Monday, June 2, 2008

Attack of the Mouses

A new job is always full of little surprises and when you work in an IT environment, you also receive a lot of shiny toys. There is of course the laptop (an IBM/Lenovo T61 with Win XP and 2GB RAM) considered as the must-have work tool. At the same time, I also received a Blackberry so that I could be harassed by emails 24 hours a day. Then of course, I got the full environment necessary around these two devices: a docking station with an extra screen, an external keyboard from the latest generation, and a wireless rechargeable optic mouse. Wow, a wireless mouse, the typical gadget you don't find in offices because they are expensive and don't last as long as wired mouses.

So far nothing unusual except that until today, I was used to deliver similar environments to users but this time, I was on the other side of the line. Everything was installed by a charming assistant who went as far as unpacking, placing, and plugging in the keyboard herself before cleaning the office from all extra plastics and garbage - and still smiling all the time. Definitively something has changed in my life. But don't think I was granted any extra treatment here; my colleague got the same only a few days beforehand. it is only the norm where I work now.

However after having contemplated all these toys, work had to start. After minutes I started complaining about the mouse. Movements were not so accurate and the left click-button did not always respond timely. I was about to curse and migrate back to a reliable wired old-fashion mouse when I noticed that my colleague next to me also had problems with his mouse. Being IT professionals (at least this is the official reason why we got hired), it only took us minutes before discovering that the mouses were in fact interfering with each other. Worse, some quick small shaking movements with once mouse could completely jam the other one. After checking the manufacturer's website, we found out that the mouse bases should be distant from at least 3 meters. Of course we tried by 3.20 meters and changing the bases' orientations but without any success. There was a permanent invisible war between our two mouses just in our office. And then we knew that our office was planned to hold five IT people with five cordless mouses ...

My colleague was faster to react by plugging in his wired mouse to fix this little annoyance. As such he eliminated himself from the list of wireless users. There are situations where being the fastest is not always recommended.

Until next time...

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