Using an old trackball

Last fall, I got tired of my old MacBook and decided to donate it. So I bought a tiny and cheap MSI Cube and installed Fedora in it. I used to work with Ubuntu years ago, but I read some articles about Fedora and decided to give it a go. And I’m enjoying it!

I’ve been using a Magic Trackpad with the MacBook, but I didn’t get used to it in Fedora, mainly because all the functionalities that this kind of device provides can’t be exploited. I also tested it at work, but meh. So, I sold it to a friend. Time to look for a new mouse!

After lot of time wasted in watching mouse reviews and almost spend a fortune in an ultra-mega-hyper ergonomic one, I looked into the second hand market and saw one of this:

I said to myself: “Why not?”. And, finally, last week I purchased a pre-owned Logitech Trackman Marble FX for just 20€. Yes, this trackball is not pretty and is a little bit outdated, but you will change your mind after 5 minutes of use. It’s very confy and surprisingly accurate. In a couple of days, I started to think that I had lost too much time and money in mouses and trackpads.

This device is old and its connection is PS/2, so I had to use a PS/2 converter that I had laying around. But as usually, linux didn’t recognize it, so I needed to buy a cheap PS/2 to USB active converter and bingo! It started to work right out of the box… except the little red button… It’s not being detected, but, I can live without it. At least it has left, middle and right buttons. The only problem that I’m trying to solve right now is a big one… the scroll. I haven’t be able to activate any button to trigger the scroll functionality (as this trackball hasn’t got a scrollwheel or scroll ring) and any configuration I’ve tested so far hasn’t work. If somebody has one and is kind enoguh to help me, I’ll be very grateful!

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to move the ball with my index and middle finger (by the way, I think way better than use a trackball with the thumb).

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