Pointing Devices

Modern computers need some sort of pointing device in addition to a keyboard.

For some applications, a touch-sensitive screen may replace both the keyboard and pointing device.

Mouse: cheapest, but also most demanding of a clean flat surface and are most likely to strain your hands. Non-optical mice need constant cleaning, and even optical mice can build up dirt underneath that prevents operation.

We can help protect a mouse from the environment (see standard and covered versions below), but, in general, we recommend trackballs.

Trackball: more expensive, but our general recommendation.  Many styles exist; try different ones to see what best fits your hand.  Optical trackballs are strongly recommended, although the ball occasionally will need cleaning.

Trackpad: common on laptops, but many users find nightmarishly difficult to use. Even if you have a laptop, we strongly recommend a plug-in trackball, mouse, or joystick.

Joystick: more a supplemental device, especially for marking tracks. If you've done video gaming, it may be especially familiar. Not all software supports it.