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A Note Of Caution

An optical mouse acts extremely erratically in the presence of cat hair. Attempting to use an optical mouse on a cloth covered mouse pad with cat hair present may lead to the loss of large amounts of data as the cursor skips about the screen.


1 phinky { 05.07.06 at 9:28 pm }

But it’s easier to clean an optical mouse.

2 Steve Bates { 05.07.06 at 9:42 pm }

But it’s easier to clean an optical mouse. – phinky

That reminds me of the ancient joke in pre-optical days:

Q: how do you clean a mouse ball?
A: with the mouse’s permission, and very, very carefully.

<rim_shot />

I love my Microsoft Blue optical mouse better than any mouse I’ve ever owned, but take it from me, folks, don’t ever, ever buy the cordless version… stick with the wires. Trust me on this one!

3 Bryan { 05.07.06 at 10:24 pm }

I have a Logitech and when you get a hair stuck in the little light well, it is not easy to extract. Cat hair is extremely slick which makes it hard to filter and hard to grasp with tweezers.

I found that for some reason the infrared beam doesn’t seem to penetrate the cat sitting on the keyboard drawer.

Oh, yes, the optical are much easier to clean, with the exception of the cat hair, and it got into the body of my “ball” mouse.

4 Mustang Bobby { 05.08.06 at 10:13 am }

Here in the office where a number of people are still using pre-optical mice, I would periodically use their computers and announce with firm determination that they needed to clean their mouse balls. Fortunately my office compatriots have a sense of humor to the point that one instantly replied, “Let me get my tweezers; I keep a pair in my purse to do the same for my husband’s.”

5 Bryan { 05.08.06 at 11:29 am }

That’s not very nice, Bobby, but it’s better than having a clerk who had the vapors working in law enforcement who couldn’t type up the reports on certain crimes because “they were too upsetting.”

6 andante { 05.08.06 at 3:06 pm }

I always recommend overfeeding your cats until they are too large, fat, and lazy to jump up to the keyboard drawer and keep so much paperwork & other crap on the desk itself that no cat could possibly fit.

I’ve solved the problem of Randy hogging the chair by hogging it myself.

7 Steve Bates { 05.08.06 at 5:58 pm }

A mere three years ago or so, I was enough of a longhair myself that my own hair on the mouse pad was a problem. I cut my hair shorter now, but I am still in the habit of picking up the mouse pad periodically and removing debris (including hair) from it. I just glanced at the base of my optical mouse; there is no hair there.

But I should look at Stella’s mouse (identical to mine); that will be the true cat-hair test. Samantha largely ignores the computer. Tabitha has learned that walking between the display and the keyboard will get her the attention she craves, but she doesn’t have any interest in the mouse pad or mouse. If either of us finds Tabitha in the chair, we scoop her up, sit down ourselves and replace her on our lap; at least half the time, despite her yowls of protest, she stays on our lap while we work.

8 Bryan { 05.08.06 at 7:14 pm }

Andante, korats, like Ringo, don’t get overweight. Sox doesn’t have much interest in moving above floor level, but Dot is the number one computer cat.

Even without getting up on the computer, the hair gets blown around by the vacuum cleaner and the ceiling fans.

I have a plastic pad that I use now, but every so often a “wild hair” gets in exactly the wrong place and the computer goes nuts until I get it out.