The 2nd most popular article I’ve had on this blog has nothing to do with programming.  While that could be depressing under a certain light, I think it’s actually quite telling of an interesting situation.  I love my Kensington Expert Mouse, but it’s not supported under Vista.  I wrote an article that shows how to get the programmable buttons working again, minus the chord functions.  This article gets more traffic than all but one other post on my blog.

The article has also received a large amount of feedback.  I think this says a lot about Kensington customers and their love for this device.  It’s unfortunate that Kensington isn’t going to support it on Vista, but it is what it is.  You can get 80% functionality and they don’t have to do anything.  Following the 80/20 rule, it would be bad business for them to build their own driver for the device.  But for those of us that are affected by the problems, it makes us question our loyalty to the product when it seems the manufacturer isn’t being loyal to us.

While I did acquire a 2nd Expert Mouse for the office so that I’d have one at both home and work, I’ve wondered if I would keep with the device long term or at some point replace it with one that works better on Vista (or Windows 7).  This was in the forefront of my mind when the trackball at home started to malfunction.  The left-click button has been “letting go” while dragging, and it’s missed some clicks too.  It was getting to be very frustrating, so I figured a device replacement was inevitable.  So, would I stick with Kensington?

I remembered a co-worker from BIG telling me that he had problems with his Expert Mouse once, and called Kensington.  They simply asked for his address and shipped him a replacement, no questions asked, and free of charge.  He found out that their devices have a 10-year 5-year warranty, and even though he hadn’t registered his product, they faithfully respect the warranty and please the customer.  With this story in mind, I emailed Kensington support.  After an attempt at troubleshooting (to rule out a bad USB port or a dirty device), they are sending me a replacement, free of charge.

I will remain a loyal Kensington customer.  I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with BabySmash though.  Well, I’m pretty sure that my sons’ aggressive BabySmash play has contributed to the demise of my trackball’s left-click button.  The device is very sturdy, but there’s only so much “smashing” a mouse button can take!  So had my boys not been so enthusiastic about BabySmash, I probably wouldn’t have needed to replace my trackball, and Kensington wouldn’t have had the opportunity to keep me as a happy, loyal customer.