Right-handed carvers can take knife to mouse tails
If there is a down side to using a mouse without a cord, it could be losing the mouse under the piles of papers and other clutter that tend to grow around desktops.
Some people have difficulty finding their telephones under mountains of paper near their PCs. These are extreme examples, however, and the average user will probably benefit from the lack of a mouse cord.
The Logitech Cordless MouseMan Pro for IBM compatibles uses an FM radio signal to communicate with a receiver on the PC. The company says it will work from six feet away.
Because it uses radio and not infra-red to carry the signal, the mouse does not have to be in a direct line with the receiver, so it will work through that pile of documents and used coffee cups that surrounds the typical work station.
Most users will still need to stay near their keyboards in order to type commands, but the absence of a cord gives a lot more flexibility in where to put the mouse pad. This feature could suit people who use their PC a lot for exploring the Internet where key strokes are down to a minimum.
Contact with a flat surface is still required with this product, so the problem of lint, fluff and minute particles of pizza wrapping themselves around the mouse's internal roller mechanisms is still there to haunt the messy worker.
The MouseMan Pro comes with a choice of four channels in the 27 MHz band to get around the problem of interference, and it is sold as 'plug and play'.
It comes with two buttons on top and a thumb button on the left side, which is too bad if you happen to be left-handed. Logitech is quite open about directing the product at the dominant, right-handed, market.
Cloudy Wan, marketing officer at sole Hong Kong agent Longrand Electronics, said left-handed users in Asia were unlikely to get a version in the near future.
In Windows 95, the middle button can be assigned to Logitech's HyperJump feature, which gives quick access to eight commonly used management commands on the HyperJump screen. Alternatively, the middle button can be used for easy scrolling in Internet Explorer, by clicking once for direction and adjusting with the cursor for speed.
In Windows 3.1, the thumb and right buttons can be customised for any mouse command and the cursor can be personalised as to size, colour and sensitivity.
Trail and tracking options are also available for those users who find their cursor hard to keep track of on busy screens.
Apart from Windows 3.1 and Windows 95, the MouseMan Pro works with DOS 5.0, or above, applications.
Ms Wan said there was a world trend towards cordless mice, with some PC makers starting to bundle them with their products. The suggested Hong Kong retail price for the MouseMan Pro is $599.
A cordless mouse for Macintosh users is available from Logitech in the US.