How Did That Happen?


I think I broke my mouse.  More correctly, I think I wore my mouse out.  How did that happen?

This revelation isn’t as dramatic as you think.  It didn’t just stop working.  It works, but it just doesn’t work as well.  It seems to double click when I am pretty sure I single clicked.  It also seems to have trouble highlighting text.  It highlights some parts, but not all.  Every time I try to drag and highlight, I usually end up with pieces of my text all over the place.

When I first noticed the problem, I followed the natural progression.  I changed the batteries.  I cleaned the optical part.  I turned it off and on again.  I shook it back and forth.  I even did the old Atari trick and checked the USB dongle for dust.  It still doesn’t work well.

I decided to ask my millennial/post millennial students their opinions.  They live with computers, so they might have some knowledge that I don’t.  For sure they have knowledge that I don’t.  Lucky for me, I hold the English knowledge that they crave or I wouldn’t have any cards at all.

They explained to me that the mouse has  a finite number of clicks (they mentioned the number 1 million, but I think they were just picking a number that they think is big) and that I probably went past that.  It sounded ludicrous, but I started to think that buttons only work for a certain amount of time till the contacts are worn out.  If you can wear out the microwave popcorn button, you can probably wear out a mouse button.  

It’s a little frustrating, but it is also a testament to how long I have had the thing.  I have probably had the mouse for more than ten years.  Add to that, that I’ve probably changed the batteries fewer than 5 times.  That’s a pretty good track record.

So, now I have a few options.  I could buy a new wireless mouse.  I could salvage one of the old wired mice that is in the electronic graveyard of my house waiting for E-waste day, or I could learn to use the touchpad on my computer.

Which of these three options do you think I will choose?  Please leave your vote in the comments section.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
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13 Responses to How Did That Happen?

  1. Cathy Cade says:

    Don’t know about you, but I can’t get on with any laptop mouse-pad. My laptop keyboard is separate because I now have a Surface Pro, after spilling wine over my previous laptop. (I thought I might get into using it as a tablet, but… nah.) My main gripe with it is that it only has one USB port.
    I previously used a wireless mouse and was v. happy with it – although it’s only a couple of years old so far. The thing is, I work standing up a lot of the time and to get both screen and keyboard at a suitable height, I use a plug-in keyboard (these do pack up from time to time, but at £5 for a new one [last month] I’m not complaining). With a single USB port, this means either a mini hub (which I’ve found v. short-lived in the past) or a bluetooth mouse.
    To be fair, the bluetooth has been more reliable than I expected, given previous experience with bluetooth headphones and speakers, but from time to time it changes its behaviour (the wheel in particular might stop scrolling, either with or without taking to zooming in and out) or just stops working with no warning. Since the only reliable way to get it going again is to reboot my laptop, I suspect this is more a bluetooth system failure than a failure of the mouse.
    When I sit to work, I can reattach the Surface keyboard and use my lovely wireless mouse instead, whose only fault is the number of batteries it gets through (I forget to turn it off).

    • Anthony says:

      You pretty much described my entire setup. I have an external keyboard (not wireless because it doesn’t need to be) and a wireless mouse. I also have my laptop on a stand which puts it a little higher and at a nicer angle.
      I am surprised that your mouse batteries die so quickly. I never turn off the mouse and the batteries last about 2 years. I had bought my mother a wireless mouse and she was changing the battery every month. I bought her a new one that was like mine (same brand) and she doesn’t have those problems anymore. That is something you can check into. I remember that the packaging stated clearly that the battery was long life.
      Thanks for your comments.

  2. Anna Kwan says:

    Continue using the mouse. For me, I’m more precise with my movements on a mouse. Actually the mouse I use has a built-in track ball so the mouse itself remains stationary. It’s easier on the wrist. You manipulate the track ball with your thumb and the index and middle fingers continue to click the two mouse buttons. I’ve had one for more than a decade with no plans on replacing it. It occasionally needs to be cleaned. It runs on one AA battery for a very long time. Very reliable.

  3. Margie says:

    New mouse

  4. Lkvy says:

    RIP Anthony’s mouse. I’d get a new wireless mouse. Using the touch pad gets annoying.

    This reminds me of a bike I worked on last month, so here’s an anecdote for ya: I replaced the shifter cable and housing, and in the process of doing so, the teeny tiny plastic bit that fits into a slot that moves the indicator broke off. You could still shift gears: it was only the indicator that didn’t work. The bike was from about 2000, so I was like, “Eh, it’s a 20-year-old plastic bit. Doubt the customer would care.” I was so, so, so wrong. He made a huge deal out of it. 🤦🏼‍♀️

    • Anthony says:

      I certainly don’t envy you in that position. Did you have to find a new indicator? Maybe there should be a TLC/History channel show on bike shops and their customers….

      • Lkvy says:

        We replaced it with a used one from our spare parts bin. We just wish more people understood that parts on the verge of breaking would have broken on the road had we not touched it.

        There’s so much I could write about re: customers, but I don’t want to be sacked over my blog!

      • Anthony says:

        Write anonymously…and don’t tell any close friends.

  5. retrodee says:

    You’ll do the right thing, and buy an up-to-date new wireless mouse. 🙂 I say “the right thing” because you’ll just inevitably have problems sooner than later trying to salvage an old one. I had at least 2 mice go bad on me after several years of use. It’s true that stuff can only take so many clicks. Electronics don’t last forever. My laptop is 6 yrs old and I’m nervous every day I use it although so far it seems to be holding up! 😮

  6. idlecyclist says:

    My vote is that you will soldier on for another few weeks and eventually rescue the old wired mouse when your patience runs out in the middle of an important task, before eventually giving in and buying a replacement wireless one, spending time trying to find exactly the same model you had before……..oops, sorry that’s me! 🙈😆

    You should just buy the new one 🙂

  7. Pingback: Resolution To One Issue | Today's Perfect Moment

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