Trackball Addition

I know most of us just got our M01s (and we love them). And yes, I know many of you wonderful people are writing and rewriting code to make Kaleidoscope better, and that Jesse hasn’t finished shipping out all the kick starter boards yet. So I will apologize now for doing this but, its too hard to resist.

What’s the thought on having a track ball + scroll wheel (with middle click) or even an analog stick (xbox controller style) added to the board? with opposite board having the mouse buttons. May or may not lose or have to move the fn keys.

Blasphemy? Is this even possible (engineering wise, is there space? or do we have to make the enclosures bigger? If this came to fruition, I’d never have to leave the keyboard.

I think (just) a scroll wheel would be good. A heavy portion of my “reaching for the mouse” is to do rapid scrolling through a file. But I suspect not all folks are in the same boat. The downside of a track ball or eraser stub pointer IMHO is the whole right-handed vs left-handed issue. One on the non dominant hand is virtually useless. So does that mean having to make two different models? Or putting it on both sides?

And then there is the type… I’ve never been able to use a track ball well. And while the eraser pointers seem like a good idea, I never use the one on my laptop.

Thus in the end, I think it would be difficult to do in a way that a majority of users would be happy with.


I’ve been loving the Key_mouseScrollUp and Key_mouseScrollDn keys mapped onto the pageup/dn keys for scrolling, so easy to use when the hand isn’t even on the board. There is a wheelspeed option that can be set too.

Because I use photoshop so much (mouse not optional for me) I set up my M01 so that I can use it with one hand (mirror mode with a shift to layer key), which makes using a second input a lot less of an issue for me.

Still, when the easy-to-add hardware expansions start coming out I will be drooling over them all :slight_smile:


If I’m coding, a scroll wheel is all that’s necessary, agreed.

But I also do a bit of work in Premiere Pro and not having a mouse (pointer input device) is like not having your other leg to pedal your bicycle.

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Genius, thanks @arley, I’m gonna have to try this…

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Agreed. I use a mouse a lot for some of my non-coding computer use. I just don’t see an easy way to integrated a mouse into a keyboard in a way that would make everyone happy and not take up a lot of room. For me personally, no other pointing device can replace an actual mouse I can move around,

I loathe both the eraser pointers and trackballs. Never gotten the hang of either.

My preference is a touchpad between the split, so I can use either hand. I’m not using it at a desk right now so I haven’t tweaked my layout, but I expect I will elevate the trackpad to match whatever tenting I decide feels right.

My other input device is a wacom pen/touch tablet that comes out when I’m doing a lot of layout work.


Have you tried a trackball? There are two common types, thumb trackball and finger trackball… Logitech has both, Kensington also has a nice one.

The only thing I still use a mouse for is tactical shooters, all other games I can play equally well with a trackball (well, except for fighting/racing games).


I’ve thought about a wacom as well, the trackball did take a lot of getting used to. I’d say it was a good 3-4 weeks before I was really comfortable doing stuff, kinda sloppy and clumsy at first, but with your hand stationary, its quite nice.

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Regarding the wacom: I bought the 9x12 tablet thinking page editing in more or less real size would make sense, but that tablet is awkward on the desk so it mostly stays in the bag unless I really want a pen for precision work. I expect I’ll end up with an InDesign layer that lets me set the left half of the board aside. I envy righties who can disconnect the left half and have a half keyboard and a mouse/drawing hand. Maybe someday there will be a lefty Model 0#. :slight_smile:

Regarding trackballs: I used several SGI’s in grad school for which trackballs were the only pointing device available, so I had plenty of time using one-- and swearing at it. I also had a work laptop for a couple months once that only had the nubbin, so I’ve put time into that pointing interface as well.

In summary, I think pointing devices are a whole other religious war. :slight_smile:

Have you opened up the case yet?

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What can’t you do in indesign? I’ve been pondering about an adobe layer… recently.

Have my large wacom tablet and a full keyboard comfortably on the desk at the same time. :slight_smile:

I might be able to use it in between the halves, but that would have me both drawing and typing at awkward angles, so I’m not going to try. The idea of being able to unclip the cable between the halves and use a layer that maps everything I need onto the right half would be wonderful-- except that the right half can’t function independent of the left.

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Ahh… You’re one of them, no wonder you said, use the right half solo… maybe in the future the right half will need its own usb to pc and not use a rj-45, can draw more juice that way, then I can toast bagels under my M01.


Yes. My thumbs start bothering me if I use the a thumb track-ball for any length of time. And I’m horrible with precision work and at drag-and-drop with any type of track-ball.

I’ve often wondered if a touch monitor might have some benefits, ergonomically speaking. It could replace simple mouse work (clicking a button on a dialog or an app on the task bar) and would add some (arm) movement to your otherwise very sedentary computer sessions.

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Trade offs. Everything sounds nice in theory until you actually try it (I could have another piece of cheesecake…) We actually tried this at work. We mounted two touch screens like monitors, let me tell you now, that this is a bad idea. Your shoulders will burn. The next thing we tried was, ok, mounted like monitors is a bad thing, what about just laying them flat on the desk? This offered better results until you have to create content (type, draw, etc.). Then you’re back to attaching a keyboard to the touch screen.

I’m waiting for a direct machine to neural interface, but then having my head cut open to install electronics doesn’t sound very safe… if you think windows or your OS crashing is bad, just wait until the wetware in your head crashes.


Aren’t we all. I envy Kris Longknife having her smart computer, Nelly, “jacked directly into her brain”.

I once got a tiny trackball component as they were used in the Blackberry phones.
One of those in each half an with different resolution/speed.
Hmmm, should investigate into this …

I would want to have a RollerMouse type bar above the top key row (not below the keyboard like it designed to be used). Just the bar, not the wrist pad and mouse buttons from this: I have that one, and I think it is the best mouse input device I have used. I was sceptical when I bought it, but exceeded all my expectations. It is sadly broken now, however. But if I could mount the bar infront of, or maybe slightly above, the top row keys, I could just stretch out my fingers to use the mouse. Not sure where the ideal place for the mouse buttons would be.


I’m certainly not signing up as an early adopter of that tech!

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