Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cleaning up my mouse

I accidentally spilled cranberry juice all over my table, including my mouse.

I managed to clean most of it away from my table:
My workstation
which was not easy in itself.

However, my beloved yellow mouse (which I stole from Rk, which he had borrowed from a friend of his, and so on ...) got clammy with sweet juice making the clicks last for a few clammy moments more than it should. Hence, I thought I'll take it apart and clean it.

Taking it apart

I did not have a proper screwdriver. Hence, I used a crude kitchen knife to pop out the screw where the cord entered the mouse:

Underbelly of a mouse
However, it turned out that there were two more screws hidden at the back of the mouse. Thankfully, they were less stubborn than the original screw and got undone quite easily:

Screws off

I used a regular duster which I had bought for my camera lens to sweep off the dust-balls at the bottom of the mouse, while being careful not to dislodge any of the chips or connections. During this cleaning, I discovered something which I did not know before. The LED you see on the mouse body does not directly shine downwards, but instead shines into a right angled prism, which reflects it down. I am not sure why this design choice was made; my guess is that the prism like projection makes the base of the mouse stable and keeping the LED on 'top' of the PCB leads to a more robust design. However, I am open to more suggestions.
The insides of my mouse
After satisfying myself that the insides were as clean as I could make them (perhaps a proper vacuum pump would have done a better job than a duster), I moved onto the outer clammy body.
Three versions of my Mouse
(not yet cleaned)
This was the spot of juice which I wanted to remove:
Cranberry juice on my mouse
 After a good wash with hot water and soap, they look much cleaner:
Three versions of my mouse
(now cleaned)


I have owned this mouse for more than 4 years now, and I think I can now finally personalize it. So I reverted back to my old childhood days and brought back my long lost source of inspiration, of intrigue, of apathy, and the personification of supreme control of one's mind, body and complete disregard of surroundings: my dear kung-fu kau, or just Kau for short. I cannot quantify the character building influence this simple creature had on me. Err ... also, it is the only thing I can draw without embarrassing myself; at least I can say that it is supposed to look the way it looks.

It had been so long that I had to practice drawing him a few times before I was sure that I was ready to actually put him on my mouse. With a permanent marker.

Kung-fu kau: The master of bovine agility and eternal good humor

 Then, I put him on my mouse:
Kau on my mouse
 Putting it back together

Then I put the chassis back together, and put the screws back in:
Screwing the back of my mouse back on

And finally, I have my own personalized mouse, with my favorite character on it!

My mouse and my Kau



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