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Mouse
by John Anthony


The mouse is the most common 'pointing device' used in PCs. Every mouse has two buttons and a scroll wheel.

  • The left button is used to select items.
    The right button is assigned as a context or alternate menu.
    The scroll wheel is normally set to scroll up and down on the active page.

  • The button functions can be reassigned by going to Control Panel > Mouse > Buttons tab.

  • Data is transferred to the PC over a short cable with a circular 6-pin Mini-din connector that plugs into the back of the motherboard. Newer units use a USB connector that can be cable attached to any USB port on the PC.

  • Wireless versions of the mouse are available. They communicate with a fixed receiver pod that is plugs into the mouse port. Radio Frequency (RF) or InfraRed (IR) technology is used for communication between the mouse and the pod.


There are two designs used in a mouse for detecting motion:

Optical

This mouse uses an InfraRed transmitter/receiver pair to optically track the motion of the mouse as it is moved. It has a number of advantages over the track ball mouse:
  • No mouse pad is required.
  • Can work on any flat surface
  • No rolling track ball that collects and transfers dirt to the internal rollers, making them slip. When they do, your mouse pointer jumps around in an unpredictable and annoying way!

Track ball

The track ball type is no longer in wide use as the optical mouse has effectively replaced it.
  • This type of mouse uses a rolling (track) ball. As the mouse moves the ball rolls and the rolling motion is converted electronically into matching movements of the mouse pointer that moves across your video display.

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