[9fans] evoluent mouse review - Plan9

This is a discussion on [9fans] evoluent mouse review - Plan9 ; Two months ago, in response to the mention on this mailing list, I got an Evoluent 3 Rev 2 mouse, pictured at http://www.evoluent.ca/ . It is a USB mouse, and I've been using it with Plan 9 apps on Linux. ...

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Thread: [9fans] evoluent mouse review

  1. [9fans] evoluent mouse review

    Two months ago, in response to the mention on this mailing list, I
    got an Evoluent 3 Rev 2 mouse, pictured at http://www.evoluent.ca/.
    It is a USB mouse, and I've been using it with Plan 9 apps on Linux.
    I can't vouch for how it works with Plan 9 natively.

    At first I really hated it: it was too jerky and too hard to move
    my hand to the mouse without moving the cursor. Then I found that
    there is a button on the bottom that cycles through 2600, 1800, 1300,
    and 800 dpi. The default is 1800, and I found that changing it to 800
    cured the jerkiness. It still took a while for my hand to learn how
    to move from the keyboard to the mouse without looking down and to get
    used to the buttons--I've always used my middle finger for both buttons
    2 and 3, and I retrained my hand to give button 3 to the ring finger.
    It took me a week of using the Evoluent to feel comfortable with it.

    I had been using an Evoluent at home and an IBM at MIT, but I just got a
    second Evoluent for MIT. The Evoluent and the often-recommended IBM mouse
    both suffer from "mouse creep", where the wire pushes the mouse after
    you let go of it (this is particularly annoying when you've just put the
    cursor in an acme tag), but the problem is much less pronounced on
    the Evoluent.

    Two caveats for the Evoluent. First, in contradiction to the diagram
    on the http://www.evoluent.ca/ page, the main buttons are numbered 132
    not 123, so you have to remap them in software.

    Second, the Evoluent slides very nicely, but the five hard feet it
    has will scuff up low-quality surfaces like the crummy Staples folding
    banquet table I use for a desk at home. Even though it's an optical
    mouse you might want a mouse pad.

    All in all, though, I won't be buying any more IBM mice. I'm tempted
    by the wireless Evoluent but haven't tried it.

    Russ


    P. S. As for software remapping, it appears that some versions of xmodmap
    require you to give a remapping string with exactly the right number
    of buttons, while others let you give too many or too few. My Linux
    system with the former behavior thinks it has 11 buttons (!), while
    my Linux system with the latter behavior thinks it has only 9 buttons.
    Thus, the following script works in both places:

    $ cat /home/rsc/bin/funnymouse
    #!/bin/sh
    xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 3 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11"
    $

    but when you run it on the latter system, you get the amusing output:

    $ funnymouse
    Warning: Only changing the first 11 of 9 buttons.
    $



  2. Re: [9fans] evoluent mouse review

    I bought one of these ("Evoluent VerticalMouse 3 Rev 2", aka VM3R2).

    It doesn't work with my KVM (IOGear GCS1734, neither top of the line
    nor junk), not with Linux or Plan 9: horizontal tracking is fine, but
    vertical tracking goes only up. It works ok plugged directly into a
    Linux box.

    After some mail back and forth with Evoluent, the bottom line is they
    don't care. They began with a defensible position (not all mice work
    with all KVM switches), but, when asked to name *one* switch the VM3R2
    works with, they quit answering mail.

    Note that their web site warns against KVM switches when using the
    Windows driver (as if!), but does not make a general warning.

    It's an interesting device, but when using some (maybe all?) KVM
    switches you're better off with an $8 Logitech throwaway. Too bad.

    Dave Eckhardt


  3. Re: [9fans] evoluent mouse review

    can you cat /dev/mouse and see if button 4/5 events are generated by
    the mouse? it may be that they give you something else than the usual
    down/up event that everybody is used to (large value deltas, for
    example). they may also be generating button 6 and up events instead,
    in which case you'll have to tweak the kernel driver and put a fix
    yourself.

    On Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 2:32 PM, Dave Eckhardt wrote:
    > I bought one of these ("Evoluent VerticalMouse 3 Rev 2", aka VM3R2).
    >
    > It doesn't work with my KVM (IOGear GCS1734, neither top of the line
    > nor junk), not with Linux or Plan 9: horizontal tracking is fine, but
    > vertical tracking goes only up. It works ok plugged directly into a
    > Linux box.
    >
    > After some mail back and forth with Evoluent, the bottom line is they
    > don't care. They began with a defensible position (not all mice work
    > with all KVM switches), but, when asked to name *one* switch the VM3R2
    > works with, they quit answering mail.
    >
    > Note that their web site warns against KVM switches when using the
    > Windows driver (as if!), but does not make a general warning.
    >
    > It's an interesting device, but when using some (maybe all?) KVM
    > switches you're better off with an $8 Logitech throwaway. Too bad.
    >
    > Dave Eckhardt
    >
    >



  4. Re: [9fans] evoluent mouse review

    mr. eckhardt,

    have you considered translating the evoluent usb interface into one
    the kvm switch can understand with an atmel avr board?

    nkl

    > I bought one of these ("Evoluent VerticalMouse 3 Rev 2", aka VM3R2).
    >
    > It doesn't work with my KVM (IOGear GCS1734, neither top of the line
    > nor junk), not with Linux or Plan 9: horizontal tracking is fine, but
    > vertical tracking goes only up. It works ok plugged directly into a
    > Linux box.



  5. Re: [9fans] evoluent mouse review

    > have you considered translating the evoluent usb interface
    > into one the kvm switch can understand with an atmel avr
    > board?


    I'm impressed by your creativity. You are right that with
    sufficient thrust, wings are not necessary and even a brick
    can fly. :-)

    Even without solving the problem, it *would* be interesting
    to know exactly what is going wrong.

    First I should probably walk around trying other KVM switches.

    Dave Eckhardt


  6. Re: [9fans] evoluent mouse review

    > I'm impressed by your creativity. You are right that with
    > sufficient thrust, wings are not necessary and even a brick
    > can fly. :-)


    he must have been inspired by seeing vista in action.
    (does that need scare quotes?)

    it's hard to comprehend using what would have passed
    for a fine supercomputer when i was in school for
    a graphics card. and then having an operating system
    so self-assured, that it requires at least that much power
    to run a gui.

    but such is progress in computers — and my evidently
    quickly advancing age.

    - erik



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