Odd Hardware Karma (A Tale of Mice and KVMs)

I’m wondering if Darren’s hardware karma has somehow rubbed off a bit on me….

First of all, midway through the day yesterday my mouse scroll partially died. Having no scroll wheel sucks when you are used to it. “OK,” thinks I. “I was thinking about a new mouse anyway, and Firefly will be going by a computer store today anyway, so why not?”. I talked to a guy at work and he suggested the Logitech MX Revolution, the latest in funkyness from Logitech. It was something I looked at a while back but had no reason to get since my mouse was just fine at the time.

And it’s $50 cheaper than at London Drugs of Future Shop.

Fast forward to the evening after work as I unpack it and find that it’s USB only and won’t work with USB -> PS/2 adapters and therefor won’t work with the KVM I have (a nice and simple little two port LinkSys dealie-o). “Drat,” thinks I. “I was thinking about getting into the modern age anyway and getting a full USB KVM anyway, and if I’m upgrading anyway, a four port one would let me do work on another two computers at the same time.”

Run down to London Drugs and find a nice little I/O Gear 4 Port USB KVM. It’s relatively small, and only has two of the four included cables built in, so I don’t have to have (as much of) a rats nest under the desk.

Crap, my keyboard is PS/2 (what sort of a stupid modern keyboard is only PS/2?). And I have no PS/2 -> USB adapters. Ok, run back down to London Drugs and get one. Grr..

OK, so now I can finally plug everything in and it all works! Well, except that Logitech, in their infinite freaking wisdom decided to put computing back 20 years and not included a middle mouse button!!!

Yes, you heard me right. The big fancy scroll wheel (which has a “hyperspeed” scroll mode, where it goes from a normal “click-click-click” scroll to free scroll where it spins – super-extra cool) can be clicked, but only to switch between normal scroll and hyperspeed scroll. The drivers don’t have any options. Also, clicking the wheel is pretty clunky, so I’m not sure it’d work well anyway. There’s another button sitting right behind the scroll wheel which would be perfect for setting as middle mouse click, but no, it’s only choices are “search” and “zoom”.

I looked on the net and found that everyone doing a review of the mouse seems to have noted the lack of middle click, but no one is up in arms. All the reviews are four out of five stars with a quick note about “lack of middle click” in the conclusion. I’d be screaming from the rooftops or heading to Logitech with a petition or something. For me the gaming aspect and computer management relies way to heavily on the middle mouse button to lose it ๐Ÿ™

So unless I find out a way of fixing this today, or hear from someone a fix, I’ll be packing it back up and taking it back. Probably get myself a Logitech G7 (gaming mouse) or the MX 1000 (successor to the one MX 500 I have now) instead.

Second bitch I have is that the KVM I got doesn’t follow the standard “scrlk-scrlk” to swap computers. Instead (cause it’s all fancy and stuff I guess) it uses “scrlk-scrlk+<enter>” to swap computers, and a bunch of other “scrlk-scrlk+<key>” commands to do things like swap computers only, or audio only, or computer and usb but not audio, etc. A real PITA if you want to swap computers quickly and are used to just “scrlk-scrlk”. Adding the extra key in there is really unwieldy ๐Ÿ™

So I’ll probably also return the KVM for something that is a straight two port USB switch like this (I have no love for I/O gear, I just happen to know that this KVM was in the store) which uses only “scrlk-scrlk” to switch computers.

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