Logitech Marble - Fake it 'till you make it


Scan originally appeared in Wired 03.11, November 1995.

"It fits the way I work. Which is shirtless. Since, unlike my mouse, my shirts need cleaning and you caught me at a really awkward moment, caressing my trackball."

Check the name on this dude – "Barrimore Zarsprach, automotive designer". Riiight – yet another automotive designer slash male model – I know so many of those!

The mouse itself is definitely not fake, though. In fact, it’s one of the more impressive products I’ve come across. Launched in 1995, the Logitech Trackman Marble is still alive and kicking today, although it’s been renamed Trackman Wheel.

The groundbreaking design got a following that lives on to this day. In fact, I spotted one on my colleagues desk. Quite rare he works without a shirt on, though...

Comments (6)

I own two of the Trackman Wheels, and love them. If only they made a bluetooth version that did not require a dongle...

Hmmm, I found that these ended up really screwing up my thumb with RSI. So many things are individual.

I use a trackman too, a Marble Mouse in this case.

This is an interesting series a products since, as near as I can tell, the design hasn't changed appreciably since they were introduced. Example I bought my Marble mouse in 2001, and it has been on the market since at least 1999. Here it is in 2010 and Logitech still sells the exact same mouse, albeit with a slightly different name.

Everyone else in the office can't stand trackballs, which is fine, because it means they never try to sit down and take over my computer.

Whoa, he's years ahead of his time. He's sidetalkin'!

I too had one of those mice and loved it until one day the sensor crapped out after years of service. Contrary to the ad it did need cleaning. There was a little window under the trackball that covered the sensor that needed the occasional cleanup when the trackball would collect too much gunk.

I had this one when it first came out. It was for our first family computer, which we got in 1995. I was 8. We probably got the trackball in 1996. I loved it and it lasted until the early 2000s. I missed it dearly. When I got my own laptop for college in 2005, I got the microsoft trackball because the wired logitech was out of stock. I didn't want to lose the wireless one and I didn't want to have to replace batteries. I returned it a week later and got the wired logitech. I loved it dearly. last year, after dropping it about once a week over the course of five years, it started to die. I'm pretty sure it was the usb plug and cable since most of the falls were caused by it getting caught on something when I got up. The ball fell out every time it fell and I'm surprised I didn't lose it. Six months ago I got the new m570 with the universal receiver and I couldn't be happier. The tiny dongle doesn't ever get caught on anything. The only time i ever lose it is if I am using my laptop in bed and it gets lost in the blankets. The ball doesn't fall out of this one when dropped, but is still easily removable for cleaning.
I find that some adults who have never used a trackball hate them and have trouble with them. Children, on the other hand, adapt to them in seconds. My mom's friend brought her five year old daughter over one day and she didn't have a problem, but most of my friends at school are annoyed when using my trackball.

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