Author Topic: trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical  (Read 10801 times)

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Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« on: Wed, 08 April 2009, 18:43:49 »
I was looking at this trackball:

http://www.trackballworld.com/40-151.html



It mentions that it is Opto-mechanical.

Does anyone know what that means?
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Offline ozar

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 08 April 2009, 18:49:19 »
Don't know the meaning of opto-mechanical, but that is one very good looking mouse.

Wonder if it's sold elsewhere for less?  I might look around to see what I can find.

Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 08 April 2009, 18:59:40 »
Quote from: ozar;27737
Don't know the meaning of opto-mechanical, but that is one very good looking mouse.

Wonder if it's sold elsewhere for less?  I might look around to see what I can find.


I actually thought the price was pretty good, at least compared to the kensington slimblade( which unfortunately, has too many issues for me) and this one

http://www.itacsystems.com/evolutio.cfm

That itac is pretty interesting also.
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Offline ozar

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 08 April 2009, 19:16:20 »
Yeah, that is interesting looking.  I never realized there were so many trackball models available, but then I've never used one or checked them out until a few weeks ago.  At this point, it would probably behoove me to make a firm decision about whether or not I truly want to switch to trackball from traditional mice before I spend any more money on them.

The corded Logitech Trackball Wheel Mouse that I purchased recently is giving me fits, but I think that's due to the required thumb activated movement of the cursor.  It feels really awkward, at least so far.

Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 08 April 2009, 19:23:41 »
I have that mouse and its a very good trackball. If you are new to trackballs, then you simply need to give it time to adjust to it. And yeah, you really need to give it a week or so. After that it becomes normal.

I remember when I moved the mouse to the left side of the keyboard, I am a righty. Needless to say, it was a week or so of goofy mousing. But I forced myself to hang with it. Now its all good and I can mouse with either hand.

I went to a trackball because I got tired of walking the mouse. I like having a stationary mouse that doesn't move.
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Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 08 April 2009, 19:32:54 »
If you look long enough you will find.

http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles%2Farchive%2Fg0802%2F17g02%2F17g02.asp


Q: How do optomechanical mice work?

A: According to McDonough, optomechanical mice are the most common and least expensive pointing devices. The device has a metal or rubber ball in the bottom that rolls as you move the mouse. Inside, the tracking ball touches rollers that move as the ball rolls vertically and horizontal....
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Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 08 April 2009, 19:38:48 »
I am beginning to think that opto-mechanical technology is behind the curve.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_mouse#Mechanical_or_opto-mechanical


Optical versus mechanical mice

Unlike mechanical mice, which can become clogged with lint, optical mice have no rolling parts; therefore, they do not require maintenance other than removing debris that might collect under the light emitter. However, they generally cannot track on glossy and transparent surfaces, including some mouse-pads, sometimes causing the cursor to drift unpredictably during operation. Mice with less image-processing power also have problems tracking fast movement, though high-end mice can track at 2 m/s (80 inches per second) and faster.

Some models of laser mice can track on glossy and transparent surfaces, and have a much higher sensitivity than either their mechanical or optical counterparts but are more expensive than their LED based or mechanical counterparts.[27]

As of 2006, mechanical mice have lower average power demands than their optical counterparts. In practice this is only significant when the mouse is either used with a battery-powered computer, such as a notebook model, or is a battery-powered wireless mouse.

Optical models will outperform mechanical mice on uneven, slick, soft, sticky, or loose surfaces, and generally in mobile situations lacking mouse pads. Because optical mice render movement based on an image which the LED (or infared diode) illuminates, use with multi-colored mouse pads may result in unreliable performance; however, laser mice do not suffer these problems and will track on such surfaces. The advent of affordable high-speed, low-resolution cameras and the integrated logic in optical mice provides an ideal laboratory for experimentation on next-generation input-devices. Experimenters can obtain low-cost components simply by taking apart a working mouse and changing the optics or by writing new software.
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Offline ozar

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 08 April 2009, 19:48:35 »
Thanks for the info... I wouldn't consider purchasing any mechanical mouse these days.  Optical seems better all the way, at least in my opinion.  I've been using laser mice for the last few months and like them very much, too.

Offline huha

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 08 April 2009, 20:23:20 »
I switched from a mechanical Logitech Mouse to a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer shortly after it became available here, just because cleaning my mouse every other week sucked that much. I definitely wouldn't buy any mechanical mice again, ever.

