5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 7, 2006 5:23 PM by Bruce Bailey 496
eidosabi Level 1 (0 points)
I have been experiencing more and more pain in my mousing wrist and shoulder. I would really like to be able to use a joystick (something along the lines of http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/productlist/US/EN,crid=2214 ) as my mouse. I know that I have to do something with the Mac OS Human Interface Device (HID) just to get the joystick to work with os x, but it sounds like that doesn't actually enable mousing with the joystick.

There is an inexpensive Windows program (http://www.download.com/Joystick-To-Mouse/3000-2121_4-10424008.html) which sounds like it provides exactly the functionality that I am looking for, but only for Windows.

- Am I understanding the OS HID != mousing functionality with a joystick ?
- If so, does anyone know of reasonably priced (I'm a poor student, not a highly paid Google geek) conversion utility? (I've searched and searched and, well my shoulder is fading fast, yet I have found no solution. )

PowerBook G5   Mac OS X (10.4.5)  
  • Archie Robertson Level 3 (690 points)

    I have two suggestions: first, try using some of the Speech commands to run your machine instead of mousing all the time. Go to System Preferences—>Speech and turn Speakable Items on.

    Secondly, and this was how I solved a similar problem: simply plug the mouse into the other end of the keyboard and learn to use it with your other hand. It seems very strange at first, but after a week or so it becomes automatic. You'll actually find you can work the mouse better and faster as well as less painfully!

    FInally, don't forget your "computer skills" discipline. Never sit at the keyboard for more than 10 minutes at a stretch. Look away, stretch yourself or whatever. Every 20 minutes, stand up. At least once an hour, go right away (make coffee, go to the loo, whatever). And ensure your keyboard and screen are at the correct working angle.

    Hope this helps,

  • Bruce Bailey 496 Level 1 (135 points)
    I have used that Joystick to Mouse software, but without much success. It doesn't really give proportional control. I am sure it has certain uses.

    The Mac OS X equivalent is USB Overdrive and works pretty well, including compatibility for the USB Logitech joysticks you linked to.

    You might also just try a different pointing device, like the Evoluent Vertical Mouse or the 3M Joystick Mouse.

    For completeness sake, there are also real joystick mice. Finally, Archie is quite right. If your wrists are hurting, you need to do something radically different. Ergonomic mice can a bandaid for a hemorrhage.

    eMac 1.42   Mac OS X (10.4.5)   I paid the going Windows price for a screen reader and got a free computer!
  • eidosabi Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey Archie,

    Thanks for trying to help.

    Unfortunately the Speech commands won't help me. (For example, at the moment I am having to do graphics work in an X11 application. Needless to say, it isn't very Speech-friendly.)

    I actually tried to switch my mousing to my left hand a couple of years ago, and found out that I have a bit of dyslexia. (It was both a frustrating and humourous experiment, that ultimately ended in failure.)

    As for "computer skills" discipline. You are so on the money. I often find myself so engaged in my work that the only thing to pull me out of it is the pain in my shoulder, at which point I realize I've been at it for well over an hour without any break. 'Tis very good for productivity, 'tis very bad for my aching body.
  • eidosabi Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey Bruce,

    Thank you for such a thorough answer.

    Do you have experience with the Evoluent or 3M Joystick Mouse? (I seriously considered them, but they looked like they would save my wrist at the expense of my shoulder.)

    As for the real joystick mice - $$ ouch $$. I can't believe that I'm the only one in need, without several hundred dollars to drop.
  • Bruce Bailey 496 Level 1 (135 points)
    Yes, I have used all the products I linked to. My office supplies assistive technology to the larger company, so I am familiar with a wide range of things. Currently I am using that purple Evoluent model. It is a little twitchy, but maybe I just have not gotten used to it. Frankly, I liked the earlier beige model better, but that was more expensive. The Evoluent has been relatively popular with our end-users.

    I have used the 3M Joystick Mouse, but never got comfortable with it. However, some of our end-users preferred it, especially a few with more severe pain issues. We let folks try different models and pick what is most comfortable. Have you tried a quality track ball?

    The joysticks I linked to are a durable solution but fairly specialized, they are modeled after wheelchair controls. With the USB Overdrive software, you should be able to use the USB Logitech brand joysticks that caught your eye.