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Trust Ami Mouse 350C USB

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1 Review

Manufacturer: Trust / Cordless: Yes / Optical: Yes

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      06.10.2003 19:24
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      For a while our old Microsoft scroll mouse has been heading for the bin, they just don't seem to last long these days. Additionally, since we now have digital cameras with both Smartmedia and Compact Flash cards, it seemed sensible to go looking for a combined cardreader. You can imagine we were quite pleased when a parcel arrived, not something we had ordered, but a prize in a competition Karolina had entered some time ago. The prize was the Trust 350CW Optical Mouse / Card Reader. So, just what we needed, and avoided the cost of around £35 or so in English money, and should be available widely whether you are in the world from general computer shops. Inside the box, you are supplied with the mouse itself, a cradle containing the card reader with moulded USB cable, a PSU, 2 rechargable NiMH batteries, and a user guide and software installation CD-ROM. It all looks quite flashy, smooth grey, black and silver plastic with various buttons, lights and sensors which at first seem a bit confusing. Installation is pretty easy. First plug the cradle into a spare USB port. Insert the batteries into the bottom of the mouse, once charged. Press a button on the front of the cradle, then one on the bottom of the mouse, and communication should be established. The necessary drivers are loaded by Windows 2000 or XP, you don't actually need the CD-ROM software to operate the mouse. So installation complete, you can throw away the old mouse (if you want), and your mousemat (as you don't need one with an optical mouse), and away you go. Operation seems smooth, the buttons have a nice click to them, and it's very accurate. The mouse itself has 5 buttons, including a scroll wheel. The buttons themselves can be programmed to change the functions they perform by using the software CD, but as I said, you don't need to do this. The software can also control the speed of the mouse. The mouse is suitable for both left and right handed users, an
      d is fairly light weight, perhaps a little more heavy than a standard MS corded mouse. Whenever you move the mouse, you'll notice that the light on the cradle flickers, just means everything is working fine. The cradle serves two purposes. Firstly it's the charger for the mouse, which you simply drop into it and it fits snugly. During charging the scroll button on the mouse is illuminated purple, once charging has finished it'll change to red. Secondly it's a mutli-format card reader, for both Smartmedia (up to 128Mb) and Compact Flash (up to 256Mb). Inserting a smartmedia card is easy enough, it goes into the bottom slot, once in you can access the data on it by going into "My Computer" and accessing the extra drive, much like you would a hard disk. I've used this without any problems so far, although it's not so easy to pull the card out I've found. As for the compact Flash reader, I simply haven't been able to get this to work. The 256Mb card I inserted just won't go in, and you mustn't try and force it. I emailed to customer services to ask them why, and very promptly they replied. Apparently the reader only reads CF type I, not CF type II which is what I am using, there is a difference in thickness of some 1.7mm! I'll have to continue to connect up one of the cameras using the traditional method, but can't really complain, as it was free after all. The documentation is quite clear, and has sections for troubleshooting. One of the possible problems you might have is interference from other products using the same frequency, but this can be changed, so it shouldn't really be a problem. It also recommends the type of surface for using the mouse, preferably not black or red, white is ideal, but it should work smoothly on most surfaces. To use this product you'll need to have either Windows 95,98, ME, 2000 or XP, so that should be most of you. You'll also need a minimum
      of 32Mb, a 200Mhz CPU, a USB port, and a CD Drive and 30Mb free disk space if you want to install the software. Overall I'd say it's a pretty neat product, although the inability to read CF Type II cards may be a problem for some. Customer service so far has also been good. You can check out the company website at www.trust.com

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