Opto-mechanical trackballs seem to be okay, though, because there's just not that much dirt, lint and grime to be collected by the rollers, so the primary concern seems to be roller degradation due to wear, which can be avoided or at least made considerably better by using steel rollers. So opto-mechanical tracking on trackballs doesn't seem as bad as it sounds, yet I'd still want to buy an optical version if it's available. Optical tracking is largely ignorant of any dust and does not deteriorate, ever. It uses about two solid-state devices which either work or fail, one being a quite easy replaceable LED (if the sensor itself fails, you're out of luck, though). Opto-mechanical tracking, on the other hand, uses multiple items for each axis to be tracked: A roller with connected axle and encoding wheel, a LED and phototransistor to form a light barrier and control electronics. Electronics are unlikely to fail, but I suppose the weak point (considering the roller is made of high-durability material such as steel; if it's a plastic roller, it will fail first) is the axle's bearing, which is most likely no dedicated bearing, but jsut plain plastic on plastic.

Quality Opto-mechanical trackballs should still last many years, especially if they're built with quality in mind. I'd recommend getting an optical version of your preferred model if it's available for not much of an added bonus (it shouldn't cost more than 20%; in fact, optical technology should be cheaper to employ due to less complicated mechanical parts being used) and sticking with opto-mechanical models otherwise.

-huha
Unicomp Endurapro 105 (blank keycaps, BS) // Cherry G80-3000LSCDE-2 (blues, modded to green MX) // Cherry G80-3000LAMDE-0 (blacks, 2x) // Cherry G80-11900LTMDE-0 (blacks, 2x) // Compaq G80-11801 (browns) // Epson Q203A (Fujitsu Peerless) // IBM Model M2 (BS) // Boscom AS400 Terminal Emulator (OEM\'d Unicomp, BS, 2x) // Dell AT102DW (black Alps) // Mechanical Touch (chinese BS) Acer 6312-KW (Acer mechanics on membrane) // Cherry G84-4100 (ML) // Cherry G80-1000HAD (NKRO, blacks)

Offline rdjack21

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 08 April 2009, 22:38:27 »
You want the more expensive LaserTRAC that looks the same but is a laser optical trackball. The manufacture does not even list the older one at there site any more. Take a look at the specs here http://www.clearlysuperiortech.com/highperformance.html I think that will be the one I end up getting at some point.
Keyboards
Topre Capacitive: Realforce 87U, Realforce 86U, HHKB Pro 2, Topre MD01B0, Topre HE0100, Sun Short Type, OEM NEO CS (x2), NISSHO Electronics KB106DE
Buckling Spring: IBM Model M Space Saver (1291472), Unicomp Customizer x 2
Cherry Brown: Filco FKBN87M/EB, Compaq MX11800
Black Alps: ABS M1
Not so great boards Rare Spring over dome OKI, Sun rack keyboard

Trackballs - Trackman Wheel (3), Trackman marble (2)
Keyboards I still want to get - Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro 2 the White version, Realforce 23U number pad in black and maybe white, μTRON ergo board with Topre switches.
Previously owned - [size=0]SiiG MiniTouch (White Alps), Scorpius M10 (Blue Cherry), IBM Model M13[/size]

Offline huha

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 06:45:13 »
Quote from: ripster;27767
Opto-mechanical is simply this:




Wow!

That's a fantastic build quality, I never thought anyone would use steel shafts will ball bearings for such mundane tasks as opto-mechanical tracking.
No wonder it still works after years of use.


Quote
Sometimes old technology, like the IBM Model M, has it's use.


The opto-mechanical tracking you posted is not only old, but also quite expensive, so I'd say expensive technology has its use.

-huha
Unicomp Endurapro 105 (blank keycaps, BS) // Cherry G80-3000LSCDE-2 (blues, modded to green MX) // Cherry G80-3000LAMDE-0 (blacks, 2x) // Cherry G80-11900LTMDE-0 (blacks, 2x) // Compaq G80-11801 (browns) // Epson Q203A (Fujitsu Peerless) // IBM Model M2 (BS) // Boscom AS400 Terminal Emulator (OEM\'d Unicomp, BS, 2x) // Dell AT102DW (black Alps) // Mechanical Touch (chinese BS) Acer 6312-KW (Acer mechanics on membrane) // Cherry G84-4100 (ML) // Cherry G80-1000HAD (NKRO, blacks)

Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 12:29:19 »
Quote from: rdjack21;27780
You want the more expensive LaserTRAC that looks the same but is a laser optical trackball. The manufacture does not even list the older one at there site any more. Take a look at the specs here http://www.clearlysuperiortech.com/highperformance.html I think that will be the one I end up getting at some point.


Thanks for pointing that out, I went ahead and ordered it last night.
I kind of wish that geekhack member never posted that link to trackball world.
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Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 12:30:31 »
Quote from: huha;27833
Show Image


Wow!

That's a fantastic build quality, I never thought anyone would use steel shafts will ball bearings for such mundane tasks as opto-mechanical tracking.
No wonder it still works after years of use.




The opto-mechanical tracking you posted is not only old, but also quite expensive, so I'd say expensive technology has its use.

