Better Grad Student

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40 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Links: Day 9

with 2 comments

Several of my posts this past week have been computer-related, so I figured I would continue that trend today. Computers have three things that you interact with constantly: a screen, a keyboard, and a mouse. When I started grad school, I invested in a mouse that was way beyond what I had ever used before. Like most of you, I had a very simple mouse: two buttons and a scroll wheel. These types of mice work great for basic stuff and you all probably get along just fine without a fancy-shmancy mouse. But believe me, when you go from a crappy mouse to one that has increased functionality, you’ll be amazed at how much you enjoy and appreciate the extras.

In addition to the traditional two buttons and scroll wheel, the Logitech MX Revolution mouse that I use has an additional scroll wheel, at least 3 extra buttons, and both scroll wheels are capable of clicking and rocking side to side. This sounds like a ridiculous amount of features, but it allows me to trigger specific actions on my computer that would otherwise take several mouse clicks. For example, the main wheel always me to scroll up and down as well as side-to-side, I can navigate between pages on my web browser with two additional buttons, and I can activate system-wide features like Expose and my Dashboard using the features of the second scroll wheel. This mouse is also ten times more comfortable to use than a regular mouse because it more naturally contours to they shape of a human hand. All of these extras have really come in handy and using them is second nature to me. I say all of this to impress upon you the benefits of a really good mouse. It may not seem like something you really need, but once you use it you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Please tell me what you think in the comments! Also, if you like what you’ve been reading here, sign up at the top of the page to receive emails every time I make a new post. Thank you for reading!

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Written by Taylor M.

March 18, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Posted in The Basics

Tagged with , , , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. I don’t know about this mouse business. I’ve got a simple 2 button mouse with a scroll wheel. I have 2 side buttons that I never use on the mouse. The contours are appreciated, but I’m nearly as happy w/ a standard run of the mill “Dell” mouse.

    On the flip side, I have several keyboard hot keys that I use. I would argue that this has made a big difference in my productivity. Effectively, I think we have done the same and come to the same conclusion, but through different input devices.

    Neil "The Real Deal"

    March 18, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    • Keyboard shortcuts are definitely useful and I use them quite a bit as well. Each task requires a different level of usage of both the keyboard and mouse and so our mileage with each will vary. For something that I use for the majority of my day, I prefer to have something that’s high quality, works really well, and has useful functionality. To each their own, but you should at least give one a shot.

      Taylor M.

      March 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm


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