I travel a lot. A typical month has me in three different cities across the globe. Therefore, most of my computing is done on a laptop. My favorite laptop accessory is the Macally iOptiJr mouse. It's quite small and packable, but not too small to be uncomfortable when used for hours at a time. It's all optical, so you can use it on any surface with a texture. Pant legs, the airline seat next to you, the tray table - even the laptop itself (just below the keyboard) - all work as well as any mousepad. Plus, the iOptiJr has no balls, wheels, or other moving parts, so there's nothing inside the mouse that gets gummed up. With the standard fare of buttons and a scroll wheel, the iOptiJr plugged right into the USB port on my Windows 2000 laptop and worked immediately. No drivers necessary (even though the mouse is marketed as a Mac only product). On my Mac G4 laptop, I downloaded the OS9 driver software from the Macally website (no software is included in the package) - and after installation, I had full use of the scroll wheel, the middle button, and the right button. When I installed OSX on the G4 last March, the scroll wheel and buttons worked immediately without drivers. (Thank God that Apple decided to support 3-button scroll mice in OSX.) I liked the iOptiJr so much that I bought four more of them. Now I have one for each of my computers... and I keep one in my laptop travel sleeve to ensure that I won't forget it when I rush off next for the airport.


Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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