Computer hardware

Wireless Mouse

April 13, 2009

in computer hardware

by David Hakala

Using a wireless mouse is one way to reduce clutter. Also, you don’t have to worry about where to put your computer relative to the mouse. In fact, if you also get a wireless keyboard and a laptop “desk,” you can slack on the couch with your computer in the entertainment center, displaying your work on the giant wide-screen TV! Here are a few tips for choosing and using a wireless mouse.

Most wireless mice have an infrared transceiver built into it that communicates with another transceiver plugged into a mouse port or USB port on your computer. Infrared is simply light in a frequency below the range humans can see. So you need a clear line of sight between the mouse and the computer’s transceiver or the signal will be blocked. A Bluetooth mouse operates on radio waves which can penetrate or be reflected around small obstacles over limited distances.

When a wireless mouse starts acting “squirrely” – responding slowly, erratically, or not at all – there are several things you can do.

Change the mouse’s batteries; they run down pretty quickly.

Clean the mouse’s track ball or optical sensor. Dirt makes it hard for the mouse to track its movement across a surface.

Try a mouse pad with texture that a track ball can grip. The changes as the mouse passes over tiny ridges help it detect its own motion better. Don’t use an optical mouse on a glass tabletop; the light will shine through the glass instead of being reflected back to the mouse’s sensor.

Belkin makes a good wireless mouse in a variety of styles. They are all ambidextrous, designed to be easily used whether you are right or left handed. The Belkin model YDB-F8E845 sports rechargeable AA batteries which can save you money and spare the environment.

Logitech’s wireless mouse is designed for right-handers. It is ergonomically comfortable and can help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if you slave away with a mouse all day long. Its receiver, which plugs into the computer, can fit a USB port or a PS/2 connector.

David Hakala has perpetrated technology tutorials since 1988 in addition to committing tech journalism, documentation, Web sites, marketing collateral, and profitable prose in general. His complete rap sheet can be seen at