GeekNights Monday - Computer Mice

Tonight on GeekNights, we reconsider a topic we talked about back in 2007 and explore the humble computer mouse. In the news, a big chunk of the Internet was down this morning, surveillance capitalism wants to make your life a living hell, and GeekNights endorses Tiffany Cabán for Queens district attorney in the Democratic primary tomorrow. (Go vote on June 25th).

Rym and Emily have started a side-show exploring Disney theatrical animation, live now for GeekNights Patreon Patrons and going public on July 4th!

Things of the Day

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Computer mice in a nutshell:
No right-click = No sale.
No scroll wheel = No sale.
No ball anymore = Good riddance.

Lol I thought the Amazon picture thing was common. They also have GPS tracking you can follow the delivery driver. That’s been here for a while, but I forget that I live near Amazon HQ.

I too use a desk pad for my keyboard and mouse needs for both home and the office. My go to location to get them is this.

I’ll live and die by a trackball. It’s too convenient for use with a laptop so I can lounge anywhere while using a computer.
I have a Microsoft Surface and I’m not a huge fan of using it as a computer replacement (mostly use it for digital drawing or ultra portable gaming, since been replaced by the Switch). All the swiping on the screen, even with a stylus is even more work than a normal mouse, and without the aid of a wrist wrest.

My girlfriend also swears by the trackball and will keep a spare with her again all times when working remotely

Goes on sale for $30 pretty often. Wired. But I use the buttons extensively.

WTF do you use all those fucking buttons for? Why not just put your left hand on the keyboard and use that? How do you even know which button you are pressing in that tiny grid?

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Games, macros, menus. My left hand is on the keyboard. Muscle memory.

I’ve used those when I do MMO gaming. Each button is shaped slightly differently, so you can usually tell by touch where you are.

You’ve never seriously played an MMO. I play Astrologian in FFXIV and my entire number row and entire numpad are taken up with abilities and I still need to click on abilities unbound to keys. Admittedly I’m not a fan of the billion button mouse but the 8 button mouse is super useful.

I’ve played games where there are a lot of abilities before. Descent, Torchlight/Diablo, Mechwarrior, FPSes that have a row of items on the bottom like Hexen, etc. I have a hard time believing that many buttons on the mouse is necessary or beneficial.

Getting to them quickly. This isn’t like weapon switching in a shooter, its needing the ability to go off the hell right now or the tank dies and we wipe. If its right at your thumb it’s that half second faster.

When I play WOW as a druid, I use all of those buttons AND they have shift and control binds.

Control 1-6 on it are for shifting forms.
1 and shift 1 are two different kinds of charge (one interrupts) and they’re onmouseover macros. Also one of those spells is actually 4 different spells depending on form.
2 and shift 2 are my main heal and decurse
3 and shift 3 are ranged damage dot and root
4 and shift 4 are stun and aoe stun
5 is something generic I rarely cast because shift-5 since it’s mapped to numpad isn’t a key
6 and shift 6 are defensive cooldowns
7 and shift 7 are another type of stun/gouge
not remembering some of the next ones
10 and shift-10 are “interface actions” where you’re doing a quest or in a zone with a special action
11 shift 11 and 12 and shift 12 are consumables/potions, gliders? But not the combat potion, that’s G.

None of those are my main line actions where I only use my left hand and for the most part just 1-6 and shift 1-6, and everything is keyed/macro’d out depending on spec and talents.

Some other keys around wasd have some kind of uses as well… trinkets… things that I don’t need to aim or target and need to hand-hold.

Edit: Oh and I have a foot-pedal for coms. Used to use five footpedals when the game was more complicated.

Ok, I don’t blame you or the mouse. I blame bad game design.


I mean, fair is fair.

Old man Scott is afraid of games with a lot of buttons. How did he ever play TIE Fighter?


Oh my Satan I thought I had a lot to keep on top of on XIV. Now I know why every expansion they go hard on simplification and streamlining, they’re sideyeing WoW and trying not to do THAT.

Not with a mouse that has a grid of thumb buttons.

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