-huha


 But wouldn't those metal rollers get covered with gunk  over time?
Otherwise, it looks pretty neat.
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Offline huha

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 12:37:23 »
Quote from: bigpook;27902
But wouldn't those metal rollers get covered with gunk  over time?
Otherwise, it looks pretty neat.


Yes, they would accumulate gunk, but at a rate much slower than mouse rollers would. Debris can fall out at the bottom, and being a trackball means it will not come into contact with lint. I reckon it could need a cleaning every few years, but I think that's acceptable; the ball and case should be cleaned frequently as well, regardless of technology used.

-huha
Unicomp Endurapro 105 (blank keycaps, BS) // Cherry G80-3000LSCDE-2 (blues, modded to green MX) // Cherry G80-3000LAMDE-0 (blacks, 2x) // Cherry G80-11900LTMDE-0 (blacks, 2x) // Compaq G80-11801 (browns) // Epson Q203A (Fujitsu Peerless) // IBM Model M2 (BS) // Boscom AS400 Terminal Emulator (OEM\'d Unicomp, BS, 2x) // Dell AT102DW (black Alps) // Mechanical Touch (chinese BS) Acer 6312-KW (Acer mechanics on membrane) // Cherry G84-4100 (ML) // Cherry G80-1000HAD (NKRO, blacks)

Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 13:07:54 »
300 was a pretty good film. While a bit over the top the visuals were sweet. I would like to rent it on blue ray, that would be quite the eye candy.

For someone that doesn't like trackballs, you sure do post a bit about them : )

I have those "pseudo ruby" points on the expert and I think on the orbit. They have yet to get gunked up though. But then again, my hands are always clean when I am the console. Its not like I am eating Cheetos while I type....

I just ordered this:

http://www.trackballworld.com/40-155.html

Its laser so no worries. But I was briefly considering the opto-mechanical one.

I don't really know which of the two is "better" but went with the laser because is more current.
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Offline rdjack21

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 13:15:32 »
Quote from: bigpook;27910

I just ordered this:

http://www.trackballworld.com/40-155.html

Its laser so no worries. But I was briefly considering the opto-mechanical one.

I don't really know which of the two is "better" but went with the laser because is more current.


Please do a review of it when you get it. I'm thinking I want to try that one as well and a good review would really help.
Keyboards
Topre Capacitive: Realforce 87U, Realforce 86U, HHKB Pro 2, Topre MD01B0, Topre HE0100, Sun Short Type, OEM NEO CS (x2), NISSHO Electronics KB106DE
Buckling Spring: IBM Model M Space Saver (1291472), Unicomp Customizer x 2
Cherry Brown: Filco FKBN87M/EB, Compaq MX11800
Black Alps: ABS M1
Not so great boards Rare Spring over dome OKI, Sun rack keyboard

Trackballs - Trackman Wheel (3), Trackman marble (2)
Keyboards I still want to get - Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro 2 the White version, Realforce 23U number pad in black and maybe white, μTRON ergo board with Topre switches.
Previously owned - [size=0]SiiG MiniTouch (White Alps), Scorpius M10 (Blue Cherry), IBM Model M13[/size]

Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 13:20:00 »
Quote from: rdjack21;27915
Please do a review of it when you get it. I'm thinking I want to try that one as well and a good review would really help.


No problem, will do. I am still wondering if I should have went with the opto-mechanical though.
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Offline ozar

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 13:20:27 »
Quote from: bigpook;27910
I just ordered this:

http://www.trackballworld.com/40-155.html

Its laser so no worries. But I was briefly considering the opto-mechanical one.

I don't really know which of the two is "better" but went with the laser because is more current.

Cool... I'm really anxious to hear how you like it.   If I should like the Kensington Expert when it gets here, and you like the one you've ordered,  I might order it as well.

Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 13:25:01 »
Quote from: ripster;27921
It'll look even better once you stick an 8 Ball in it.   Don't steal one from the coin op tables  - they're bigger!



The important part for cleaning is the rollers so I betcha it'll be fine.

- Ripster


You think a standard sized 8 ball would fit?
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Offline itlnstln

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 13:30:53 »
Quote from: bigpook;27926
You think a standard sized 8 ball would fit?


That would look sick.  I would use one of those at work.


Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 13:36:49 »
Quote from: itlnstln;27932
That would look sick.  I would use one of those at work.


I thought the trackballs were "special". Would it track properly if I used an 8 ball?

I can't believe we are actually discussing this.
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Offline bigpook

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Offline itlnstln

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 13:54:20 »
Very nice.  If were to ever get a house big enough to accomodate one, I would love to have a pool table.  The only thing is, I don't ever want a house that big, and pool halls around San Antonio are a good place to get shot up.


Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 13:57:44 »
Quote from: itlnstln;27948
Very nice.  If were to ever get a house big enough to accomodate one, I would love to have a pool table.  The only thing is, I don't ever want a house that big, and pool halls around San Antonio are a good place to get shot up.


