Trackballs and the Promise of the Future

Trackballs look like the future. They are sleek, odd and different. They do exactly what mice do, but do it while looking awesome. Trackballs are a vision of tomorrow. Except...

...they don't quite live up to that hope. They don't work any better than mice, in fact in some ways they are less useful. They tend to gum up pretty easily, and require frequent cleaning. In addition to that, they're kinda gross. Rolling your hand over nasty germs, dirt and all those dead cells from other people who might have rolled your trackball.

But...the ball is really fun to play with. Sometime you want to take it out and just roll it in your hand. You sit there playing with it and rolling it around and start to think to yourself, "I wonder if I do that thing that the Goblin King did in Labyrinth, and roll it up and over my fingers?" You then think about David Bowie in really tight leather pants. After you force breakfast back down your throat, you grab tightly to your trackball ball and give it a try. Surprise, surprise... drops. With a loud THUD and rolls across the ground and under a metal filing cabinet and there you are. Metal filing cabinets are NOT anything like the future. They are the past.

They hold the relics of a part remembered memory. Those sections of your your mind that you printed out in hope of preserving knowledge. Knowledge that got edged out of your brain in desire to retain more useful information. Information like the all the dialogue in Star Wars: A New Hope, and every IP addresses of DNS servers from companies that have long since been dismantled. ( There is nothing new to be learned from a filing cabinet except what you might have already forgotten.

So you find yourself down on all fours; face to the ground, on your dirty office floor peering under a filthy filing cabinet searching for your future. How is this anything like the promise you were offered not mere moments ago? See the overly simplified analogy? The future is like a trackball, and if you're not careful you'll find yourself stuck in the past wondering what happened to your hope.

1 comment:

Jr. Williams said...

Can you overclock a trackball mouse?
Rugged keyboards