eeeww - gross
Just don't tell them to turn the keyboard over and shake it.
Welcome again to On-Call, in which The Register brings you readers’ tales of tech support traumas. This week, meet “Wanda”, who found herself called upon to some citizen sysadminnery when shopping. Wanda’s story started with a broken mobile phone and a desire to replace it. Said desire took her into a retail outlet where a …
I still use a trackball as I get chronic pain in my wrist from using standard "mices". It's basically an upside-down mouse and with your sweaty, food, bogey, greasy soaked thumb constantly on the ball all the time, let's say you really don't want be there at the end of the week when it's "ball and socket" clean out time!!
Of course you could try washing your hands, both before and after your ball and socket cleanout...
Of course you still have the problem of secreted oils and skin cells that constantly die and come off, forming that lovely grey or brown crud that gets over everything...
Oh jeez - there are some folks with trackballs here - I don't think they've EVER cleaned them...
My optical mouse generally gets its glidepads cleaned on at least a weekly interval. The keyboard gets a good shake when I know the cleaners are coming to wipe and vacuum round.
"...when I know the cleaners are coming to wipe..."
There was a period in our company history when we suspected that the cleaner of that era was wiping down everything down with the same rag. Urinals, toilets, our keyboards, our desk surfaces, our chair armrests...
You also need to see a doctor if you have balls and a socket, as I thought they were mutually exclusive on the same individual.
No, more that you need to see a doctor if you have balls (or not) and don't have several sockets - hips joints? shoulder joints? eye sockets?
Some people will get one of them removed, and the other installed. I guess it's also possible to simply have the missing one installed, for those that want the complete set. On the other hand, being a hermaphrodite isn't usually something you require medical attention for.
I wandered into my local CEX and they use trackballs like me for the messy desk solution. I asked them if they had any trackballs in and one drone told me they didn't make them any more since normal mice were so advanced these days.
I let the other staff members correct the errant youth and purchased a Kindle Fire HD for my very aged mother to misunderstand.
I refer to mine as a dead rat.
I can offer you a variety of those - what state of decomposition do you require?
(It's the annual "rats trying to move into the garden" season. Not a career-enhancing move when said garden is home to 7 cats - at least 3 of which hunted for a living before adopting us.. And Senior Cat really, really doesn't like rats..)
I use a Logitech Trackman at home (the same one model CeX used to use), and it doesn't get very grungy and is simplicity itself to clean. It also works with an electrical USB to PS/2 converter (i.e. the little adaptors that just rewire the output rather than change the protocol) if your KVM is PS/2 only.
My only irritation is that connected through my KVM only three buttons are detected (both small buttons are detected as the same button).
"What has kvm got to do with pointing devices? I thought it stood for kernel virtual machine."
In this context KVM stands for Keyboard, Video, Mouse, it's a box that switches one keyboard, monitor, and mouse between multiple computers. So the M has a lot to do with pointing devices.
I used have a little one I Blu-tacked to the top right corner of my Amiga 2000 keyboard, worked ok as an all-in-one unit but never found trackballs to be as easy to use as mice.
I also had a Genitizer graphics tablet for my Amiga, loved using that thing because it was so quick & precise compared to a mouse, and quite funny watching other people use it for the first time as they'd pick the pen up and move it as if it were a mouse to move the pointer further in the direction they wanted to go, only to find the pointer instantly jumped to the relative position of the pen on the pad.
As long as we're travelling down Nostalgia Road, remember hand scanners?
any hot tips on how to clean mousewheels?
First find your most hated colleague and tell them you would like to massage them. When they lay down with their back facing upward, proceed to rub them with the mousewheel. Apply the mousewheel in small circular motions to increase the effectiveness of the cleaning. Similarly, the mouse ball can be cleaned in similar manner. After the mousewheel is cleaned, proceed toward the exit as fast as you humanly could to avoid withdraw effect from your colleague.
Warning: do not make any sudden sound or reaction when you see disgusting particulars coming out.
@ mycho et al this will be lengthy. and to many here old hat mostly. Ramble on..........
Have a plastic washing up bowl or better a higher sided plastic storage box to contain things that go ping, things that drop and all the bits, do the dissasembly inside.
Have either a bit of double sided or a length of gaffertape looped back stuck to the side to attach bits to in the order of dismantle, so as to reverse on reassembly.
Screws and things are hidden under labels and pads. Prodding with a pin finds under labels. A cocktail stick is good for getting bearing pads or rubber feet off. These will have a sticky layer which usually wont be good enough to reattach,* see later.
You need a guitar plectrum or old credit card sanded at about 45 degrees to a finer edge for when it all sticks together with latches when the screws are out, look at the moulding and you will see tiny tiny dimples where the little bastards lie, Mostly, YMMV.
For cleaning you need a plastic cup of water with 2 drops of washing up liquid and isopropyl alcohol, (* see later) cheap soft tooth brushe , cotton buds, ktchen towel, running water for the only plastic bits.
Do your worst, but write down any connectors or odd things for memory fail on reassembly.
If it is really gunky and has had coffee or worse coke spilt then wash it in plain water as there is nothing to lose, blow it dry with a hairdryer on cold or a heat I can keep my hand in indefinitely until no visible moisture, then stick it overnight over the back of the freezer.
Use of alcohol: if you click go for it, if not don`t.
Mice generally heve mech switches that click. Some keyboards are elastomer and may be short or long term damaged by exposure to alcohols. Anything with any sort of elastomer switch can only safely be water cleaned. They can also be damaged by new green water washable flux removers getting in.
There was a Colclene product safe on anything except the ozone layer it was a Freon derivative! (TF?)
*#1 Sticky feet, once taken off and exposed to air for the hours ( ahem,days) taken to fix something they lose their urge and go inert or gooey, alcohol wipe clean and use germany`s secret weapon UHU.
If you coat them and another sample to tacky test, when ok leave it a liitle longer , if still tacky stick em on, if you do it too soon the solvent may make it pretty permanent with some plastics.
*#2 IPA, why not Meths? The structure of isopropyl alcohol means it is better at dissolving grease and other non polar soils,( flux) while about as good as methylated spirits on the rest. It is highly refined and less likely to contaminate very expensive rubber components like the pinch wheels on on a 24 or 32 track audio recorder... If you cant get it buy polish spiritus 95% which is purer than meths as the 4.99% is water.
"*#2 IPA, why not Meths?"
Meths is "mostly ethanol" - but the part that isn't is "mostly methanol" along with some particularly nasty petroleum compounds that really do nasty things to rubber.
The fun part is that some parts of the world, IPA is universally used as rubbing alcohol and whilst you might think you're buying IPA, you find that it has some oil mixed in.
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