04 March 2009

Non-mouse mice

Okay, so you have a keyboard and you have a mouse, but neither really seem to be the tools you need for what you do. There are too many clicks, you are moving your pointer too far across the screen. I know how you feel. Actually, until a short time ago I just thought it was something to grin and bear. That is, until I installed my Griffin Powermate.

When I was a kid using an Apple ][ all we had to play with was the keyboard for "real" stuff, and the joystick for games. Graduating to the PC, the keyboard-mouse combo took over and it has pretty much been the way things have been for the last two decades. Then a couple o fyears ago I was given a Powermate for Christmas. It was treated as one of those Christmas presents which you think, oh lovely, I always wanted one, but which actually ends up in the shoebox at the back of the cupboard.

Anyway, I was clearing my stuff out when I chanced upon it and thought, well, now is the time to test it out. The Powermate is a beautiful device: it feels heavy and has a blue LED which pulses organically when it is on. The question is, what does it do? Well, it is a programmable dial and button. So you can program it to do one thing when you press it, another when you dial it in either direction, and another when you do a combination of the two - not actually as easy as it sounds. The function also changes depending on what program you have in focus.

It all sounds like it will liberate you completely, but to be honest it hasn't done all that much for me. I use it extensively in Firefox with the dial to scroll up and down a web page, perfect for Google Reader, and the press dial is good for switching tabs. That, essentially, is that. Your mileage may vary.

I was looking at the Powermate though, and thinking it would have so much more functionality of you could squeeze it or use it as a joystick, which is when I had a look at loads of other gadgets which are not mice, but function as accessory input devices. Never even seen any of these in the flesh let along had a chance to play with them, but they may be something to keep an eye on for the future.


fipa said...

i saw your comment on engaget about the touch flow 3D where u said u have WM 6.5 on your HTC Diamond, and i have one of this and i really want to instal WM6.5! how did u do it? wich rom did u use?

ZSX said...

Hi there, I was using Boygsoft's 6.5 ROMS (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=552162) but have now reverted to Gen.Y's 6.1 ROM with HTC Sense 2.1 as it is much more stable. You can get it here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=521941

Anonymous said...

Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be
ok. I'm asolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

my weblpg ... hacker dragon city

Anonymous said...

I want to to thank you for this good read!!
I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have
you bookmarked to check out new things you post…

Here is my weblog - Houston Air Conditioner Repair Company

Anonymous said...

This is the perfect web site for anyone who really wants to find out about this topic.

You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).
Yoou definitely put a new spin on a subject that has been discussed for decades.
Excellent stuff, just excellent!

my weblog :: trials frontier hack

Anonymous said...

It's fantastic that youu are getting ideas from this post as well aas freom our argument made at this place.

Feel free tto visit my web page - Robocraft Cheats by Omgcheats.com

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later, Google will find all new spam
methods. This will allow you to answer only those calls
that come in on your forwarded toll free number and route other calls to different locations.
Any time you create new content or share new links on your website or blog,
be sure to do so by diversifying all of the link and anchor text you implement, regardless of the
market you represent or the industry you are working