Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Of Mice and Keyboards

At home, on my iMac, I use the Apple full size wired keyboard and magic (touch) mouse. (In addition to not having to worry about batteries, the wired keyboard also has USB ports at either end which are much more accessible than the back of the computer.) I have a magic trackpad too, but I don't find I use it much.

At work, on my Windows PC, I wanted a similar keyboard. For a while I used the same Apple keyboard, but it wasn't ideal because it's missing Windows specific keys.

So I switched to the Logitech Wireless Solar keyboard, which has a similar look and feel but with a Windows layout. I've been pretty happy with it. The solar has worked great and it's nice not to have to change batteries. We've ended up with quite a few of these around the office.

Unlike many people, I actually liked it when Apple switched the default direction of mouse scrolling. Partly, I guess, because it was similar to iPhone and iPad.

But I had a hard time switching between one direction of scrolling at home, and another at work. I also quite liked the Apple magic touch mouse, so I bought the Logitech t620 Touch Mouse which is quite similar.

At first, I thought it was pretty good. But after a while it started to drive me crazy. It was way too sensitive and I would end up scrolling all over the place unintentionally. I stuck with it, thinking I'd get used to it, but if anything it got worse after a driver update. I occasionally have the same problem with the Apple mouse, but nowhere near as bad.

I finally got fed up and shopped for a new mouse. (Hopefully someone else in the office will have better luck with it.) I wanted another Logitech one so I could share the same dongle. I could have gone back to a traditional mouse wheel, but I decided to try the Logitech t400 Zone Touch Mouse.

But things are never simple with computers - I couldn't get the reverse scrolling to work. Logitech's Set Point software has a check box for this, but it had no effect. I did the usual incantations of uninstall, reinstall, reboot, etc. but no luck.

When I started searching the web, I remembered that originally I had used a registry hack to switch scrolling direction. Even better, someone had supplied a Powershell command line to do it, rather than manually editing the registry.  (It would be nice if the Windows control panel had a way to change this setting.) But it still didn't work! I ended up uninstalling the Logitech Set Point software. The mouse works fine without it, and now the scrolling works the way I want.

So far I've been pretty happy with this compromise. I occasionally find myself trying to scroll with my finger not on the touch part, but other than that it seems fine. It still has the ability to scroll horizontally, which is occasionally useful, but because the touch sensitive area is limited, I don't find I trigger it accidentally. The smallish size, and rubber sides feel quite comfortable.

Hopefully this combo will keep me happy for a while!

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