VERY few buttons (for rare stuff like SW Iso view etc)
James Maeding
Civil Engineer and Programmer
jmaeding - athunsaker - com
Distinguished Contributor
jseefcoot
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎08-10-2006
Message 40 of 54 (189 Views)

Re: Track ball vs. Mouse

01-08-2007 05:27 AM in reply to: *Howard K
Sweet! I like that, because the way our standards are set up those aliases will fit in nicely. (I'm guessing you have no problems with us using that code, since you posted it. . . .)

I do like to keep all of my aliases on the left side of the keyboard, and I frequently double and triple up on keys to make that possible. I could hit MP for match properties, and do it pretty fast, but WW is a little faster, and the chance of missing is much less. I try to keep similar commands on the same key, though -- for me, V is line, VV is polyline, VVV is polyline edit; W is properties, WW is Match Properties, etc. Makes it easier to remember too.

I use almost every key that is available to my left hand; if a key was once occupied by a default command that I never use, I redefine it in my macros. Anyting to keep my left hand in one spot. If possible, I try to associate the key with the command in some way, to keep the aliases easy to remember. For instance, I rarely need to create blocks, but I frequently break lines at a point, so for me, B is the Break command. One oddity, though, is I invariably type in numbers with my right hand on the numpad. It's pretty much the only time when I'm drafting that I'll remove my hand from the mouse completely.
Announcements
Manufacturing CAD & IT Manager Resource
Additional information for installing, licensing & deploying Inventor, the Product Design Suites and Factory Design Suites.
Need installation help?

Start with some of our most frequented solutions or visit the Installation and Licensing Forum to get help installing your software.