Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fixing a trackball computer mouse

I'm a fix it guy. I'll take a swing at almost anything if it seems worth while keeping. Thanks go to Chris for passing along his old hardware. Muchas gracias brother. Chris is also responsible for some excellent programming that makes me look good at work.

My mouse is one I now value and I'll keep the $75 for a new one and have some fun doing the refurbishment too. The trackball is easy on the hand and, OK, I'm cheap, or "Green" or whatever you want to call it. Re-use rules!

Doing more with less is a theme I've embraced. I don't need a new sweater just because this one is showing some wear. I may put one on that has cleaner lines, to go to town, but around here often even that isn't mandatory. Like I'm fond of saying, I've always wanted to be a peasant. I don't appreciate the airs of wealth, power and prestige. I do highly value wisdom that can, in some cases, come from the uneducated and impoverished. Poverty is the norm here. The land wasn't any good for farming and the population base is thin. The type of land is the type the powers that be would grant for a native reserve just like the one down the road. That, and gardens can be built. The hunting is good!

The gap between my urban and country selves has widened and there is no turning back now. I just hope my urban friends can relate closely enough to recognise some common ground and don't disappear from my life altogether. It's rough and dirty here sometimes, but it has many benefits too.

So I fix things. I repair. I restore. I resurrect. I salvage. My Dad was the very best at making a silk purse out of a sows ear. Sometimes it seemed as if Dad was only truly inspired when there was some meaningless piece of costume jewelery or dollar store wind up toy that a kid had ruined and was wanting repair. He loves to make kids happy. I know that's not his exclusive skill because he was gifted in dancing with precious metals, gem stones, watches and clocks too. Lucky me that I got to be a chunk off the old block. Although that sows ear isn't nearly so attractive to me.

Some people really don't like things that are used, worn or showing some patina, but I'm very fond of healthy wear, especially on something well engineered. When I need some pleasure I often extend the life of something I love. Today it was a computer mouse.

This was a gift from a junk drawer to help bridge the gap between my failing standard laser mouse and a new one being delivered. A little TLC and a twenty minutes of shop time and it's like new. Tools are everything to fussy jobs like this, but if you have them go for it.

The beast


The fix was to drill a hole under the ball, pop it out from underneath and then clean and rotate it to avoid the wear spot when it's popped back into the socket.


The drill was one millimeter in diameter


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