From: Sean Ryan (ryan@rtp.ericsson.se)
Date: Fri May 22 1998 - 15:53:13 EEST


I received quite a few responses to my question regarding alternates to
SGI mice running Alias. I was asked to post the responses. I got
quite a few and they are appreciated. We know about Spacetec's
 Spaceball and have quite a few of those here; but we use them in
parallel with regular mice on our HP/Unigraphics stations(left
hand/right hand). I don't know
 if they can be used as a direct mouse replacement since we've never
tried it.
I will look into trying that.

Anyway, here are the responses I've received. Thanks to everyone who
sent them in. These lists are a valuable, quick tool for great tips and

Sean Ryan
Ericsson Inc. - Cellular R&D


I have used a Logitech MouseMan on our Indigo II.


An alternate solution is to get a special mouse pad. I have one called
the mouse areana that was made by Forminco, a Canadian company. It has
a place for my wrist to rest. It's been 3 years since I got mine, but I
think we got it through Egghead.


Brian A. Toussaint
American Steel Foundries
ph. (312)258-5412
fax (312)258-5465
email: btoussaint@asf-usa.com

Sean -

The company I work for is a CAD/CAM reseller. Among the many products
we represent are Alias and SGI. Would a SpaceBall take care of the

Call me if you have an interest, or any questions.

Scott Hill
(330) 722-4993
(330) 722-3689 - fax

Qualix Direct (www.qualixdirect.com) has a few trackballs for the SGI.
Would you mind posting your replies? - i'd like to know what you dig up.
thanks -


David A. Vogler                                    Mechanical Engineer
KEK Associates                                       Industrial Design
2555 Brighton-Henrietta TL Road                      Mechanical Design
Rochester, New York                                Product Development
New York 14623                                       Prototypes-Models
(716) 424-3380  
(716) 424-3319 fax

*************************************************************************** Somebody makes a "Space Ball". That is the product name - Space Ball. The company name escapes me right know, but you might search the Internet or somebody will come up with the name. It is basically a "tennis ball" mounted on a pad. Slight, I mean Slight, twitches cause the pointer to move. It is expensive, but cool, and people doing Pro/E solid modeling like them alot when they get used to them...

*************************************************************************** As you've already mentioned, marble (trackballs) are a good alternative to mice (I know several colleagues who swear by them). Also, you might want to look into a graphic tablet... I think the two frontrunners in this category are Calcomp (Ultraslate) and Wacom (Art, Artz II, etc)... I'm sure you shouldnt have too much problems demoing these from any dealer.

Hope that helped. AcezE (who is eagerly awaiting arrival of a new Ultraslate 6x9" tablet! :)

Shahir Al Rashid a.k.a "AcezE" /D.I\ newton's circus, anime, 3D art mail:aceze@interlog.com |T.L| www.interlog.com/~aceze kinou / ashita |C.Y| quiddity awaits iru \S.F/ all

***************************************************************************** I don't know much about different mice, but I have found the thing that made the most difference to my wrist hurting (years of tablet use with AutoCAD and mouse use with everything else), is to support the wrist and forearm with a reasonably large pad. This did much more than changing mice. I have a grain filled pad covered in fleece material from a company called Bucky. It's about 18 cm by 10 cm by 4 cm high. The little foam ones are practically useless, and the fleece material makes a difference, too. You want to get your wrist up to the level of the top of the mouse. That, combined with the (I hate to say it) Microsoft keyboard, has done more for my wrist than all the mice I tried. It also helps a lot to have your elbows supported by the arms of a chair.

Margaret Becker Robert McNeel & Associates

***************************************************************************** Have you considered the Wacom tablet? http://www.wacom.com/productinfo/

Because of wrist pain I made the following transitions: - mouse in rt hand - mouse in lt hand - track ball, both hands - Wacom pen and tablet

It has pretty much eliminated the pain for me.

Good luck! -- Randy Shively - rshively@erinet.com ***************************************************************************** Hi there Sean, we have similar problems (wrist hurting). We are using mainly SUN Ultra workstatinons and found the best device for us is a mouse-trak manufactured by ITAC Systems Inc. It has a PS2 plug and we plug it in to a SUN interface convertor. This convertor also has a jack for the mouse so you can use both simulaniuosly. I have been using this device for more than a year and have no complaints. My wrist does not hurt anymore. I refuse to use a mouse, not only because of the pain but also the action of the mouse-trak is a lot nicer. We have tried the PS2 version of the Logitech Trackman Marble but found it a bit clumsy. The mouse-trak has a large ball in the middle and three buttons around it. I am not sure if it would work on SGI stations, you would have to get in touch with ITAC. I hope this helps,

Rick Lussi Fisher and Paykel Production Machinery Auckland New Zealand ******************************************************************************** Sean,

For the past 2 years I've been using a touch pad that is an integral part of my keyboard. Although I never had wrist problems from using a mouse (I don't use my computer that much) it seems much easier to make slight movements with my index finger on the touch pad than to move the entire hand and wrist for manipulating a mouse. On the other hand (pun intended), a couple of friends have tried the touch pad and eventually returned to using a mouse. So, personal preferences aside, a touch pad will not cause a sore wrist. And I find it excellent for working in Rhino. Another aspect that makes it easy on the hands is that the keyboard is ergonomic (sometimes called a wave keyboard), so the hands are always in a natural orientation while doing keyboard entry. Hope your friend finds a comfortable solution.

Regards, Tom Thayer *********************************************************************************

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