8-Jan-2006 (Sun) Wherein we speak of the porn and the trackballs.

Happy New Year!

Remember my comment back in May about the effect that The Event Which Shall Not Be Named had on our web server? It is apparently the gift that keeps on giving. I guess it must have started making the rounds again in late December, because we served four times as many hits in December as in November, almost all of them in the last four days of the month.

This is what the last two years looked like:

This is what December looked like:

The audience wasn't skewed in favor of the Japanese and Nether-regions this time. Go figure.

We're running out of spare trackballs for the kiosks. Can you help us find some?

We really like the ones we've been using: the clear plastic ones that light up. (Pictured here, though we prefer them unaccessorized with chewing gum.) These were called the "CompUSA Crystal Trackball" and were about $20, but CompUSA no longer sells them. Jonathan bought out the last few the local store had back in 2002, and we've survived on those until now.

We've got one that's similar that says "Quasar Crystal Trackball" and also "Quasar Tracks", and may or may not have the part number MA-9004-00 or 70310-10001. We have no idea who actually makes it or where to get more of it, or anything like it. If you do, please let us know.

The biggest constraint we have is that whatever model we use, it must not be possible to remove the ball without tools. With most trackballs, the ball just pops right out. The ones we have are nice in that the ball stays in unless you unscrew the bottom.

We could go with "industrial" or "arcade" trackballs, and some of those are pretty sweet looking, but the good ones are hundreds of dollars each, so that's not really gonna work (because they are not indestructible, trust me).

7 Responses:

  1. fantasygoat says:


    Yes, I know they're twice as much - even more for the bigger one. But like you mentioned, they're arcade units and really tough, but more importantly, they're rebuildable with spare parts.

    That means instead of buying a new trackball you can just replace the ball, the encoders or the bearing shafts. It might be cheaper long-term, and they've been making that same trackball for over 20 years so its not likely to go out of production anytime soon.

    Something to consider.

  2. violentbloom says:

    gum? why would someone do that? it's so nasty!
    in fact I often find people who chew gum generally offensive as apparently closing your mouth and not making smacking noises is difficult.

  3. fnoo says:

    I vaguely remember seeing one of the images on a popular website recently, but I can't remember which one. I think it was a blog of some kind. Anything interested in the referrer logs?

  4. jkonrath says:

    In the future, kiosk trackballs will instantly change chemical composition when removed from their housing, so they are highly adhesive, and will explode in two seconds. That would probably solve the problem.

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