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Q: Computer Mice Crud ( Answered,   5 Comments )
Subject: Computer Mice Crud
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: devnull4d-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 23 Dec 2002 03:55 PST
Expires: 22 Jan 2003 03:55 PST
Question ID: 132668
What is the stuff that gets stuck inside mice? and what's it called?
Subject: Re: Computer Mice Crud
Answered By: vinods-ga on 23 Dec 2002 05:44 PST
Hi devnull4d, 

Thank you for a most interesting question. I will answer it as it is
asked, in two parts.

A.	What is the stuff that gets stuck inside mice?

Particle matter in the air - 'house dust' as it is usually referred
to, is what gets into mice. The mouse pad (or any other surface you
use to move the mouse on) is open to air most of the time, thus
allowing a surface for house dust to settle on. With the movement of
the rubberized tracking ball which is in the well at the bottom of the
mouse, this dust collects on its surface. Over time and repeated
movements, the dust gets trapped between the rubberized ball and the
three plastic sensing wheels inside the well.

The moisture in the air and from your fingers or part of your palm
which is in contact with the surface (mouse pad), along with the
warmth of your hand condenses this dust material into physically
compressed masses. This mass gets sticky with time and lodges itself
well on to the plastic sensing wheels and the rubberized ball.

The ball is rubberized so that it becomes frictional, so as to
maintain regular and smooth contact with the surface.  The surface
(mouse pad) itself is also made frictional for the same reason.

(This is required, since the rotary movement of the ball, wheels,
etc., have to eventually get ‘converted’ into linear and precise
movement of the arrow on your screen. There is an
‘electrical/electronic’ process involved, which is out of this

In effect, you have a couple of surfaces that contain enough pitting
for the dust particles to get ensconced within. Gradually, with
humidity and moisture, this dust gets sticky enough to ‘grow’ large
and get flattened between the rubberized ball and the three plastic
sensor wheels. It finally ends up on the sensor wheels and impedes
smooth movement. (This results in ‘skipping’ or erratic movement of
the arrow on your screen.)

B.	and what's it called?

NOUN: 1. Slang a. A coating or an incrustation of filth or refuse. b.
Something loathsome, despicable, or worthless. c. One who is
contemptible or disgusting. 2. A disease or ailment, imaginary or
real, especially one affecting the skin. 3. Sports Heavy, sticky snow
that is unsuitable for skiing.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English crudde, possibly from Old English *cruden,
past participle of crdan, to press, drive.

[ ]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth
Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

NOUN: Slang. Foul or dirty matter: dirt, filth, grime, muck. See

[ ]
Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Copyright © 1995 by
Houghton Mifflin Company.

As you can see, the term ‘crud’ that you used to describe this mass of
compressed house dust is very apt, when you consider “A coating or an
incrustation of filth or refuse” from the above!

‘dirt’, ‘grime’, ‘filth’ or ‘muck’ as also apt for describing what we
have on hand.

Warm regards
Subject: Re: Computer Mice Crud
From: digsalot-ga on 23 Dec 2002 05:57 PST
Makes me glad I have an optical mouse, no rodent droppings to contend
with.  If plural for mouse is "mice" in IT speech, though some of us
prefer mouses, then wouldn't it hold true by the same rule that the
plural for spouse would be "spice?"
Subject: Re: Computer Mice Crud
From: flajason-ga on 23 Dec 2002 06:42 PST
Mouse Balls Available as FRU (Field Replacement Unit)

Mouse balls are now available as FRU.  Therefore, if a mouse
fails to operate or should it perform erratically, it may need a
ball replacement.  Because of the delicate nature of this
procedure, replacement of mouse balls should only be attempted by
properly trained personnel.

Before proceeding, determine the type of mouse balls by examining
the underside of the mouse.  Domestic balls will be larger and
harder than foreign balls.  Ball removal procedures differ
depending upon manufacturer of the mouse.  Foreign balls can be
replaced using the pop-off method.  Domestic balls are replaced
using the twist-off method.  Mouse balls are not usually static 
sensitive.  However, excessive handling can result in sudden
discharge.  Upon completion of ball replacement, the mouse may be
used immediately.

It is recommended that each replacer have a pair of spare balls for
maintaining optimum customer satisfaction, and that any
customer missing his balls should suspect local personnel of
removing these necessary items.

To re-order, specify one of the following:

P/N 33F8462 - Domestic Mouse Balls

P/N 33F8461 - Foreign Mouse Balls
Subject: Re: Computer Mice Crud
From: lot-ga on 23 Dec 2002 07:54 PST
Fluff is another terminology.  I have optical mice, but one of them
still accumulates the 'crud' around the anti friction pads, and needs
more frequent cleaning than a balled mouse!
Subject: Re: Computer Mice Crud
From: zhiwenchong-ga on 23 Dec 2002 13:43 PST
what about "lint"? i've always called it lint.
Subject: Re: Computer Mice Crud
From: vinods-ga on 26 Dec 2002 11:14 PST

Both 'lint' and 'fluff' come from cloth. It can be an ingredient in the 'crud' !!

Merry Christmas to you both!

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