One of the great indispensable pieces of equipment in my office is the Kensington Expert Mouse, bafflingly named since it is, in fact, a trackball. I think Frank Kozik recommended it way-back-when on gigposters.com, and it perfectly combated my hand pain problems of the time. My setup, which has worked really well for me over the last few years, is a dual monitor setup, with a Wacom Intuos 2 mapped to the main screen, and the Kensington trackball set for both. As I’m a lefty, I keep Wacom/pen on the left, and trackball on the right, and I often find myself using both at once. If you’re so inclined, it’s a great setup.
After four or five years of daily use, I finally had to disassemble the trackball to clean the infrared emitter that controls the scroll wheel (note that the ball itself requires cleaning more often, especially if you have pets). I turned to trusty Google and quickly found trusty Ed Nisley to give me a few take-apart instructions. Some dog and cat hair removal, some blowing crap into my own eyes, a Q-tip and a damp tissue later: she’s good as… well, now at least the scroll wheel is working intermittently instead of not at all.
I’d also tried installing the proper drivers/software for this thing (currently running the default Windows 7 “hey we detected your hardware” drivers) and had no success. The 64-bit installation was a no-go because Kensington doesn’t have signed certificates or some shit like that. They provided a workaround, but it didn’t work, and made the trackball not work at all. So I’m back where I was, except slightly better off.
Anyway, it’s a hell of a trackball, overall.
Please share your tasteful ball-cleaning/blowing/damp tissue jokes in the comments section.
UPDATE DEC, 2011: Scroll wheel stopped working again about a month after I posted this, and I kept putting off re-disassembling this thing because the gooey little rubber feet were a real TURN-OFF, Y’KNOW? (And besides, I know it’s clean in there, so what exactly would I do if I did open it again? WIGGLE THINGS?) Anyway, I gave in and bought a replacement (J&R had it in the $80 range) and will keep my mostly-functioning old one as a backup/spare/spare parts. I still quite like the product. Ken #1 served me well. It’s time for Ken #2 now. OH MY GOD MAYBE I SHOULD USE BOTH AT ONCE. MASTER BLASTER.