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Cleaning and maintenance
colorful dust I had to do some cleaning and equipment maintenance. So I thought, why not mix business with pleasure and take some pictures along the process. Read along to see the back story of this picture.

The story began three days ago, when my mouse started to misbehave. A good, precise mouse is a indispensable tool, and only then I realized how often I use the mouse wheel for computer operations and to zoom in and out pictures.

Never afraid for doing some DIY projects, I did not hesitate to open the mouse to find the cause and to fix the issue. I did not expect to see that many dirt, gathered around the scroll wheel.

This picture shows the mouse after opening it. Not too bad. What you can see is a the mouse wheel. Inside the wheel you can see little holes.

mouse wheel

It seems that the scroll wheel functions like this. Please refer to the picture below.

mouse wheel

One side of the mouse wheel provides a light emitting source (see the blue component a little bit below the center of the image). The hole in the center normally contains the scroll wheel. Yikes, yes, you can see a lot of dirt down there!!! As always, I blame my cats 🙂

The other side of the scroll wheel (little bit above the center of the picture) is a light sensitive sensor. As the scroll wheel turns, the sensor picks up the motion and translates that to movement (up or down: scrolling).

mouse wheel

My cat’s hair (along with some loose fabric ends) seemed to got in the way of the light path, effectively disabling scrolling functionality of the mouse.

After removing all hairs, fabric and debris, the mouse is working properly again!

I just could not resist to take a macro shot, and this was the result:

colorful dust

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