???

lol, I was talking about the 8 ball.
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Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 14:00:03 »
Quote from: ripster;27950
I've got an 8 ball on order just to prove it'll work in the CH.  I vaguely remembering some guy at work had one.  Even works on some of the very old Kensingtons.

Does NOT work on newer optical ones or if the ball is smaller(duh).  It may work on that Laser one though - that black ball doesn't look like anything special.

- Ripster


neat, keep us posted. IIRC, the CH is opto-mechanical so I would think that would be no problem.
I don't know if the laser trackball would have a problem tracking though.

BTW, where are you getting your 8 ball?
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Offline itlnstln

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 14:07:34 »
Quote from: itlnstln;27948
Very nice.  If were to ever get a house big enough to accomodate one, I would love to have a pool table.  The only thing is, I don't ever want a house that big, and pool halls around San Antonio are a good place to get shot up.


Quote from: bigpook;27949
???

lol, I was talking about the 8 ball.


"Very nice" = 8 ball

Everything else = random musings.

My bad; that was pretty vague.


Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 14:14:41 »
Quote from: itlnstln;27956
"Very nice" = 8 ball

Everything else = random musings.

My bad; that was pretty vague.


: ) you don't run linux, do you?
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Offline itlnstln

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 14:18:18 »
Quote from: bigpook;27961
: ) you don't run linux, do you?


No.  I've tried in the past, but there are things I can only do in Windows (or Mac), so I had to give up.  I know about the penguin, but I didn't know about 8-balls being associated with Linux.


Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 14:23:19 »
Quote from: itlnstln;27963
No.  I've tried in the past, but there are things I can only do in Windows (or Mac), so I had to give up.  I know about the penguin, but I didn't know about 8-balls being associated with Linux.




There is no association. But your response was so like a linux user to me though. But its hard for me to explain.
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Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 14:25:26 »
Quote from: ripster;27960
Hey, you're the guy that started all this.  You noticed it off in the corner of one my photo shots and asked what it was. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

I had been happily ignoring them for YEARS.

Anyway, the place I got is here.  You can actually dig a little into the product list and order any individual ball you want.  Check out the glowing balls.  They would light up evertime you spun your trackball!


https://www.cheapshotbilliards.com/pool-balls-billiard-balls/individual-pool-and-billiard-balls.html

Even cooler - as a practical joke maybe I should order the "wobbly" one and drive my wife nuts when she uses it.

- Ripster


Oh yeah, right. Sorry! Thanks for the link. I may want to try that out as an 8 ball would be kind of neat.
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Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 09 April 2009, 14:33:23 »
Quote from: ripster;27968
No reason to say you are sorry.  

In reality my name is Wally and I work at TrackballWorld.....

- Ripster


Well, you are doing a bang up job there Wally : )
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Offline yamaha200

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8 Ball
« Reply #31 on: Tue, 14 April 2009, 13:33:00 »
Quote from: itlnstln;84528
That would look sick.  I would use one of those at work.


I emailed CST about the 8 ball idea and guess what...they sent me this.

Offline rdjack21

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« Reply #32 on: Tue, 14 April 2009, 13:36:15 »
Quote from: yamaha200;85444
I emailed CST about the 8 ball idea and guess what...they sent me this.


Cool. And that is the one I'm going to get once I save up some money for it.
Keyboards
Topre Capacitive: Realforce 87U, Realforce 86U, HHKB Pro 2, Topre MD01B0, Topre HE0100, Sun Short Type, OEM NEO CS (x2), NISSHO Electronics KB106DE
Buckling Spring: IBM Model M Space Saver (1291472), Unicomp Customizer x 2
Cherry Brown: Filco FKBN87M/EB, Compaq MX11800
Black Alps: ABS M1
Not so great boards Rare Spring over dome OKI, Sun rack keyboard

Trackballs - Trackman Wheel (3), Trackman marble (2)
Keyboards I still want to get - Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro 2 the White version, Realforce 23U number pad in black and maybe white, μTRON ergo board with Topre switches.
Previously owned - [size=0]SiiG MiniTouch (White Alps), Scorpius M10 (Blue Cherry), IBM Model M13[/size]

Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #33 on: Tue, 14 April 2009, 13:36:19 »
Quote from: yamaha200;85444
I emailed CST about the 8 ball idea and guess what...they sent me this.


I needs me an eight ball!
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Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #34 on: Tue, 14 April 2009, 13:37:33 »
Quote from: bigpook;85446
I needs me an eight ball!
That sounds so wrong.


Offline bigpook

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trackball mouse that is Opto-mechanical
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 14 April 2009, 15:10:46 »
Quote from: itlnstln;85447
That sounds so wrong.


On second thought, yeah, your right.
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