Screaming Into The Abyss

Free Kensington Orbit Trackball
By Ben Zvan
On September 21, 2006 at 12:35
Product Reviews

I recently started a job where I am required to use a PC at least until I can prove that a Mac can do the job just as well. One of the ergonomic benefits was that I got a Kensington Orbit optical trackball to replace the carpal-tunnel-inducing mouse that came with my workstation. This is the same trackball I use at home on my mac so I have become pretty familiar with it's features. One of them is "scroll with mouse", a feature that allows you to "chord" or press both the left and right buttons at the same time and then use the trackball as a giant scroll wheel. This works great on my Mac at home but I discovered on my first day here that it's quite sluggish and choppy under Windows. I don't honestly know where the problem is and I figured that I'd just deal with it for a while.

A few weeks ago, I decided to take it up with tech support. After being instructed to un/re-install MouseWorks and try again, they determined that my trackball had bad firmware and sent me a new one. Well, you can guess that that didn't fix the problem. I opened a new ticket with Kensington's tech support and was instructed to un-install MouseWorks and then go through and look for a long and specific list of stray files that could be preventing a good re-install, then re-install the software. No luck, most of the stuff they told me to delete wasn't there anyway. Guess what they said. You got it "As the issue is related to the firmware of the mouse so we are replacing it for you. Please note that I have placed an order for a new trackball and you will receive it within 12 to 15 business days."

I for one would like to see how many new trackballs I can get this way, and I encourage anyone else who has had this problem to do the same.

If the third one really doesn't have a firmware problem, I'll be sure to update this post.

Update 10-03-2006: I received my new trackball via FedEx but I haven't bothered to open it yet.

Update 12-20-2007: I replaced my desktop machine with a MacBook Pro. The trackballs work like a charm.

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