Apple’s Magic Trackpad & PC Games

By Alec Meer on July 30th, 2010 at 11:09 pm.

Almost put up a blurry picture of my trackpad with my cat. Decided against it

I did a bad thing. I bought an Apple Magic Trackpad. I know, I know! In my defense, I intend to use it with a PC rather than a Mac, and I bought it primarily to try and ease up a nasty bout of RSI. The latter hasn’t worked one bit, so now I really have to work on justifying the former.

If you’re not aware of it – briefly, it’s an oversized multitouch trackpad, like you’d usually find on a laptop but strangely reimagined as a standalone Bluetooth unit that looks a bit like a desktop calendar that’s run out of pages. Though many (i.e. one person) have called me a fool for even trying, I have also gamed on it successfully. Somewhat.

There’s been a hullaballoo about it in Macland, with shrieking types believing it spells the end of the mouse and a move towards making Macs iPad-y. Nonsense, poppycock, what rot. Of course it doesn’t – it’s just designed as a mouse alternative for show-offs with neatly-manicured beards. I.e. not me. Which is another reason I bought it: to try and pervert it utterly by chaining it to Windows. I’ll show them, etc. Oh, they’re not listening. Never mind.

It doesn’t work quite as intended on PC due to Apple making its multitouch operation bound into OSX functions, but it is possible to install it on it and get most of its features working in Windows (I’ll show you how in a moment) – and to use it for games without abject failure.

Let me add the proviso that it is not better than a mouse for gaming. It’s worse, at least if you’re a veteran mouse+WSADer. It’s just that, unlike every other mouse alternative in the history of the universe ever, it’s not absolutely hopeless. You can game with it, and I’ve used it to play a significant amount of StarCraft 2′s singleplayer. It works pretty well, the only real downside being dragging a box to select a whole bunch of stuff can flake out. All told, it’s definitely not as efficient as a mouse – but it does work. The mouse has a viable alternative. That’s been a long time coming, it really has.

I wouldn’t dare use it for multiplayer, because you just can’t quite coax that kind of speed of response out of it. There is definitely a tactile, futurist pleasure to using it for strategy though – a sense of stroking the world, interacting a little more directly rather than moving a plastic oval around a piece of wood/plastic/titanium/human bone/whatever the hell you people use for desks these days. Even though the mouse is unquestionably the better tool for the job, I keep gravitating towards this – and not purely because it’s a new toy. Oh, and I can hold it one hand and tap at it with the other, not having to involve a desk at all, which does feel terribly Star Trekky.

Particularly, the size of the thing (about 5 inches square) is enough that you don’t feel cramped: it’s a proper interface, not the strange half-measure that a standard laptop trackpad constitutes.

Haven’t tried it with much else yet, though it worked a treat in Peggle. I suspect it’s no good whatsoever for shooters, but I look forward to trying.

In terms of multi-touch features, I’ve persuaded it to do zooming and scrolling, but that’s it. Which puts it on a par with a three-button mouse. Hooray, big bloody deal. Given it does rotating and app-switching and all sorts on OSX, I feel there’s some potential locked inside this weird, blank, shiny slab, however. Its size and its direct finger-responsitivity make it a pleasure to use – but it does need to do more.

If it was programmable, its multi-touch nature would make it a wondrous thing for stuff like RTSes and MMOs, keying certain areas or gestures to certain functions. Given that it hasn’t helped my RSI one bit I’m probably going to return it to the shop, but a part of me wants to hold out and see if any clever buggers manage to write custom software for it. It’s a touch interface for the PC which doesn’t require a special monitor that you have to leave greasy fingerprints all over. I’m very interested to see where that could go in terms of games, presuming people can find a way past whatever locked doors Apple’s erected around it.

If you’re considering getting one, my final word remains that the mouse is unquestionably better for gaming, but for some genres this future-slab is definitely viable. Don’t kid yourself you’re getting it for anything other than indulgent reasons, though: there isn’t any practical justification for it. It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had with a square of metal and glass attached to a battery, however, and again I’m looking forward to seeing what modders make of it.

Oh, and to install it on Windows, unless you want it to function solely as a one-button mouse, you need to fool your PC into thinking it’s a Mac. A Mac with Windows installed on a partition thanks to Apple’s Bootcamp software, specifically. Which is easier than it sounds. I figured this all out the hard way myself, though I guess guides must exist by now.

