Mouse Ballistics

Recently bought the G9 and it the best mouse i have ever used.

Nearly all of the mice that are out on the market are bulky that require the user to “palm” the mouse. Fortunately, there are some people that like to “finger tip” hold their mice, especially your hand has a tendency to sweat.

The mouse acceleration settings (AKA “enhance pointer precision” - it’s existed in various forms for years) unfortunately can apply in games, depending on the circumstances. While that’s useful for god games etc. where the mouse pointer is visible on screen, for first-person shooters it’s far more hinderance than help; if you’re playing with these options be careful that it doesn’t mess up gameplay for you.

Logitech’s drivers have an option to disable all mouse acceleration whenever in a full-screen game - it defaults on, and I’d highly recommend you leave it that way. Mouse acceleration can really screw with your aim.

Personally, I prefer leaving acceleration entirely disabled, with the mouse sensitivity rather higher than normal. While it makes pixel-accurate clicking slightly slower, I find it’s preferable to be able to “feel” a fixed one-pixel movement than have to move the mouse slowly until it nudges it over the pixel boundary.

@J. Stoever

Both mice seem to have a cable. Does the old rumor that wireless mice have a noticeable action lag still hold true ? I used to hear pro gamers say that when they were new, but I haven’t heard it in years. What would you say ? Is that your reason to use the much more restrictive cable variant ?

Even recently I have tried using a wireless mouse and i can’t stand them. I can visually see the lag between the mouse and the movement of my hand, and I tried a high end mouse (MX Revolution). Some users don’t notice it all. The friend that I borrow the mouse from to try it out said he had no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned the lag.

I’ve had a Mac OS X machine as my primary for awhile and hadn’t noticed the effect you mentioned, so I played with it a bit. You’re totally right. And then I realized – this is a laptop, I’m almost always just using the trackball, and what you mentioned is actually perfect for fingers on trackball… It goes back and forth between slow positioning for accuracy and “flick” scrolling to get farther across the screen.

Of course, it makes sense that it still sucks to use with a mouse :slight_smile:

I changed the left\right tilt scrolling on my mouse to be forward and back. I think that is the best use of the tilt wheel feature.

I have been using both Logitech and Microsoft mice since both released version 1 of their mices eons ago. Overall, I like Logitech’s better. I am just an occasional gamer and right now I prefer using wireless mice. So far the best I have used among the lot (non bluetooth) is the Logitech VX Revolution with its flywheel equiped scroll wheel. You can set a switch in this wheel so it will scroll either smoothly or with a click.

The last generation Microsoft wireless mouse IMHO, had flawed scroll wheels… no detent, just smooth scrolling action. This was no good for games.

I too am a mouse enthusiast (Snob says wife), and I must say I did not are for the G9. I am currently using my Razor Death Adder at home and the logitech G5 at work. The Death Adder is very similar to the Habu, but IMO better in everyway. Give it a try. BTW, check out for some interesting “benchmarks” of mice. Pretty interesting.

Hey Now Jeff,

 Nice post, I value your opinion, I was wondering if you ever tried a vertical mouse?

Coding Horror Fan,

I’m finicky about mice as well, but in the opposite direction. I bought a PS/2 to USB converter specifically so I could attach an older mouse to my Linux-PC laptop. It has 2 buttons + click-wheel and is an old-style ball mouse instead of optical. (Optical sucks on certain surfaces, and I’m willing to clean out the ball tracker every month.)

I declined to buy this instead of a more modern mouse because it has perfect click-characteristics. The buttons are neither sloppy nor hard to press, and the audible click feedback matches the tactile feedback. The click-wheel is perfectly grippy, too. (The brand is “micro innovations”, which I had not heard of before.)

For any serious ‘competitive’ gamer - I advice switching OFF mouse acceleration. As a long time CS player, this concept is drilled into you over and over again. There are even registry mouse fixes available from the CPL to ensure all forms of in-game and windows mouse acceleration settings are disabled.

I don’t think anyone has said why as yet, so I’ll attempt to explain.

Over time you develop a natural reflex in games - especially first person shooters. You want this natural reflex to map to the game exactly the same way, every single time. With mouse acceleration enabled, this reflexive action is hindered by software adjustments to the mouse input.

