I ended up buying the offering from Evoluent
. I first tried to order through Amazon US, but their affiliate doesn't seem to be shipping techs to Europe. Luckily, I found a retailer in Germany
who carries them. Ordered on Tuesday (I think), delievered on Saturday, it came with an USB-to-PS2 adapater and a mini-CD labeled "Windows" presumably containing Windows drivers. Since I already knew the arm position would relieve my pain, I realised much would depend on the size of the mouse corresponding with that of my hand — size does
matter. Luckily, this seems to be the case. (What this means for you I don't know; as you may have gathered, I'm the tall modelesque type and have slender pianist's hands, and the mouse seems a decent fit. No idea how it would work for guy hands, or a really petite woman's. The measurements are on the manufacturer's website though.) The mouse has three buttons on the right, a clickable (but non-tilting) mouse-wheel between the first and the second button, and a thumb-button on the left. There is a "left-handed" variety of the mouse where everything is the other way around.
My demands were specific: the thumb button should be a middle button ("paste"), because that's what I'm used to from the Logitech (I also configured my IntelliMouse that way, though I would often mis-paste just reaching for the mouse due to the unfortunate position of the two thumb-buttons on that mouse). Since my right hand's index, middle and ringer-finger would rest on the three buttons on the right (rather than on first, scroll-wheel, and middle button), I wanted those buttons to be buttons 1, 2, and 3 (or "left, middle, and right"). Since customarily, clicking the scroll-wheel, something I do rarely, also produces a middle-click, I wanted to maintain that behaviour as well, in accordance with the principle of the least surprise. I briefly considered turning off the scrollwheel altogether because wheeling hurt, but ultimately decided against it. Here's the setup; for explanations of the various components in general and XF86Config
in particular, see my article on the IntelliMouse Explorer
Option "Buttons" "7"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "6 7"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/event2"
Option "Dev Name" "Evoluent VerticalMouse 2"
Option "Dev Phys" "usb-0000:00:10.0-2/input0"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
# reorder mouse-buttons.
# if xmodmap complains about number of buttons,
# remove entries starting from end.
# The idea here is make the buttons on the right
# buttons 1,2,3 and map the other buttons (the
# thumb-button and the clickable scroll-wheel) to
# indices low enough for imwheel (see below) to see.
xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 6 4 5 8 9 3 7 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32"
# start imwheel; see ~/.imwheelrc below
# The idea here is to map the thumb-button and the
# click of the scroll-wheel to Button2 (the "middle"
# or "paste" button in X11). Unfortunately, xmodmap
# alone won't let you map several physical buttons to
# the same code, so we'll need both xmodmap and imwheel.
None, Left, Button2
None, Right, Button2
Control_L, Button5, Alt_L|Left
Control_L, Button4, Alt_L|Right
Shift_L, Button5, Button1|Home
Shift_L, Button4, Button1|End
As an aside, this mouse has a cable
— I didn't mind so much, as all that wireless nonsense is beginning to get on my nerves, batteries always being empty at the worst times imaginable or peripherals losing contact (or maybe, my keyboard's about to die), but you may feel differently. The retailer I ordered from only had the black/silver variety (though both left- and right-handed), you'll find other colours (to go with an Indy or O2, maybe) on the manufacturers site. There's also a "chrome" variety that reminds me of the classic cylons (and will no doubt give rise to all the usual jokes,
Cylon & Furuncle, Cylons of the Lambs, Cylon Running
So much for now; I'll keep you updated on how my arms agree with the new electric rodent.
Lastly, respect the limits of feline payload
, and if you ruin your paws, don't randomly buy something some chick on the web
recommends — check with the vet!