You need to obtain from somewhere (Apple don’t host it directly, but it’s very easy to find) the Bootcamp 3.0 driver pack; it will refuse to install directly because it can immediately tell your PC isn’t a Mac. No matter – use Winrar or suchlike to extract everything from the .exe – it’s actually a compressed archive file disguised as an executable. Explore the extracted folders, ignore the Setup file you immediately see and instead go to Drivers -Apple. Run the Bootcamp (or Bootcamp 64, if you’re on a 64-bit operating system) file there and everything will install.

You then need to pop to Apple’s site and download the Bootcamp 3.1 update (32 bit, 64 bit). Repeat the extract-from-the-exe process and then find and run Bootcampupdate.exe. Then grab the Magic Trackpad update for Windows (32 bit, 64 bit) – you can install that directly, without the extraction stuff, as it will believe you legitimately have Bootcamp installed.

Reboot and that, then finally pair your Trackpad via Bluetooth. Having Bootcamp installed isn’t any kind of problem or resource hog, but it will set your keyboard to an Apple layout. You can restore that to normal via Control Panel.

Right, back to slightly awkward gaming for me.

__________________

« | »

, .

138 Comments »

  1. RLacey says:

    Any idea how this compares to, say, the Wacom Bamboo /?

    • RLacey says:

      That was meant to say “Touch/Pen & Touch”. Typing skills desert me at the moment.

    • sfury says:

      Probably better, except for drawing.

      Funny story – I have an older and bigger Wacom Bamboo (Pen only) and got stranded only with it for a week or two when my gaming mouse broke and I had no spare, also decided to hold out for my paycheck to buy a better mouse afterwards.

      So I got to experiment a bit – anything resembling an FPS was impossible to play (even tried AAAAaaaAAyouknowtherest!). Ended up playing mostly quests and Civ4 – maybe not as comfortable as a real mouse but almost no problems.

  2. Jacques says:

    You could always take a look at Wacom’s Bamboo Fun, which does all the touch stuff, but also works fine on Windows.

  3. Kunal says:

    There is a wacom tablet – the bamboo touch . which has a similar size and optionally comes with pen input. AFAIK, it is programmable within windows.

  4. Alec Meer says:

    Yeah, I was aware of it – but I fancied giving this one a go.

    • Doctor_Hellsturm says:

      But useless aganst RSI? *sadface* I keep searching for alternatives to.

    • mandrill says:

      Admit it Meer, you’re a closet apple fanboi! Traitor!

    • Paul B says:

      Admit it mandrill, you’re a closet apple fanboi outer! Traitor!

    • Duoae says:

      @ Doctor_Hellsturm

      Have you tried the evoluent vertical mouse? I got one for my RSI and it really helped. Comes in left-handed and right handed variants too.

      Now, if i get RSI using that i just switch back to normal mice for a while! :D

    • TheLocalTroll says:

      I suffer from quite a few years of RSI as well. I have found, as mentioned already, that vertical mice help A LOT.
      If you cannot afford the “real” vertical mouse or one of those pilot stick like things (70-80+ EUR some of those), you could always opt for
      http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/productdetails.aspx?pid=086

      I also use the cheap keyboard solution, which, thank god, is also spillproof:
      http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/productdetails.aspx?pid=040

      There’s actually an ergo desktop package of these I think, too, which ends up really cheap.

      It took about 2-3 days to readjust to the mouse, but after that when you spend even 5 minutes with a “normal” mouse you will instantly feel how much worse the normal ones are.

      Wanted to post this last time you mentioned RSI already, but better late than never.

      This will definitely help, even on a budget.

      One caveat: you might develop a tendency to hold the mouse wrong, i.e. tense up the index finger like with the old mouse instead of letting the hand actually REST on the mouse. Be sure to control what you are doing and check. You will know what I mean over time.

      Also, do these:
      http://www.will-harris.com/yoga/rsi.html

      This is no humbug. I have done these and after a week, two tops, you WILL notice a difference if you diligently do the full rotation. Versus utterly painful burning everything all day and night, this is a small time sacrifice in comparison.

      Hope you get better.

    • D says:

      This is by far the best type of mouse I have tried against RSI. Keeps your hands centered at the keyboard. But I guess it depends on which problem with RSI you have.
      http://www.fentek-ind.com/rollermouse.htm

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Have you tried trackballs?