Your cursor should move to the same position on the screen each time no matter how fast you move the mouse. You should only be relying on distance of mouse movement - not the speed - for determining where your aim goes.

Let me try to visualise it for the readers.

There is a corridor 10 feet wide (in-game) which maps to say 10inches on your mouse pad. If you have your sites set to the corner of the left wall and someone appears at the right corner, you move your mouse 10 inches to the right and fire.

If you have mouse acceleration turned on - how far and how fast do you move your mouse? It’s an added element of complexity added to the processing your brain has to do - and usually it’s a best guess attempt only improved (but never perfected) with constant practice.

I have an Evoluent Vertical Mouse. UGH. It leads to undue pressure on the side (butt) of the hand. It seems ergonomic at first, then after a few days comes a lot of pain.

I also have a Contour Design mouse which is decently ergonomic but has bad tracking.

I’m still looking for a great ergonomic mouse.

Thanks for the interesting article.

The Macintosh had some kind of mouse acceleration from the beginning, but I don’t think that was the case in early versions of Windows. I just remember when going from the Macintosh to Windows in the old days, the mouse felt sluggish.

However, now I mostly use Windows XP, and the mouse feels very natural. When I occasionally use a Mac now, the mouse feels strange. I don’t know if its just what I’m accustomed to, or the Macintosh remained the same and Microsoft came up with a superior method, or somehow the Macintosh got worse.

A short trip to the dishwasher should return your keyboard to its former colour

Now that’s an interesting idea…

Most people are doing this with no disassembly, just slapping the entire keyboard in the dishwasher, using plain water (no detergent) and no heat drying cycles. Then wait a few days for it to dry 100%. Sounds like it works, too.

Have you tried the MS Natural?

To me it is the most interesting choice out there and I have some friends who swear by it. I still haven’t made the switch though.

Anyone know how to get the windows pointer speed past maximum by a registry edit or something.

I have a laptop with a trackpad and with it set at maximum pointer speed and enhanced pointer precision enabled it’s still not quite quick enough for my taste compared to how much I move my finger.


Does the G9’s “frictionless” mouse wheel actually provide inertial scrolling (as simulated on the iPhone scroll) or does it just turn the wheel ‘ticks’ off?

Inertial wheel scrolling would REALLY come in handy when I have 5000 lines of code or a really long webpage/document and I want to quickly (but smoothly) cruise to the bottom without giving my index finger an extreme workout.

In the spirit of this post, I did a test: At the default “3 lines per tick” Vista mouse wheel setting, it took me 21 finger scrolls of the wheel to go from the top of this web page to the October 14th, 8:36PM comment entry. For older, more commented posts, I am forced to resort to the ancient practice of actually drag-clicking the scrollbar.

If the G9 truly provides inertial scrolling, I think it’s a HUGE advancement.

Other Commentary Kudos:

Thumbs up:
-Finger-touch mouse movement (as opposed to palming the mouse).
-Mouse Acceleration ENABLED in Windows (especially with large multi displays)
-Mouse Acceleration DISABLED in FPS games

Logitech mice used to come with a program/driver called MouseWare, which, among other things, offered configurable accelleration. There was only one decent setting, if I remember correctly, so it’s no problem that Windows lacks this configurability.

A thing that bothers me a lot is that XFree86/ do not have decent pointer acceleration. You can set a threshold and a multiplier for speeds above that threshold, so it’s similar to OS X, if I understand you correctly. (But considering that Mac people actually do usability testing, their method is probably better than X’s.)

Strangely, when I switched from Gentoo Linux to Ubuntu this problem disappeared, and my pointer now moves quite perfectly even in Linux. In fact, this was a major factor for me when deciding whether to switch distributions! I don’t know how Ubuntu does it, and why this has not been backported to, though.

I have a MX500, bought it around 4 years ago I think. It’s great, but I’ll probably switch to a MX Revolution because I’m trying to get rid of all the wires I can.

The Sidewinder is a nice mouse overall but it has a gigantic “hump” near the base of the mouse. It’s supposed to fit your palm but you need gorilla hands for that to work. It’s like the mouse was designed by the people who made the original Xbox controller!

Interesting read…but I’m still never giving up my Wacom tablets. I’ve been using tablets – in absolute mode, not relative pointer positioning – for 10 years, and I’m fairly certain it will take a miracle for me to ever go back to using a mouse.