Mouse Motion Is No Mickey Mouse Matter

Cat playing with computer mouse

First, nothing against Mickey Mouse - the beloved Walt Disney character gets a bad rap for his misadventures and simplistic mindset turning his moniker into an expression of something insignificant or trivial.  Now, on to the meat of the matter, or, maybe, cheese of the matter, which is, of course, mouse motion.  Not the furry, little creature scurrying across the kitchen floor, but the dependable device connected to a computer enabling the cursor arrow to be moved across a monitor screen to perform a multitude of tasks.

Customarily, when conducting an ergonomic evaluation of an employee’s computer workstation, I have the person navigate into the Mouse Properties window via Control Panel or Settings to check on the mouse’s motion/pointer speed.  Typically, the speed resides at the default halfway setting as shown in this image.  In Mac vernacular, it’s tracking speed.

Computer screenshot of Mouse settings 

I then direct the individual to increase the pointer/tracking motion to three-quarters speed followed by a click on OK to apply the setting.  This adjustment is often followed by a “cool beans” reaction when the person notices the ease of cursor movement with just a nudge of the mouse.  No longer is there the need for a cat and mouse fight in the sense of “wrestling” with the device.  Save that for a Tom and Jerry cartoon. 

The pointer speed increase is especially “handy” for someone using a keyboard tray where the mouse sometimes needs to be picked up and plopped back down on the platform in order to move the cursor to the desired destination.  I daresay Mighty Mouse would approve of this modification, considering the number of mouse clicks one makes in a workday at the computer.  He’s all about saving the day, you know. 

For more on mouse matters, mouse on over to these MEMIC blogs:

Even Hanna-Barbera’s Mr. Jinks, the orange cat incessantly infuriated by the twin mouse hijinks of Pixie and Dixie, could learn a thing or two about the ergonomics of mouse use from these posts.  So, don’t get caught in a mouse trap to find yourself uttering Mr. Jinks’ trademark line, "I hates those meeces to pieces!"

Make the change and carry on, Mouseketeers!

By Greg LaRochelle