  5. PhiIl Cameron says:

    I’ve heard tell of something called a Wacom Bamboo that does similar to what you’re talking about, but comes with a pen too. I think people should try that, as apparently it’s programmable for windows, too.

  6. the affront says:

    I just switch the mouse to my left hand when my right is too fucked up by gaming. Sure, you can’t seriously game with it, at least nothing competitive, but for regular stuff and browsing it works just fine after a short while and that is often enough to take some strain off. The more often you do it the easier and more accurate it gets, too, obviously.

    • Colthor says:

      Yeah, swapping hands works well. I use the mouse on the left of my laptop and the right of my desktop to even out the wear and tear.
      The only awkward thing is there are depressingly few ambidextrous mice.

      The mouse being put on the left-hand side of our first PC was an accidental blessing.

  7. frightlever says:

    Um…. an Evoluent mouse removed all, well almost all, of my RSI. But if you FPS you will FPS less good then. I’ve accepted it. Normal mousing makes my fingers and thumb go numb in about thirty seconds.

  8. frightlever says:

    Oh, I should say, I went through every ergonomic mouse available, and trackballs, before I found the Evoluent. First one cost me over a ton. Second one, that I bought as a spare was about seventy quid. They really work.

  9. Dr Lulz says:

    ALL HAIL THE WACOM BAMBOO

    *insert hypnotoad image here*

  10. rebb says:

    Anything that looks remotely like competition for Wacom is good in my book.
    Maybe that will make them drop some of their hilarious prices someday.

    • Bhazor says:

      This is Apple, a company which is not exactly renowned for it’s competitive pricing.

  11. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Yes.. yes.. yessss! More Apple products! Buy.. more! *cough*

    One a somewhat more serious note, it’ll be interesting to hear about your gaming experiences with this thing.

  12. jalf says:

    Ever since Ars Technica’s review, I’m reading it as Tragic Macpad.

  13. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    I can recommend getting a multi-touch-screen (one with the option to use pen, if you get a tablet pc), when they become a little bit cheaper. It works really nice (if you have the correct drivers and have the ability to scroll, that is).

  14. DeptRedunDept says:

    But why not try the Wacom Bamboo instead?

  15. DJ Phantoon says:

    You know why they’re not listening, Alec?

    Because it’s hard to hear much of anything with your head shoved up your ass.

    I guess Steve Jobs’ voice resonates in a tone that can make it past the buttocks layer.

    • aerozol says:

      Uncalled for.

    • Skinlo says:

      Umm, chill?

      I find all Apple product a waste of time, but theres no need to be overly offensive about it.

    • solipsistnation says:

      [Insert obligatory Mac user outrage here.]

      Seriously, uncalled-for.

    • HawkesOfSavileRow says:

      Dont mind him, i hear his grandfather was raped by an apple.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Well screw you guys then. I recently had to travel home to my parents and fix their oh so very reliable macs. I’m sooo sick of reading about apple.

      I’m just peeved as this may be another blog that starts reporting lots of mac-ish stuff. Which is fine, but I don’t want to read it.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Also, why is everyone getting RSI from using mice? I use them all the time and I’m fine. Though I did get cramps struggling with the iMac mouse.

    • Red Avatar says:

      I’m with you DJ Phantoon. Anyone PC gamer who has to work with Macs knows how terrible they are and it doesn’t help to hear all those clueless people keep going on about about great Macs are when they’ve given you nothing but trouble. Macs may be simple but that comes at a very steep price: if something is wrong, it’s VERY hard to fix it or to find the solution and it often involves using the console which is ridiculous. Macs are far from miracle machines – compared to Vista and Windows 7, every Mac at work has to be rebooted a lot more often so don’t believe the hype.

  16. Mithrandir0x says:

    Didn’t know Mac had done a huge, fancy and overpriced trackpad where I can place on my coffee mug in a stylish and zen “modus operandi”. Heh… Another way to defile a Mac designed products :3

    Strange that you prefered to check the trackpad when you can have both kinds of interaction (mouse + trackpad) with the Magic mouse. Maybe is not possible to use it well on Windows platform?

  17. Thants says:

    You know, I used to play FPSs on a big track-ball and it actually worked fairly well.

