Back in September, my husband thought I was nuts when I suggested a mouse mover. As a matter of fact, back then I didn’t know that such an item even existed, but I figured if there was a need, there must be a product. If not, it’s time to create the product to fit the need.
What is a Mouse Mover?
A mouse mover is a small device, in our case a small box, on which you place your computer mouse. The device has a circular rotating platform that periodically moves the mouse. By moving the mouse, the computer does not go into sleep mode.
Now you ask, “Why would anyone want that?” Well, the company laptop my husband uses to work from home, is equipped with a timer of some sort. Big brother wants to make sure he’s constantly working. So, if his mouse goes dormant and the screen goes to sleep, they assume he’s not working. I’m not sure of the time interval between dormant mouse and sleep mode, but things like bathroom breaks and making a pot of coffee causes things to go dark.
Enter Auto Mouse Mover
When my husband explained how his company had installed the laptop timer, I flippantly said, “You need a mouse mover.” To which he replied, “Is there such a thing?” I believe, as my grandmother used to say, ‘There’s a plaster for every sore.’ The sore in this case is a dormant mouse and the plaster is a mouse mover.
My first action was to get on Amazon and look for a mouse mover. Guess what? I found one, called the Mouse Jiggler by Stageek (Amazon affiliate link). Amazon had a variety of mouse movers, but I ordered the Jiggler.
When the Jiggler came in he set it up by plugging it into a USB outlet and placing it on the desk right next to the laptop. He turned it on and put the mouse right on top of it. The little dial began to intermittently spin and the mouse began to slowly dance across the screen. Success!
One downfall. After a couple of weeks, my husband noticed it stopped working. The device itself was fine, but the USB cord that came with it was faulty. The cord had an on/off switch that got a little funky. We swapped the cord for one without the on/off switch and all is well with the world.
While the mouse mover is a nice little gadget that lengthens his tether to the laptop, he has to remember that it’s on. It works very well, but he has to remind himself that he’s actually working. While it does move the mouse around the screen to prevent the laptop from sleeping, it does not respond to emails or instant messages sent by coworkers. Therefore, he does have to monitor the screen to ensure nothing critical is going on.
Using the Mouse Mover
Now that he’s working from home every day as a result of COVID-19, we have a routine. He tends to use it in the morning when we sit and have our coffee. Sipping a nice cup of hot coffee is much more enjoyable while looking out of a window without the need to constantly look at a laptop screen to make sure it’s not going to sleep. On occasion, he even leaves his office to sit in the living room where it’s more comfortable.
When he does that, I offer to set up the camera to display his computer screen on the living room TV. By doing so he won’t miss any critical emails or messages. A bit overkill, but I’m a Low Tech Grandma nerd and I like doing things like that.
He could just as easily take his laptop to the living room, but that’s just way too normal. Displaying his laptop screen on the TV is much more fun. Unfortunately, he poo-pooed the idea deeming it unnecessary. It’s a good thing I rarely pay him any mind when it comes to technology.
How do I easily set up things to display his laptop screen on the living room TV? That’s the subject of another post.