(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)
The untimely demise of my trusty old Microsoft wireless mouse on Tuesday afternoon prompted a trip to town with my eftpos card to buy a new, sparkly wireless mouse to do my computer bidding.
That in itself should really be cause for some excitement: a new gadget is always fun, especially if it doesn’t come under the broad category of household appliance (my last new “gadget” was a dishwasher).
I should mention here that the keyboard part of my wireless desktop package was still working a treat, with all the keys responding in a keyboard-like fashion if and when required. However, the mouse had been on the brink of disaster for a while, randomly losing the signal and spluttering and stuttering like an old Ford on a frosty morning (can you tell I live in a Holden household).
I checked out the wireless mouse options at a couple of our local computer gadgetry stores and found that while they appeared to have hundreds of the little buggers, many of them were those malnourished “mobile” mice made for use with laptops: so small and uncomfortable to use they are sure to give you cramp and occupational overuse syndrome before you can blink.
That narrowed the field a bit so I then focused on the “real” mice made for human-sized hands. They aren’t cheap. In fact, for an extra $30 I bought a whole new wireless desktop, keyboard and all, with a comfy mouse and lots of whizz-bang buttons to play with.
I should be a happy camper, right? I should be so rapt with my new piece of geek kit that I can barely contain my excitement, right? I should be squealing with glee as I jump up and down clapping my hands, right?
But I’m not.
I am, in fact, quite peeved.
The mouse stutters even more than the old one. It pauses every 20 seconds or so before the cursor suddenly pops up on the screen in a place you weren’t expecting it to be.
Even worse, the keyboard also has issues: it pauses mid-sentence and when it starts again it doesn’t remember what you’ve been typing since it stopped so you end up with disjointed words.
A quick search online shows I’m not alone, with thread after thread on geek-help message boards detailing the very same problem. There appear to be several fixes, some work for some users, others work for others.
When I have more time tomorrow, I’ll try them out to see which one will work for me.
However, the thing that peeves me the most is that my new Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 doesn’t want to play nicely with my new Windows 7 PC.