    • Ironic Man says:

      I heard pro Heavies in TF2 use track balls.

    • Mr_Day says:

      At one point I had both a mouse and a trackball plugged in, and would switch between them at will. Usually used the trackball for rts games, Homeworld and the like.

      But then, I love (and still have) that MS Strategic Commander. I wish they would update the software for it, it was quite fantastic.

  18. deanimate says:

    I have RSI type issues and these days I use a Wacom Intuos 2 A5 in place of the mouse. It’s a hell of a lot more comfortable than a mouse because your arm is in a more natural position. I’ve also been using it for SCII and it works extremely well indeed. I’m crap at SC but at least I can play without worrying about the number of clicks my poor ligaments are having to take.

    They’re quite pricey so the suggestion, “give one a go” is not the most viable. I would however recommend at least an A5 sized one. A6 size might be ok for some but I found it a bit too petite.

  19. stahlwerk says:

    I’m suprised you had to go through the Bootcamp install process… doesn’t the “ordinary” driver support two-finger-right-clicking?

    Also, the mild case of RSI I’m having atm is mostly from two-finger scrolling on my Macbook trackpad. Damn you, vertical internet!

    • Bhazor says:

      That’s a point, there seems to be a lot more movement required to use this than a traditional mouse and without anything to support the weight of your hand. Interesting to hear about the RSI this causes.

  20. Alex McLarty says:

    At £59 I won’t be getting one.

  21. Hunter says:

    So why not use a Wacom Bamboo Touch that does everything this does. To top it off it is for $20 less and you get a nicer product with no overblown form over function design that is completely PC/Mac compatible. Alternatively, for $30 more than Apple’s new toy you can get the Pen & Touch version of the Bamboo that works as a graphics tablet too!

    Only people with more stubbly beard and turtleneck than brain need or want a Magic Trackpad.

  22. WiPa says:

    How about a Wacom Bamboo Touch? Great those things.

    • sfury says:

      SHUT UP! Two of my friends died using Wacom Bamboo Touch!

      You insensitive clod.

  23. Calabi says:

    I use my [not affiliated with wacom and not advertising in anyway]Wacom Bambo, to play some games, that swarm game for one, its good and mostly rsi free.

  24. Radiant says:

    In an ideal world they’d invent a touch screen the size of a mouse pad that had a mirror image of what is on my desktop.

    If developers could also control what was displayed on the mouse mat screen that would basically make me ejaculate without closing my eyes.

  25. BooleanBob says:

    I’m not too late to suggest you try the Wacom Bamboo?

  26. Matt says:

    Hey! Hey! Wacom Bamboo!

  27. Wulf says:

    I use a trackball to avoid RSI, people have called me a fool, but I’m actually really quite good with it, and in all my years I still haven’t developed RSI, so I guess it’s actually worked. I might not be quite fast enough to play competitive multiplayer games online with other, real people, but since I don’t do that anyway (I’m not a fan of online competitive games, preferring online co-op ones instead), I actually find it suffices for my needs.

    My hardware isn’t anything special, either. Well, I lie, it is, sort of. It’s a Logitech Trackman. The reason this is important, so very important, is because the ball is under the thumb. Other trackballs place the ball under the fingers, and this is a horrible design choice, it’s terrible for gaming, and considering that I once had strain from trying to use one, it defeats the purpose of trying to use one to stop RSI. The Trackman, however, has its ball under the thumb, you use your thumb to control the cursor, and your fingers to click.

    I’ve never had wrist pains, and I doubt I’m ever going to, but then aside from lots of weird health issues, my body seems to be a pretty good healer, so that might be a factor too, Iono. I think it’s mostly just using a trackball, though. Will using a trackball help you if you have RSI? …I honestly don’t know, I really don’t. I don’t know what to say about that. What I will say is try it though, but try it before you lay down any money. I don’t want to feel guilty about advising people to lay down money on something that won’t work. But if you find it does ease your RSI (since it requires no wrist movement, and very little finger movement, only the thumb is active), then all the better, eh?

    • Vinraith says:

      I’ve got a Logitech Trackman that I use with my laptop, as it’s easier than hauling around a mouse and mousepad. I game with it a fair bit, mostly TBS and RTS games, and it seems to work fine. I’m not sure I could play an FPS with it, but perhaps with practice I’d be surprised.

