Dark Patterns

I came across this interesting video. It shows the devious ways we can be manipulated by advertisers and by those websites that need as many members as possible to give them heft with advertisers.

Well worth watching.

RollerMouse Red Left Button Fix

NOTE: The page that provided the source of the images originally shown in this article has been removed; hence no images are now available.

I mentioned earlier that I had a problem with the left mouse button and that Contour would send a replacement. They did. Following their instructions, I installed the new cover plate and it's working a treat again. If you need to do this at any time, here's the procedure I followed:

Disconnect your RollerMouse Red from any power source before proceeding with the following instructions.

Remove the wrist pad.

A simple twist in this notch here with the tool that came with the RollerMouse will remove the wrist pad. If you do not have the tool a flathead screwdriver is a good replacement.

These two middle screws need to come out from the underside.

Turn the unit over, and pry the button cover off with a flathead screwdriver.

Lift up the button housing from right to left as there are 2 plugs on the left side. Unscrew these 4 screws to separate the board from the buttons.

When placing the new buttons on, line up this notch just in between the scroll wheel and the post where it’s connected.

Make sure the wires are still connected, screw the board back on, making sure it’s nice and tight to reduce excess play with the buttons, snap the buttons back in place, and replace the screws on the back.

Evoluent Vertical Mouse

While waiting for my RollerMouse buttons to arrive (see RollerMouse Red Problems, I tried a spare mouse for a day or so before realising it was aggravating my RSI (repetitive strain syndrome). I decided to explore ergonomic alternatives and came across the Evoluent Vertical Mouse, model C.

As the video below explains, it changes the orientation of the arm while using it.

My experience to date is that it does relieve the strain. However, it's best suited to keyboards that lack a numeric keypad, as most laptops do.

My reasoning is that lateral movement still affects the upper arm as the mouse travels across the screen at normal speed.

In my case, I have a three-monitor setup, and the movement becomes excessive. To compensate, I've adjusted the speed to a high rate, so that less movement is needed. However, this reduces the accuracy needed when settling on a precise location.

When I finally revert to my RollerMouse, I shall transfer the Vertical Mouse to my laptop, where it will be most welcome.

RollerMouse Red Problems

I have two RollerMouse Red devices. One is relatively old; the other is not yet four months old and bought through Amazon US, but they only allow two months for returns. One has a scroll button that operates erratically when scrolling; the other’s left mouse button is either loose or broken.

Unfortunately, there’s no repair facility in Australia for these products. I got in touch with Contour in the States and they’re sending me the spare parts to repair the devices myself. They say it’s quite straightforward (ha-ha!).