40, could you explain a little the specific advantages of using a trackball like you mentioned? i tried it out a while back, but I couldn't understand how it made anything faster or easier or anything. What am I missing?
Probably just some practice. It does take getting used to.
The psychology is also a bit different. With a mouse, you have a 1-1 physical relationship between moving the mouse on the desk, and seeing it move on the screen. Spatial movement equates pretty closely to cursor movement.
With the trackball it's more like you're scrolling the screen under you by rolling it from a fixed point. Hard to describe, but think about spinning a globe as opposed to crawling over a map to get some idea of the difference between the two
pointed out, it's also more of a finger-tip thing as opposed to moving your forearm and/or wrist. And "flicking" is a skill you'll soon pick up. Old school console game players from the Pac-Man era used to develop similar abilities back when some games had track ball controllers along with buttons. Inside a familiar game, they could flick the ball and get their focus to land exactly where they wanted it to without even looking. On side-scrolling games, many of them could avoid obstacles and switch several screens worth of distance quite accurately with a single well executed flick of the fingers. It's all about the "feel." Almost like driving and then putting in the ball on a golf green.
Advantages? Less arm and wrist movement so less wear & tear on you. For some reason, our fingers don't seem to mind constant use as much as the rest of us does. In fact, not using our fingers regularly seems to be a major cause of lost dexterity, flex, and strength in our hands.
Also better posture since you tend not to lean forward or shift around as much as when you use a mouse - unless you have a really well set up ergo desk and chair. Most of us don't. Or at least don't get to sit at it as often as we're using a computer.