      I’ve heard from quite a few people with RSI problems that track balls helped them, since there’s no need to move the wrist when using one. I have the occasional mild tendonitis flare up, but they’re poorly correlated to mouse usage so I can’t vouch one way or the other.

    • Wulf says:

      It’s quite possible to play any sort of game with a trackball, really. I did well at Plain Sight with a trackball, I’m not sure what the last FPS I played was, so I can’t really go there. That was a while ago though, I haven’t done a lot of FPS games, lately. Hm. But I played both Portal and Left4Dead 2 with ease on a trackball, so that probably says something. I also completed Transformers: War for Cybertron via a trackball and a keyboard.

      So, yep, it’s definitely doable. In fact, I’ve heard of top-notch competitive gamers who swear by trackballs as well, but they use a more expensive sort than mine.

    • Vinraith says:

      Yeah, if you can play L4D2 with it you’re pretty much covered. I haven’t made a serious attempt in that direction, but it seems to me I’d have a hard time finding a balance between control/sensitivity and range of motion. Like I said, though, it’s probably just a matter of practice.

    • mechtroid says:

      Yeah, there’s a guy in my clan who plays with a trackball and really nice headphones… Makes him immune to backstabs when playing heavy in TF2. The guy spins around so fast when you decloack you’d think he teleported.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      This is one rare thing we agree on. The Logitech Trackman is the greatest control device ever made.

    • Alex says:

      I’ve found the Kensington Expert Mouse (trackball, despite the name!) to be excellent. It has a large ball, finger based, rather than thumb based, which I find both quicker and more precise, with a scroll wheel and four buttons makes it viable mouse replacement. I use a mouse at work, and the trackball at home, to hopefully halve the repetitive part of RSI.

      I don’t like it for FPS, but for every other genre I’ve tried it’s excellent. Superior for RTS, in fact.

    • Guhndahb says:

      The Trackman intrigued me when it first came out, and it seemed a really good idea, but, unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. Initially it was fine. But as I used it more my thumb started to involuntarily twitch as I used it. So, of course, I used it some more, and then my thumb would twitch even when I wasn’t using it. When I started losing sleep because my thumb wouldn’t stop twitching all night, even jammed under my pillow to hold it still, I finally got the point. :)

  28. reginald says:

    WACOM BAMBOOO BLAH BLAH BLAH

  29. MycoRunner says:

    I’d be curious if more features, like pinch-to-zoom, would work on OS-X, IN SC2. It’s one thing to play around on the desktop, but can you make it work in applications? (Wait, SC2 is available for Mac, is it not?

    Also, what kind of keyboard is that Alec?

  30. tariqone says:

    Waboo Bamcom. You’ll thank me.

  31. Skorpeyon says:

    I used to do just that with a Microsoft trackball mouse they had with a VERY similar design to the Logitech one except that the ball was higher up and just fit my hand more comfortably. Sadly, Microsoft’s is now out of production, and I’ve worn out two of them in my PC/gaming lifetime. It really is great for FPS’s, especially overly twitchy ones. For a while I used that and a Nostromo for local in-home LAN parties, where space is always limited (5 guys with desktops and CRT monitors + one small trailer = using kitchen counters as desks). One of the guys at one such LAN party claimed I was cheating because I was stretched back, relaxed in a fold-out chair with the Nostromo on my left leg, my Microsoft trackball mouse on my right, and kicking everyone’s ass in UT.

    • Skorpeyon says:

      Ugh, reply fail, that was supposed to go to Wulf’s comment above. :(

    • bwion says:

      I have one of these too, and I am dreading the inevitable day when it finally breaks and I have to look for some lesser input device to replace it.

  32. Emil Eriksson says:

    It’s probably best if you RPS guys just pretend that Apple is a company that doesn’t exist since mentioning Apple seems to provoke angry responses for no reason at all.

    • Red Avatar says:

      If you count snobbish elitist and selfish (according to a recent survey) people pissing on PCs and PC gamers as “no reason”, sure. You DO realize this is a PC gaming website, don’t you? So why be surprised that after all the mud flinging from Apple and Mac users towards us, PC users are not that friendly?

