So, it appears that I’m in the market for a new trackball.
I bought my first trackball in something like 1999. I had this itty-bitty typing desk upon which I set my gigantic full-tower case, a CRT monitor, and keyboard. There was no space for a mouse. Or rather, there was if one didn’t mind not being able to move the pointer all the way across the screen without lifting the mouse. I did mind that. The trackball I finally bought was a Kensington Orbit. Most of the trackballs on the market at the time were pretty large devices, with buttons in strange positions that I could only hit by odd contortions. The first Orbit served me faithfully at home and then at work until a few months ago, when the left click button wore out.
I replaced the original Orbit with an abandoned Logitech Trackman Marble, which I still use today. I like the Trackman. It works well enough that I can use it without thinking about it, which means that it’s decently designed, although a bit odd looking.
I bought another Orbit about four years ago so that I could take my old one to work. This one was the optical version of the Orbit. Instead of being made of plain off-white plastic, this one was black rubber and space-age silver plastic. The silver was a bad choice as its coating wore away under my fingertips. That diminished its appearance, but not its functionality. Unfortunately, one of the plastic pellets holding the ball in place has now also worn away, rendering the pointer’s up and down movements jerky and irritating. I’ll use my notebook’s touchpad if I have to, but using that is only irritating in a different way.
So, I’m now in the market for another trackball. I could get another Orbit Optical, but I’d prefer a unit with a better contour and more durable finish. I could get another Trackman, but that would just remind me of work. What I’d really like is another original Orbit, but I probably won’t find one except for somewhere like eBay.
Do any of you out there use trackballs? If so, do you have any suggestions?