Mouse DPI and USB Polling Rate


#1

Despite my heavy computer use, I rarely experience hand or wrist pain. I consider myself fortunate. However, my mouse hand has been aching a bit lately. In light of my this, I decided it was time to change things up on the mouse front. I currently use the Logitech MX518 mouse at work and the Logitech G5 mouse at home. Both have the same roughly egg-like shape. I've never been completely satisfied with this shape, but it was the best of the available options at the time.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/04/mouse-dpi-and-usb-polling-rate.html

#2

A small correction: the onboard memory in the Habu is not unique. It was first available on the Razer Copperhead, which I coincidentally happen to own. It’s also in Razer’s latest mouse “DeathAdder”.

And yes, I was kind of baffled when I got the Copperhead and realized it actually had firmware that I could update.


#3

Why are the DPI and polling rate selectable? Is there a plausible reason you would ever select a lower one over a higher one? I’m honestly curious - especially if the DPI selector is in such an accessible position.


#4

Why wired? Please explain. :wink:

I’ve had my share with wireless mice, dating back to early 90’s. Back then, when the batteries were low, the mouse tended to hop around occasionally. That was annoying enough to change batteries early.

However, cables tend to get in the way or roll down the table, requiring more effort from you to pull on the string while moving the mouse. I always fix my mouse cable on the table somehow, duct tape or an appropriate weight. Also, cables are chronically too short.

At home i have a cordless Logitech. This thing is awesome in terms of update speed and handling. It also comes with 2 set of rechargeables and an USB recharger/infrared sensor. Never had any latency problems. Only thing still is: batteries still go dead after some time. So, occasionally I’m surprised that the mouse just stopped and blame it on my computer, despite the LEDs on the mouse warning me about battery status.

The recharge stands where you put the mouse in is completely worthless once the batteries are dead - it means not being able to work while the mouse charges. However, that might just be the time where you would be forced to use keyboard-only . :wink:


#5

I’ve often tried fixing my USB polling rate in the past, but for some reason, XP won’t let me. When I try to use the program “usbmrs11” it will tell me “Could not find a valid sequence! Please use Windows’ original ‘usbport.sys’!”. I’ve tried in both Safe mode and normal mode.

And I’ve never found a solution to this problem.


#6

Mike: Sounds like it is trying to patch the USB driver.


#7

Are there any undesirable side effects to changing the USB polling rate, such as incompatibility with other peripherals or increased overhead due to excessive wasted polling?


#8

steffenj, don’t feed the troll. It has been a very long debate about wired/wireless mouse.

Gamers and high-end user generally preferes wired mouse for their very fast responses. Like Jeff explains, you prolly won’t be able to put the poling rate at 500 mhz with a wireless mouse.


#9

I looked at that mouse not that long ago. It seemed to be a real good deal for a mouse with specs like that. Problem I faced was, do I game enough to make it worth while. After all, a moluse like that is built for gaming, if you are not going to do so with it, you may as well get a 10 cheap mouse. Would say it is worth while getting a ‘gaming’ mosue for everday use?

Great stuff dood. Been reading for the last month now, can’t see my self stopping anytime soon. The comparion of software development and playing a game, seems so obvius when said like that.


#10

I recommend learning to be ambidextrous with the mouse. It took me about 2 weeks to become completely used to working left handed. After that i can switch hands effortlessly. I do not switch the buttons however (there is a config menu for lefthanded use).


#11

My right wrist started aching a few years ago due to heavy mouse usage. It got to the point where it kept me from doing a bench press at the gym. At that point I taught myself to mouse with my left hand and the right wrist healed fairly quickly. Nowadays, I use my left hand to mouse at work and my right at home and I haven’t had a problem since.


#12

The problem with increasing the USB polling rate is that it will decrease your overall USB throughput for that USB host controller. USB frames occur at 1000Hz (this is why the maximum rate of the polling is 1000Hz). Mice are generally USB low-speed devices, which means they use long bit widths than full-speed or high-speed devices. So they use up more of the USB frame for their communications relative to the amount of data that they send. This will take a chunk out of the available bandwidth to devices like USB mass storage devices or networking devices. And increasing the polling rate just increases the bandwidth usage. To avoid this, you may want to find out if your computer has multiple USB host controllers on board (as opposed to just multiple ports that all connect to the same controller) and dedicate one to low-speed devices like mice, keyboards, and game controllers.

Another option is to use a mouse that is USB full-speed.


#13

I’ll agree with Sean on the trackball front. I switched to a trackball years ago, and find it annoying when I’m using someone else’s computer with a mouse. However, sometimes their confusion at trying to use my trackball is worth it - I mean, there’s a big ball on the side of the device, do you really think sliding it around the table is going to do anything?


#14

I agree with Alek Davis, a better mouse may be part of a solution, but better to look at other solutions too.

a lot of chinese knick knack shops have soe balls, I don’t know what they’re called, I call them ‘Chinese balls’, they usually have a picture of the sub on one, the moon on the other, or ying-yang symbols. They are hard, and have some meetal chime inside. You hold them both in one hand and roll them around, and it provides a fantastic exercise that exercises a full range of movement.

I have recommended these to a few friends who were developing RSI symptoms, and all have noticed quick improvements.


#15

I’ve been using a Logitech G7 for over a year now and love it for wireless, very sensitive game control. It comes with hardware speed control, 2 rechargeable batteries. I now have 3 (1 home, 2 work), and have equiped all programmers on my team with them.
the only drawback is the lack of configurable buttons. I think it has one thumb, and scroll side-to-side. I never use the buttons since I would rather use a key board :stuck_out_tongue:


#16

be careful with your hand!

changing the mouse is not the solution


#17

I’m sad that there’s such little interest in trackballs. I know lots of programmers who swear by the Logitech TrackMan Marble series, the one with the ping-pong sized thumbball. I bought mine so long ago I can’t read the “Logitech” logo on it any more. When I went to look for another for home, they changed the design slightly, and the ball has a lot more friction than my old one. I don’t know of any other manufacturer that has a similar design- most others have the “Missile Command”-style trackball, which is probably geared more towards graphic designers.


#18

What? You still use a mouse? You’ll take my Trackball Explorer away from me when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.


#19

I blogged a while ago about some other great products that have smoothed out my mouse quite a bit. Click the link to check out my post.


#20

Kenji: Hey baby.

Changing the mouse can’t hurt. If the new thing fits his hand better and is more responsive, there’s going to be a (hopefully) significant amount of reduced strain. It seems to me he’s taken care of the more important factors already (chair, desk, and keyboard), so this is the next logical step.

Of course, you can get all the fancy-pants hardware you want, but you’ll still mess up your hands if you don’t give them some rest.