  33. Chris Keegan says:

    Artists who use photoshop for drawing/painting with sometimes use a mouse in the left hand and a graphics (pressure sensitive)tablet with a pen in the right. This could be useful in the other hand for some games for say navigating or driving and your right mouse for shooting your errr cannon off.

    Did you try it both ways?

  34. TeeJay says:

    Admittedly not all RSI is the same. I had really bad ‘carpal tunnel’ pain (underside of wrist) that would shoot pain all the way up my arm. I solved it via a combination of lowering the desk surface and raising my chair height to drop and straighten my wrist and transfer weight bearing away from my wrist and onto my ellbow instead, cost = £0. (I also got an extra-large sized & thick Steelseries mouse mat).

    I also purchased a Logitech G5 mouse to try out before getting a £100 ergonomic mouse (it is easier to get hold of an MX518 (£25) now). Happily the combination of desk/chair/G5 worked so well I haven’t bothered with the ergonomic mouse.

    Two useful references:

    Cornell University’s page about mouse ergonomics: http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/cumousetips.html
    Razer’s guide to different types of gaming mouse grip and size/shape: http://www2.razerzone.com/MouseGuide/

  35. Adam says:

    if you really want to avoid RSI, you just need a quality mousemat and quality mouse.

    contrary to most people’s beliefs, the majority of RSI comes from the lateral movement of the mouse not the grip/clicking. if you get a nice surface which requires no effort to move the mouse, coupled with a quality ergonomic mouse you’ll lose all pain.

    i prefer destrukt original mat + ime1.1, but there are plenty of others: everglide titan, qck+, zowie all do good mats and ime 1.1, 3.0, razer deathadder, zowie ec1/2, are all effortless mice.

    quality equipment really does help! ;)

  36. Zwebbie says:

    We had to endure much, you and I, but within the week, there will be Wacom Bamboos running the world.

  37. Owen says:

    Hey Alec I hear the Wacom Bamboo might be worth a… Oooh aah, why are you looking at me like that? NO! PLEASE ALEC NO!! GOD I’M SORRY I JUST THOUGHT…

    *sounds of bludgeoning with a flat metal object*

  38. Requiem says:

    I find fingertip trackballs are superb for gaming, thumb controlled trackballs just swapped pains in my wrist for pains in my thumb. I use an old Microsoft Trackball Explorer, though it’s falling to bits now.

    I’ve never used a mouse for gaming, I don’t know how people can do it, they seem to move so slow. Nearly as bad as a thumb stick.

  39. Novotny says:

    I’m sorry you have RSI :(

    I’ve suffered from it mildly, and can tell you that playing guitar in the meantime has somehow prevented it coming back. In that, I’m now mousing more than I used to when it first struck, over a longer period, and the only difference is that I now also play guitar quite regularly. Make of that what you will.

  40. Surgeon says:

    I meant to Twitter you this the other day when I seen your tweet Alec…

    I’ve been gaming from about 1984, and after years of C64 joystick and keyboard use, and then PC K+M abuse, accompanied by years and years of software testing, my wrists, fingers and hands started to suffer about 2 years ago.

    Between work and home, I’ve managed to find ways to combat my RSI :

    Work :
    Evoluent Mouse and Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 Keyboard

    The Evoluent, as frightlever mentions above, really has done wonders for my RSI.
    The orientation of the mouse took a good couple of months to fully get used to, but it really is amazing how much of a difference it makes.

    The MS keyboard is great for typing.
    Especially with the negative tilt front wrist rest attachment, and the split between the two sides of the keyboard.
    Again, it took a bit of getting used to, but has made it so much easier
    It does look like something from the Enterprise, and the two on my desk together draw a lot of comment in work, but I couldn’t care less.

    http://images.amazon.com/images/G/09/detail/review/b000bq6noa.01.gif

    Home :
    Evoluent Mouse and Logitech G13 Gamepad

    I’ve got the same mouse for home use.
    At first it was difficult, but I now don’t notice any difference when playing BC2 competitively.

    Instead of the MS keyboard that I use at work, I’ve got a Logitech G13 gamepad instead.
    The close proximity of all the keys means I don’t stretch my fingers as much to reach required keys, especially my little finger being a lefty (stretching between the arrows and the numpad).
    The wrist rest and slight negative tilt of the keypad help give support that you wouldn’t get from a keyboard for gaming, even from the Natural Ergonomic 4000.

