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Chapter 3. Taking Control with Your Keyb... > Other Devices for Poking Around on Y... - Pg. 31

Taking Control with Your Keyboard and Mouse 31 Techno Talk A driver is special software that tells the computer how to use a particular device. Each device connected to your computer (the printer, monitor, mouse, sound card, joystick, and so on) requires its own driver. Windows includes many drivers for the most popular computer devices. In addition, each device typically comes with a CD or diskette that has a driver designed specifically for the device. · To zoom in or out, hold down the Ctrl key and rotate the wheel. Rotate away from yourself to zoom in or toward yourself to zoom out. If you don't have an IntelliMouse, don't run out and buy one. It's not an essential toy. However, if you have some extra money lying around, it is kind of fun to play with. And don't rip one off from work unless you nab the driver for it, too. The driver comes on a floppy disk; you have to install it before you can take advantage of the wheel. Other Devices for Poking Around on Your Computer In search of the perfect pointing device, computer manufacturers have toyed with other ideas: trackballs, joysticks, touchpads, light-sensitive pens, and little gear shifts stuck in the middle of keyboards. I've even seen two-foot pedals set up to act like a mouse! The following list describes the more standard fare: · Trackball--A trackball basically is an upside-down mouse. Instead of sliding the mouse to roll the ball inside the mouse, you roll the ball yourself. The good thing about a trackball is that it doesn't require much desk space and it doesn't get gunked up from dust and hair on your desk. The bad thing about trackballs is that manufacturers haven't figured out a good place to put the buttons. You almost need two hands to drag with a trackball: one to hold down the button and the other to roll the ball. Stick with a mouse. · Touchpad--A touchpad is a pressure-sensitive square that you slide your finger across to move the pointer (very popular in the touchy-feely '90s). A typical touchpad has two buttons next to it that act like mouse buttons: You click or double-click the buttons or hold down a button to drag. With most touchpads you also can tap the touchpad itself to click or double-click. Touchpads are the pointing devices of choice on most notebook computers, but they can be a little tem- peramental, especially if you're fingers are a little sweaty. · TrackPoint or AccuPoint Pointers--You've probably seen portable computers with a little red lever smack in the middle of the keyboard. The lever acts sort of like a joystick; you push the lever in the direction you want to move the mouse pointer. You use buttons next to the keyboard to click and drag. · Joystick--A joystick is a must-have for most computer games. A standard joystick looks like a flight stick or one of those controls you've seen on video arcade games. It has a base with a lever sticking out of it, which you push or pull in the direction you want to move. The lever usually has a few buttons for blasting away at opponents and making a speedy getaway.