Leave the balls to the kids and let an optical sensor do the surfing.
This story first appeared in the June 2000 issue of Startups. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Too often, standard PC mice seem more like dazed turtles: slow, inefficient and prone to missteps. Microsoft's Intellimouse ($34.95 street) is the smarter cousin of the lineage, using an optical sensor to detect motion rather than a rubber ball. That means no moving parts to clean, no sticking and no skipping. Plus, a special zoom wheel enables you to bypass menus and toolbars while you're on the Internet or working in many of your favorite programs. Bottom line: You probably paid a lot for a fast computer. For a few more shekels, you can be sure you're maximizing that speed. System requirements include 16MB RAM, 30MB hard-drive space, and a round mouse port (PS/2-compatible) or USB port.

J.W. Dysart, a software analyst and Internet business consultant, has written for more than 40 publications, including The New York Times and The Financial Times of London. He is also a columnist for our sister publication, Business Start-Ups.

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