    I haven’t had any problems with any games supporting it, and again it really does help alleviate the RSI.

    Posture and wrist exercises have also helped, as has sleeping on my back with arms held straight by my side, but it is these new peripherals that have made me feel like I can still put in the same number of hours gaming as I used to, without suffering from that dreaded RSI.

    Evoluent Mouse :

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000WIF1UE/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000UNWFL4&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=1VWPC6AX29YPS2875QGH

    Microsfot Ergonomic 4000 :

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-Natural-Ergonomic-Keyboard-4000/dp/B000B9RYG8/ref=pd_bxgy_ce_img_c

    Logitech G13 :

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=KB-154-LG

    Good luck :)

  41. frozenwindex says:

    It works okay for shooters. I play TF2 on the standard mac trackpad, and it suck not having the ability to (right)click and altclick at the same time. Its a bit tweaky on scrolling, though.

    blargblarg.

  42. sabnock says:

    Why even use that? Especially when there’s other hardware that has multitouch, a pen and made for windows. i think it’s called Wacom SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  43. solipsistnation says:

    I use a MacBook Pro for most of my general internetting. The multi-touch thing seemed weird at first, but at this point it’s weird to use a laptop with a trackpad that _doesn’t_ do the multitouch thing. 2-finger scrolling, zooming in and out, and so on and so forth are really, really nice. It’d be nice if the Magic Trackpad (I like Macs, but that’s an AWFUL name) could do that on PCs too, so PC users could see why it’s nice. (Or I guess there’s some Wacom thing somebody mentioned somewhere…) For general web browsing and stuff, it’s the sort of functionality that seems kind of like pointless feature creep until you actually use it, and a few hours later you’re wondering how you ever got along without it…

    I’ve played Civ IV on my MacBook with it, and it is, in fact, really great. I’ve played Torchlight with it, and it’s really awful. Flash games that use a lot of mouse action? Also not good. It all depends on the types of games you’re playing. I haven’t even bothered FPSing with the trackpad.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Well, I’m happy to inform you that you guess wrong. There is no need for Wacom solution because there multitouch on PC pads (I mean – not Apple-PC pads). More, there are also official drivers which unlock multitouch on OLDER synaptic touchpads. I have links to HP version of these drivers, but I think I saw them on Synaptic website too. Or something very similar, which also explained how to perform these fancy two-fingers zooms, pinches and rotates.

  44. mlaskus says:

    Touchpads are surprisingly effective when it comes to playing FPS games. As long as you don’t have to make fast turns by more than 60 degrees. I breezed through CoD 4 on veteran(including epilogue) using a touchpad. I also used it in multiplayer for a while and my scores were just as good as when I used a mouse.

  45. oxymormon says:

    I actually used one of those ooooooold Microsoft Trackball Optical meese for about 5 years before it finally quit on me. Best mouse I’ve ever had. Fit my hand perfectly, no strain of the fingers or wrist when using it, and I got so used to it that I never had a problem playing games all the way RTS to FPS. Unfortunately, one of the steel ball bearings that holds the trackball in place popped out, and reduced the mouse to sticky ball syndrome.

    • oxymormon says:

      One of these days I will get a reply on the first try… This was supposed to be directed to Wulf above.

  46. elitehakor says:

    I’ve got a Logitecth Trackball and I really don’t like it. But I seem to be really good at Heavy.

  47. Neut says:

    I HAVE A WACOM BAMBOO!

    • sfury says:

      But it turned you into a neut.

      Damn those witcheries and magicks!

  48. Witek says:

    I never quite grasped all the rage that people have towards the Apple products.
    Using an Amiga, then IBM machine running DOS, finally PC with various iterations of Windows, what’s wrong with me going for an Apple product? Is it because of all the stereotypes pertaining to the Mac users? Fuck that, seriously. The operating system is good, the trackpad on my laptop is so amazing (responsivity, size, functions) that using my other family members’ computers means plugging in a mouse to avoid frustration. You have to use it with OSX, for at least a month, to get how good exactly it is. Seriously.

  49. Joey says:

    I used to rock a Mad Catz Panther XL (http://www.tweak3d.net/reviews/madcatz/pantherxl/). Now that was a trackball/joystick

  50. DarkNoghri says:

    You have what appears to be my speakers. Either that or the new version.

    Good speakers they are, too.

    That is all.