Mice (3)

Mouse - today a normal computer peripheral, used every day to point different widgets on screen, click buttons or scroll webpages. This sub-page shows different mice from different manufacturers and years. You can see how a PC mouse evolved and when they got wheels, as well as how the buttons disappeared and re-appeared in mice development.

Late 90s and early 2000s were the years of the Internet getting more and more popular. To efficiently browse the Internet, you needed to scroll. Since early 2000s, mouse manufacturers added scroll wheels to make scrolling easier. Typical mouse could have one or two scroll wheels, located vertically or horizontally. Some mice had additional scroll button on the wheel or nearby.

Tracer mouse Port: PS/2
Manufactured by: Tracer

Type: Ball mouse, 3 buttons
Approx. year: 2000
Information: A low-end mouse from 2000 or around. These times Tracer made a low-end peripherals, and this is an example of such mouse. The quality is relatively poor and contacts are prone to double-clicking.


HP Wheel mouse Port: PS/2
Manufactured by: HP / Logitech

Type: Ball mouse, 2 buttons + scroll with 3rd
Approx. year: 2000
This is in fact a Logitech 20123 mouse re-branded for HP OEM distribution - with new HP computers. It has 2 typical buttons and one button, for scrolling, in a scroll wheel which moves in steps. The earliest mice with scrolling wheels had smooth movement. As in most Logitechs, quality is good.


Genius NetScroll + Port: PS/2
Manufactured by: Genius

Type: Ball mouse, 2 buttons, wheel, button in wheel
Approx. year: 2001
Information: Typical scroll mouse from early 2000s. After connecting, it was needed to configure drivers and scrolling was easier. So if there was a money, users went for Logitech. For smaller funds you could get Genius or A4Tech, the cheapest were like Tracer or totally non-branded mice like this one shown on the last pictures - "M370" is a Taiwanese clone.


Maxxtro Wheel Mouse (Type MUSI) Port: PS/2
Manufactured by: Maxxtro

Type: Ball mouse, 2 buttons, wheel, button in wheel
Approx. year: 2001
Information: Typical scroll mouse from early 2000s. A Taiwanese clone of Logitech-like wheel mice, available in most computer shops these times.
Driver disk



A4Tech SWW-23 Port: PS/2 (RS232 possible with adapter)
Manufactured by: A4Tech

Type: Ball mouse, 2 buttons, wheel, button in wheel
Approx. year: 2002
Cheaper A4Tech equivalent of Genius. This mouse can operate both in PS/2 connector and, with help of adapter, with serial port.
Inside, the quality is relatively nice and, if not counting ball stabilization, better than Genius. The ball is mounted the same way as in most A4Techs, with shafts and wheel mounted on spring. Optical transducers are located on PCB, so they may get blocked with dust.
I've used this mouse and after a year of good operation one axis suddenly stopped working.
Warranty service said is was my fault and I finally bought WWW-35 mouse described much below. After opening I found that the problem is in dust blocking one of optical barriers.
Driver disk
Driver disk for wireless version  +Cover


A4Tech WWW-25 Port: PS/2 (RS232 possible with adapter)
Manufactured by: A4Tech

Type: Ball mouse, 3 buttons, 2 wheels
Approx. year: 2002
Popular mouse for browsing web, a bit more expensive model than single-wheel version. Contrary to versions with horizontally placed wheel, this one had two wheels placed in parallel. Additionally, there is no button in wheels, but one under the thumb. These mice were sold with "smooth" wheels or with more or less loudly clicking steps. Popular for both surfing the net and some simple graphics applications.
Driver disk +Cover


Dexxa Light Mouse Port: PS/2
Manufactured by: Dexxa

Type: Ball mouse, 2 buttons + wheel, button in wheel
Approx. year: 2001
The history of this mouse model is funny and interesting. In early 2000s optical mice were slowly introduced. The technology was far from maturity - optical mice required a special pad with grid matrix printed on it and the earliest models required calibration if a new pad (e.g. a well-known "cow" pattern) had to be used. In the same time these optical mice were expensive and quickly became s clear sign of futile luxury.
So someone in Dexxa said: Let's make a mouse which looks like optical one, but is a normal mouse! And they made it. It is a normal, ball mouse...
... with a red LED iluminating underside and upper part of its case. It was made totally to give "bling" to users and it was used this way. Unfortunately it was not so good in quality - it was made of semi-transparent, fragile plastic which easily broke off, especially near ball ring.

Archived copany's web page about this mouse



Sunny HTM-50W Port:PS/2
Manufactured by: Sunny Line

Type: Ball mouse, 2 buttons with scroll
Approx. year: 2002
A typical, but quite comfortable mouse. SunnyLine was a manufacturer of different PC accessories like document holders or disk boxes, but they rarely made a complete peripherals.




A4Tech WWW-35 Port:PS/2 (RS232 with adapter)
Manufactured by: A4Tech

Type: Ball mouse, 4 buttons, 2 wheels + wheel button
Approx. year: 2004
This is an interesting mouse sold under different brands, as A4Tech WWW-35, FastNet 5 or "Trool" which was probably a computer company related to Polish Compact Computers shop.
This mouse has two standard buttons, two scroll wheels for horizontal and vertical scrolling, button under scroll wheel and additional two buttons behind main ones, pressed usually with thumb and little finger, to navitage back and forward directory structures and websites.
The disk supplied with this mouse was a typical A4Tech wheel mouse driver and in fact I never installed anything from it - it was working from the beginning.
I used this mouse for a very long time (until 2015) and I found its additional buttons alignment very comfirtable.
 Driver ana disk cover. Additionally earlier A4Tech wheel drivers.


Logitech Wheel Mouse Port:PS/2
Manufactured by: Logitech

Type: 2 buttons, ball or optical mechanism, wheel
Approx. year: 2005
Around 2005 optical mice became more and more popular. Logitech M-SAW90A and its later iterations were mice offered in two variants: With ball mechanism or, more expensive version, with optical sensor. Early optical mice were quite troublesome - it was needed to use specific mouse pad to make the cursor run smooth, and the sensor, having quite sharp part on the bottom, had to be cleaned as frequently as ball mechanism, fortunately without disassembling the mouse.
Here we end the computer mice history - later pointing devices became wireless in a working manner, as earlier attempts using infrared was difficult, the shape and tracking got better and better sensors became present. However, even today many good optical mice have problems when running on non-uniform surfaces or surfaces with different reflectivity. For a ball mouse, any flat surface was OK.



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