Monday, March 26, 2007


Nancy's mom has been struggling to learn the computer. She's intelligent, motivated, but her eye-hand coordination just isn't what it use to be. Mostly, because her eye sight isn't great. In my efforts to teach her to use a computer, I was only slightly worried that she'd have difficulty. Nancy has been able to learn Ubuntu Linux with little problem, so I knew Ubuntu was ready for the public.

The problem Mrs. Wayman was having was with the mouse. I'd made the cursor/arrow very large, so she could see it better, but she was still having difficulty controlling the mouse. And the whole right click/left click thing wasn't helping. I was determined to fix it.

After our Friday night Mexican dinner at El Potro, we went by Office Depot, to look at mice. Or, maybe I should call them computer mouses. Most of them were just fancified versions of a regular mouse...but then I saw the trackball. And, I remembered; Nancy had one from her old mac:
My toy doesn't have a flash, but I make do, as you can tell. Anyway, the trackball mouse sits in the same place. The device itself doesn't move, just the ball. You roll the ball till the cursor is where you want it, the click the right or left side of the device. It's large, so it's much easier to know where to click.

It seems to have worked. Mrs. Wayman reports much easier use of the computer. She was able to get the pointer to go where she wanted, and click the correct button. For people who have struggled with a mouse, or noobies who have difficulty understand just how the mouse is suppose to work, I think I trackball might be a better option. Especially for older people who've never used a computer.

The one in the picture is an older model, and I don't think it's made anymore. Here are two others I saw that looked pretty good:

The Logitech Marble Mouse

The Kensignton Orbit Optical Trackball
I've never used either, so I can't really saw which I'd recommend. If you choose one, look for some reviews online. I'm not making any money on these ads either. Pubic service, CoachDANNY style.

Oh, and in the first picture, I'm trying to upgrade that iMac. It has Xubuntu 6.06.1, and I'm trying to use the Alternate install CD to load Xubuntu 6.10 on it. It's taking a freaking long time! Almost two days now. That's a long time.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I didn't realize that trackballs were such a secret. I've been using them for years. I don't like having to grope around for a mouse.