The Mouse BungeeReview date: 3 July 1999.
Last modified 03-Dec-2011.
I am now happy to say that I have the trinity of Mouse Poseur Accessories. A USB mouse. An Everglide mouse pad (reviewed here). And now a Mouse Bungee, possibly the silliest gadget in the world that actually works.
The Mouse Bungee is one of those objects that people don't know what it is even after they've read the label. Even when the thing's in use, it's not instantly obvious what function it's performing. What it is, is a mouse cord suspender. It holds up your mouse cable. Your mouse thus moves more easily, without any dragging or snagging. Like a cordless mouse, except without the batteries.
And it's quite stylish, too. There's the ubiquitous beige plastic construction, with two shiny springs, and a shiny round weight in the base. The Mouse Bungee's form follows its function, but the function is so odd that it still ends up as a conversation piece.
Does it work?
In a word, yes. You squeeze apart the two halves of the top cord-guide by pressing on the little sticky-down tabs under them, and pop in your mouse cable. The cable fits into a ribbed guide down the back of the Bungee, which stops it from paying in or out as you move the mouse.
The idea is to set the Bungee up so that there's enough play in the cable between the Bungee and your mouse that it doesn't pull taut in normal use. The two supple springs that hold the top guide in place take up the strain at extremes of movement, so the cable never stops the mouse on an ordinary sized mousemat. And, with the right amount of cable paid out and the Bungee not too close to or far away from the mousemat, the device does indeed come near as dammit to making you think you have a cordless mouse. Except, of course, without the extra bulk and weight that the batteries in cordless mouses create.
Do you need it?
I can't honestly say that the Mouse Bungee is a must-have accessory for every computer user. Or even for every game-player. It does what it says it does, and your mouse will be nicer to use if you've got one. In conjunction with a nice slick mousemat like the Everglide models, it gives you the smoothest mousing experience you're ever likely to have.
But if the cord on your mouse doesn't actually cause you any great irritation - let's face it, mouse cords aren't exactly the ergonomic disaster of the late 20th century - a Mouse Bungee isn't going to change your computing life much.
Then again, it's under $US15. You'll have paid significantly more than that for your mouse, if you got a decent one.
As toys go, the Mouse Bungee is a good one. It's not too expensive, it looks cool, it does something useful, if not revolutionary. It'd make a great gift for the game loony in your life. Which may well be you.