Thursday, March 01, 2007

You kids don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.

I find perverse joy in watching people try to figure out how to use a computer without a mouse. It's how I started, using the alt+ combos and that block of six keys...yeah, you mousers, I give you thirty seconds to locate your End--WITHOUT LOOKING!

Why the uppity bitterness? I don't know. Maybe it's because my mouse decided to go nuts and occasionally the cursor whizzes by as if to remind me it doesn't need me if I'm going to be all in love with my keyboard.

I always wanted to make a cursor with a finger other than the index finger extended. Had I gotten around to that, the mouse's current movements would be even more humorous.

It's interesting to see what websites play well with keyboard shortcuts. Blogs are tedious to tab around, especially one like mine with a long list of links down the left side. Newsgator, my RSS hunter/gatherer of choice, works amazingly well.

YouTube videos, however, are practically inaccessible unless a link is included. Flash in general is impossible to navigate without a mouse, because the window neds to be clicked on before ctrl+w or ctrl+tab will work; so are Java-based scratch-off lottery games--those are impossible to win with a working mouse, as well.

Somewhere in between Flash and Java are the navigational links for Yahoo! mail. Unless you're hellbent on decoding the status bar, there's no indication what you'll actually be getting when you hit enter.

It's a true experiment in something even less than mediocrity, and I'm glad to have done this service so you don't have to. Treat your pointing devices kindly and they won't leave you hanging while you try to throw together a graphic or two. Treat them poorly, and learn to use that thing with all the letters and numbers on it fast.

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