Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Electronic Device Identity Crisis

My supposedly advanced Microsoft wireless (bluetooth) keyboard and mouse both gave up the ghost last night in mid-sentence, suddenly deciding instead that they were my cellphone, and trying, against all odds, to download the contents of my phone's address book to my computer.

And there was no convincing them that they weren't.

To add insult to injury, my keyboard and mouse both firmly resisted any attempts to reinstall them, including the old "turn the computer off and turn it back on again" method. I even tried leaving the house and walking the dog. That didn't help the computer, though the dog was somewhat relieved.

Fortunately, I happened to have another (older) keyboard and mouse available - of the wireful variety - which saved me from a painful computerectomy and ensured that I would be able to continue to work.

But now I am in the market for a new keyboard / mouse.

My preferences are for something wireless, however, I note that my experience with these, apart from battery guzzling, is that they are not terribly reliable. Leaving aside the tendency of the bluetooth key thingy to mistake the various devices that are connected to it for each other, it used to take my wireless mouse a good 30 seconds to 'wake up' if I let it go untouched for more than a minute. The keyboard was the same. The reaction times were very frustratingly slow.

So I am happy for the opportunity to change, but the question is - change to what?

If anyone has a recommendation for a good wireless keyboard + mouse combo that will actually respond when I touch them and that won't suddenly decide that they are a telephone, I'd be very grateful.

And if anyone thinks that the wired versions are preferable, then please point me to a mouse with a VERY long cord. These mouse cords are not made for people who click with their right hand, but have their computer by their left leg (which was pretty much the reason I opted for the wireless version in the first place) ...

10 Comments:

OpenID shutterfool said...

I don't do bluetooth, but I have a garden variety (USB) wireless mouse that I've been using for about a year w/o any problems.
It's been (predictably) kicked around by Marzipan quite a lot, and it still works fine. Don't know what brand because the logo's been scratched off, but I think I bought it at Office Depot for, oh I don't know, two schmekels.

23 September, 2008 03:18  
Blogger Nobody said...

To add insult to injury, my keyboard and mouse both firmly resisted any attempts to reinstall them, including the old "turn the computer off and turn it back on again" method. I even tried leaving the house and walking the dog. That didn't help the computer, though the dog was somewhat relieved.

The truth about the turn off and on thing is that you need to completely unplug the system. Some hardware will fail to get reset by just shutting down the windows. So you should pull the power cable out.

Talking a dog for a walk also does not count as a serious measure. You should completely power yourself off too by say going to sleep. Next morning when booting yourself out of bed fresh and new, you will realize that hardware and flesh are all operating on the same principles.

23 September, 2008 06:43  
Blogger Savtadotty said...

I have a vague recollection of once having an extension cord for a wireful mouse at work, so there probably are such things.

Another option is a wireful USB mouse, connected to a wireful USB extender. This gives you many more wires than you want, but you get some extra USB outlets to play with (if you have that kind of sense of fun).

Finally, the idea of powering yourself off at the same time as your computer gets unplugged for misbehaving is most excellent, and I think Nobody is on the right track with that suggestion.

23 September, 2008 13:56  
Blogger Nobody said...

Savtadotty said...

. . .

Finally, the idea of powering yourself off at the same time as your computer gets unplugged for misbehaving is most excellent, and I think Nobody is on the right track with that suggestion.


Regular shutdowns and powering off with subsequent rebooting fresh and clean at the motning are extremely important for successful maintenance of both hardware and ordinary human beings (some people would say simple human beings). Respectfully, Savta, I hope that you are regularly practicing them both.

29 September, 2008 03:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rosh HaShana Tova uMetukah, Dear NomChal!
K. of I.F.

29 September, 2008 10:53  
Blogger Kiwi Boy said...

This post was well funny!

03 October, 2008 15:46  
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Anonymous Clodah @ Israel said...

I can't say I'm a computer freak or something but my boyfriend is a web-developer. So he's keen on this wireless stuff. Now we have two wireless keyboards and one mouse. I still have only wired devices. And I must say that I never have any problems with any of them in contrast to my boyfriend who quite often suffers from these "moody" things. So my logo is "Stick to the wired!"

29 August, 2010 10:50  

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