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Hardware Thread, What work surface to choose? in Technical; Good Morning, I have now got to choose a work surface for the ICT Suite in our new school. 2 ...
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    What work surface to choose?

    Good Morning,

    I have now got to choose a work surface for the ICT Suite in our new school. 2 years ago this would have been a simple decision but now i am not so sure.

    Basically at my current location we have a single table on which an optical mice simply doesn't work. The pointer shakes on the screen but no control can be had. There doesn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary about the table.

    Anyone know what i should be looking out for with regards to optimal surfaces for optical mice?

    Thanks for any hints

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    I suppose aslong as its a smooth surface, that shouldn't happen.. we have a smooth worksurface and the mice work fine.

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    This is what i thought. The table in question is smooth. It is also yellow. I have uploaded some images of the table.

    Does pattern also play an important role. I read somewhere that patterns can cause an optical mouse pointer to jump around as the colour values change.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I've found that having certain patters in the surface (like fake effect grain) can make them jump around.

    Some of the Dell mice are the worst culprits in that regard, the Microsoft mice seem to fair better ....

    Why not try and push for matte black

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    Well i do have the option for a black finish (i already have leviathan carpet ) although i am not sure if it is a matte finish. Does the Matte finish make a difference? Does the reflection value of the surface have a dramatic affect.

    I thought that the better the reflection value the better the surface since optical work by reflection which is why glass fails as it refracts rather than reflects and so the laser doesn't get back to the mouse?

    Am i over-complicating this simple choice. I just don't want to end up with a whole bench of surface and it not working with optical mice. I don't want to resort back to mouse mats as it gives the pupils (primary kids) more freedom on the surface.

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    I thought optical mice needed something on the surface to track they were moving?

    Ben

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    I'd ask for samples of all the worktops, so that you can test each one.

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    I did. I got a piece of card with some pictures on

    I have decided on a speckled white (with black speckles) work surface as it resembles what we have at the moment, which works with the mice. Seems to safest solution to me.

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    Someting textured and slightly reflective like a white surface. The other option is to but quality optical mice, the Microsoft ones like the Microsoft Optical Mouse 1.1A and the intellimouce series have far superior optical processing than others like the Microsoft Optical 2.0 mouse (rubbish) that will skip on any surface.

    You dont want a surface that it to smooth or too black as either will give the mouse no refference points to work with. A slightly textured light colour will work fine with most quality mice, think white paper type surface. Otherwise a surface with a fine uniform pattern like a grid of squares along with a halfway decent mouse will do the trick.

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    2nd Synack's opinion about MS mice - the new ones are absolute rubbish - they look the same but feel absolutely tacky

    We just left them in their boxes (bought 3x3packs) and will use them as emergency spares only

    regards

    Simon

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Someting textured and slightly reflective like a white surface. The other option is to but quality optical mice, the Microsoft ones like the Microsoft Optical Mouse 1.1A and the intellimouce series have far superior optical processing than others like the Microsoft Optical 2.0 mouse (rubbish) that will skip on any surface.

    You dont want a surface that it to smooth or too black as either will give the mouse no refference points to work with. A slightly textured light colour will work fine with most quality mice, think white paper type surface. Otherwise a surface with a fine uniform pattern like a grid of squares along with a halfway decent mouse will do the trick.
    optical mice dont do well on reflective surfaces ( but then ) thats what mouse matts are for I guess

    I have the MX5000 desktop series that logitech made - have to admit I really like that mouse

    Wish I knew some way of getting it to work with my mac pro on OS X , doh !

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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    Good Morning,

    I have now got to choose a work surface for the ICT Suite in our new school. 2 years ago this would have been a simple decision but now i am not so sure.

    Basically at my current location we have a single table on which an optical mice simply doesn't work. The pointer shakes on the screen but no control can be had. There doesn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary about the table.

    Anyone know what i should be looking out for with regards to optimal surfaces for optical mice?

    Thanks for any hints
    Hi, From experience as long as the worktop hasn't got a gloss surface it should be fine.

    To make doubly sure take an optical mouse that is going to be used on the surface along with a laptop to the suppliers and try it out.

    Hope this helps?

    Ben

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    Thanks for all the responses.

    It's interesting as a few posts have some conflicting info. A simple decision made awkward by the vendor's choice of making good or rubbish optical mice. We are a mac (ish) school and so would mostly be using Apple's mice which IMO are pretty good mice. Never had an issue with these mice on any surface before.

    Also the table in question has had various mice on it which all seem to result in the same fatality on this surface. They don't work.

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