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Archive for February, 2011

I’ve never before posted a product review on my blog.  But this one is so crappy that I’ve no choice but to make an exception.  People need to be warned about what not to waste their hard-earned money on.

PRODUCT: Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 v3

I ordered this product on Amazon less than a year ago and am already replacing it.  Not sure how much ergonomic research actually went into the designing of this product.  It’s more likely that they just came up with a design that looked cool rather than one that actually fit well with the human hand.

MICROSOFT WIRELESS LASER KEYBOARD

"Ergonomics" apparently means no two buttons can be the same size.

KEYBOARD PROS:

  • It’s wireless.  That’s pretty much it.

KEYBOARD CONS:

  • The keyboard is much larger than it needs to be, due to the extra space wasted on keys you will NEVER use and the superfluous “palm rest”. If you have limited space to work with and also need to have multiple books on your desk for studying, this enormous keyboard will prevent that.

    Good luck finding the "Escape" button without taking your eyes off the monitor screen.

  • I bought this keyboard because I thought its “ergonomic” design was intended to enable optimal typing speed, but it actually makes me type slower.  All the keys are different sizes, some are awkward to reach, and in general its just a very awkward typing experience. The keys are spaced in such a manner that makes it less than optimal for your fingers to naturally type.
  • The WINDOWS button is overemphasized and keys that you will frequently need and use, such as the ESCAPE key and the CTRL key, are very tiny and hard to reach from a natural typing position.
  • The F1 thru F12 keys never worked correctly (I’m on Windows 7).

MICROSOFT WIRELESS LASER MOUSE

Microsoft should put on a clinic: how to maximize thumb discomfort!

MOUSE PROS:

  • It’s wireless.  That’s literally the only thing that’s better about this mouse than the old clunker in a box in my basement.

MOUSE CONS:

  • At first glance, the shape of this mouse makes it appear to be designed to fit perfectly to your hand.  DON’T BE FOOLED!  Holding this thing is actually very awkward and if you use it for more than an hour it actually becomes somewhat painful, particularly in your thumb which is forced (by the bad design) hang under your hand at almost a ninety degree angle.  Whoever designed this mouse must have been playing a bad prank.
  • The absolute worst thing about this mouse is the scroll function. Lots of times it will stop working, most often when I am trying to scroll up several pages in MS Word or several revolutions on a web page.  At first I thought it was getting physically stuck–but the scroller wheel itself is still turning, only you make no progress on the screen.  Its as if you’ve reached the top of the page when you really haven’t  And then the only way to get it to scroll past that point is to either scroll down first and then scroll back up through it, or to use the side bar–which completely defeats the purpose of having a convenient scroll function in the first place.
  • There is no tactile or noise feedback on the scroll function. On the other hand, the Right/Left click is unusually loud.  I think if I was in a dorm and had a roommate who was trying to sleep it would keep him awake.
  • The two buttons on the right hand side of the mouse are unnecessary.  One of them zooms and one of them is the equivalent of hitting the “Back” button on a web browser.  It is very easy to accidentally click on them at the wrong time while trying to make your thumb more comfortable.  If that happens at the wrong time, it will completely screw up what you’re trying to do.  For instance, if you accidentally click on them while composing an email message or a message on website such as Facebook, it will take you back a page and then when you scroll forward again everything you’ve typed is gone and you have to start all over.

CONCLUSION

Basically, I can think of no reason to recommend this product.  I take that back–I would recommend it to a rival or competitor of mine in a shady attempt to make him become less productive!

Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 v3

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From a recent Cracked article, 5 Complaints About Modern Life (That Are Statistically B.S.):

In general, it’s easier to be negative… It’s easier for us as a generation, because to admit that the world isn’t that bad right now would be to admit that we have it easier than our grandparents did and that the world thus has the right to expect more from us.

(Read the full article here).

The article tries to debunk some common myths and misconceptions about modern life, including:

  1. Music has never been crappier than it is right now;
  2. Crime today is skyrocketing out of control;
  3. Today’s processed food is unprecedentedly unhealthy;
  4. Today’s citizens are dumber than our ancestors; and
  5. Contemporary standards of living are lower than ever before

Though author’s present some compelling arguments, ultimately it’s hard to tell whether their aim is to mitigate complaints about the present-day or just to point out that things have always sucked, and that they sucked way worse in the past than they do today.

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