Cramped and Upset

I actually have a lump in my throat right now and feel ready to cry... over mouse software. It's bad enough that MouseWorks, the software that drives my beloved Kensington Expert Mouse, conflicts with the Acrobat Connect Add-In (which I need for work). Now Logitech's MouseWare is conflicting with an application that I also need to use for work. In this case it's not causing the application to crash, as MouseWorks caused the Add-In to do, but it's severely impacting my workflow.

The solution is to "upgrade" to the new Logitech SetPoint software, which is TOTALLY USELESS for my purposes because it won't let me program my left mouse button to be double-click. The left and right mouse buttons MUST be single click and right-click (or vice versa) in SetPoint world, which doesn't work for me at all. Here's where I want to cry, and I realize that perhaps it's not clear why. Let me 'splain:

I moved to the beloved Expert Mouse several years ago, after going through weeks of physical therapy for RSI. I tried braces, exercises, massage, everything—but nothing stuck because I'd just make the tendonitis worse every time I got back behind my desk. One day the rehab doctor sighed and said, "your physical therapist has written to say that she doesn't think further therapy will produce any more improvement. The only other thing I can suggest is maybe moving to a trackball." I was like, WHY DIDN'T YOU MENTION THIS BEFORE??? I went out and got the Expert Mouse, and damned if he wasn't right: not having to double-click was HEAVEN. Not having to hold down a button while dragging? HOW COULD LIFE BE SO SWEET? My tendonitis still reared its head whenever I had to work sans mouse (i.e., using just the laptop trackpad), but whenever I had the Expert Mouse plugged in, I could work for hours on end without any trouble. It was weird to have the tendonitis improve while I was working.

Fast-forward to the discovery of the Add-In conflict. The engineer who finally diagnosed the problem suggested I try the Logitech Marble Mouse; he said that's the one he switched to when he realized the Kensington software was causing the Add-In crashes. I didn't love it, I must admit. The Expert mouse just fits my hand better, and the buttons are positioned so that they cause the least possible stress in my hand, wrist, and arm. The Marble Mouse's trackball is too far forward, and the buttons aren't positioned well for my hand, but at least I could program the buttons. See where this is going? NOW I CAN'T. My options are:

  1. Continue to use SetPoint, and try to get used to one of the tiny interior buttons being double-click. I can't seem to get used to the right mouse button being right-click, so I've swapped it with the left mouse button... but that means my left button is now right-click. That's not intuitive, either. I'm also having trouble reaching that tiny interior button without contorting my hand.
  2. Go back to the old MouseWare and have the buttons programmed the way I want them (or rather, the way I've settled for, after having to give up the Expert Mouse), but have the double-click button not work in an application I use EVERY DAY.
  3. Go back to the Expert Mouse and avoid using Acrobat Connect on this machine for as long as I can. (Mostly I use Acrobat Connect on my Mac, but for situations where *I* need to demo something or discuss code with another engineer, I need to use it here on my PC. In those situations, I'd need to uninstall the MouseWorks software first.)

I'm not thrilled with any of these options. #1 and #2 guarantee physical pain. (I'm actually already cramped up in my hand and elbow from the past couple days' worth going the #2 route, and less than an hour of route #1 has sent me in search of ice and Advil.) #3 will be a hassle beyond belief. But right now? I think I'm going to opt for the hassle over the pain. Hopefully that'll keep me from crying, too.

Posted by Lori in me, me, me and technically speaking and work at 12:36 PM on February 28, 2007