This Week in Vintage Hardware: The Mouse Ball

mouse-ball-x-picable-net1The mouse ball is a staple of a time I truly cherish. It was a time of dial-up, Gateway Computers and 20 pound monitors. When pulling out the mouse ball from its holding place I was always expecting it to bounce like a bouncy ball but it never
did. You would feel that shrug of the mouse ball catching on the pad and knew it was time for a good cleaning. Pop off the back, pull out all the hair and dirt and then blow in the hole to get the remaining dust out. A technique mastered by gamers who remember the beloved Super Nintendo in order to get the cartridges to work.
Then your hard work paid off with the reward of a new mouse being born, sliding and gliding as intended. Ah, those were the times. The optical mouse is a great improvement on the trackball mouse and it deserves respect, but there will always be something missing with the optical mouse. The trackball mouse had soul…it will be missed.