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  #1  
Old 10-23-2007, 05:46 PM
michael c michael c is offline
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Default Best trackball?

Finished up an intense 3 month job and I have issues with my thumb aching. I've heard trackballs can alleviate some of these issues. I have no experience with trackballs. What do you recommend? (I do have a Pro Control)

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2007, 07:18 PM
Studio Crash Studio Crash is offline
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Default Re: Best trackball?

Kensington Expert Mouse.

http://us.kensington.com/html/2200.html

This is the best trackball in my opinion. It rolls very smooth, it's highly programable, it does horizontal scrolling if you want. I love the scroll ring. I used to use this all the time until Apple came out with the Mighty Mouse. It's symmetrical, so lefties can use it comfortably. The tracking is very natural and the ball has enough weight to easily roll to the opposite ends of my dual 20" LCD screens.

Happy shopping.
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2007, 10:08 PM
Iamrod Iamrod is offline
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Default Re: Best trackball?

I second Studio Crash's opinion - I have 2 of them - they are great!!!
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2007, 10:30 PM
Shawn Simpson Shawn Simpson is offline
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Default Re: Best trackball?

I'll throw in a vote for the Expert Mouse too. The newest one with the optical sensor is just great. I also have a Wacom tablet that I use sometimes. I haven't fallen in love with it, but I do dig it. I've heard of people with various aches and pains from repetitive stress saying the pen/tablet system really helps.
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2007, 10:18 AM
Willard Willard is offline
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Default Re: Best trackball?

Expert Mouse gets my vote too.

But, if you are getting the aches and pains and have the space to add a Wacom, it really is the only cure I found. I had major problems with aching thumb, losing feeling in the pinkie and aches in the arm after too many years of html/photoshop etc compunded by heavy Pro Tools. All pains have pretty much gone within the space of a year, although they come back very quickly when I use the mouse exclusively. I can work longer and faster with the Wacom. I still use the mouse, as the two together are a great combination. The footprint of the Wacom (6x11) is 16"x10" and not everyone has that space. But for $350 it could save you a couple of grand in physical therapy bills down the road. Unlike Shawn, I have fallen in love with it. I couldn't work without it now.

My threepence worth.

Kevin
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2007, 11:43 AM
mrmxed mrmxed is offline
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Default Re: Best trackball?

Amen to the Kensington Trackball! However, even with the trackball I had an aching thumb joint after a nonstop 36-hour editing session. This was fixed with one of those neoprene & velcro wrist protectors from the local drug store. It's sort of like a dedicated Ace bandage with a built-in hole to stick your thumb through. Takes a little getting used to at first, but terrific for long sessions.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2007, 01:52 PM
Dutchmuzik Dutchmuzik is offline
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Default Re: Best trackball?

Expert Mouse here, love it.
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2007, 02:01 PM
pfo pfo is offline
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Default Re: Best trackball?

I know I'm very much the exception to the rule here...

I never had any issues with pain in my "mousing" hand until I switched TO the Kensington Expert Mouse trackball. It's an excellent trackball to be sure -- when it's clean, it glides so smoothly you just want to spin it because it feels so nice. But, it hurts my wrist.

I see guys using these everywhere I look though, so clearly it's just me. I even brought it back out and gave it another chance last week, but my wrist was hurting me after a day with it.

I think the issue has everything to do with the height of my desk. The included wristpad helps a bit, but not enough.

I'm back to a mouse for now, waiting for something better to come along...
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2007, 04:13 AM
flommer flommer is offline
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Default Re: Best trackball?

Figured I'd add a couple thoughts here:

I have a Turbo Mouse, which is the precursor to the expert mouse and it's great. When it dies, I will get an Expert mouse to replace it.. Kensington has also won my eternal loyalty because of their customer service.. At one point I damaged one of the bearings while trying to clean it out. I contacted their service and told them explicitly that I screwed it up and I just wanted to buy a replacement part, if possible. They shipped me a brand new one, no questions asked. A similar incident at my day job ( not my fault this time, but someone else at work broke something inside a different trackball they make) got the same reaction.. New box in the mail..

Secondly, you might try different mouse that is more sensitive. I use a razer copperhead at home (mostly because of WOW) and it is very fast and precise. It is also a little wide, but I've grown to prefer that compared to other mice I have to use. Because of it's high speed, very little wrist/arm motion is required. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do all other slow mice seem tedious.

Your position at the desk can make a big difference, too. You may not have much flexibility in your layout, but if your keyboard/mouse are on top of the desk, try a keyboard tray and put the mouse down there too. I've noticed that the fastest typists at work are the ones who use a tray, but that could just be a coincidence...... It does seem to promote a nice posture with a straight back, as opposed to slouching which I tend to do.. I'd think that switching between different devices regularly (keep a mouse right next to the trackball) could also help reduce the repetitive stress problems.

Finally, I throw this out there for anybody who is interested:

Controller

This type of device is mostly for CAD and design, but it is advertised as being application aware. I can imagine using the touch ring for scrolling left and right, and programming the buttons on top for edit modes, etc.. I am looking at getting one of these soon...

Don't forget the Contour Shuttle Pro...

Shuttle

And these guys have all kinds of cool interfaces that I'd love to try out...

X Keys

Depending on what specific activities you spend the most time doing, one of these alternative devices could work better for you and reduce your mousing....
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2007, 04:33 AM
mr.armadillo mr.armadillo is offline
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Default Re: Best trackball?

Kensington Expert Mouse Pro. Has 4 buttons plus 6 fully programmable buttons above the scroll wheel (I use those for "bounce to disk", "bounce to quicktime movie", "import audio" and such).

pic
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