Category: Lifestyle

How to repair a Logitech Laser Mouse G9x/G9 with a shorted cable

Recently, my beloved Logitech Laser Mouse G9x showed signs of a broken, i.e. shorted cable. This is a well-known problem with these mice – I had a Laser Mouse G9 before and it suffered from the same problem, and the forums are full of similar reports. It’s also well-known however, that the G9/G9x is one of the best and most wanted fingertip grip mice apart from its cabling weakness (and if you use a mouse for 14+ hours daily or if you’re a pro gamer, you won’t ever want to use any other grip (video)).

Unfortunately, Logitech doesn’t produce the G9/G9x model anymore – though they probably could have easily fixed this weakness in the next revision and even improved some other aspects, like reducing the mouse’s weight. One thus has to find a dealer that still has some G9/G9x mice on stock (and accept a high “connoisseur’s” price, these mice usually sell for around 250 USD – mind fakes!) or go with a not quite equivalent, but similar Alienware TactX mouse (which is based on the G9/G9x and produced by Logitech). Alternatively, one can try soldering and fixing the shorted cable or order a spare cable from China, which are both better options than throwing away an otherwise still working mouse.

I decided to order a replacement cable including mouse feet at LittleWStore through Aliexpress for roughly 15 USD including shipping (it arrived within 2 weeks, earlier than the 4 to 5 weeks I expected to wait).

Unsurprisingly, there’s already a nice and informative YouTube video showing how to disassemble a Logitech Laser Mouse G9x, replace the cable and even how to repair a shorted cable (thanks to MrLiquidArrogance for the video – otherwise, I would have had to upload a video myself):

This allows me to only emphasize those points that deserve special attention:

  • Be aware that this repair requires advanced manual skill due to the somewhat unfortunate cabling inside the mouse and the not very maintenance-friendly attachment of the flex flat cable.
  • I’d strongly recommend ordering new replacement mouse feet as it’s almost impossible to remove the feet without tearing them, particularly if you’ve used the mouse for some years already. To remove the remaining glue, I used ethanol, but something hydrophobic (e.g. straight-run gasoline) might actually work better [Warning: Disconnect your mouse before doing this!].
  • I used my Victorinox CyberTool 34’s (video) phillips screwdrivers and it worked fine, but if you have thinner screwdrivers at hand, use those, as some of the smaller screws are a bit difficult to reach.
  • The most tricky thing to reassemble, in my view, is the mouse cable inside the mouse, which is laid out and bent in quite an odd (and scary) way. It’s also the reason why most of the G9x/G9 suffer from a shorted cable sooner or later. You have to bend and route the bundled wires in a way that they neither cover the hole for the screw in the bottom shell, nor the according plastic nut in the upper shell. This puts a lot of stress on the inner mouse cable and requires quite some manual force.
  • Other not so easy things:
    • Detaching the flex flat cable/ribbon (for the LEDs in the upper shell) without popping off the little latch (using a flathead screwdriver works though)
    • Putting the rubber grommet in place again (you need to apply quite some force and the grommet doesn’t really fit very well anyway)

For now, I’ve just quickly replaced the whole cable with a new one, but I will try fixing the old, damaged cable with my new Ersa i-CON1 digital solder station when I find time for it.

What I particularly like about the Logitech Laser Mouse G9x:

  • Its perfect geometry for finger tip grip users
  • Good quality of plastics, springs, buttons, wheel, laser sensor
  • Moderate weight (extra weights removed) as compared to the Mad Catz R.A.T. 7 (extra weights removed) – it’s still quite heavy though compared to other mice, this could be improved (if you intend to lift your mouse often, this is the wrong mouse)
  • Removable shells
  • “Hyper-fast scrolling” (this almost seems like a USP of Logitech – I like this feature a lot!)
  • Good, stable drivers
  • Has well-placed back and forward buttons with clearly defined clicking points
  • It’s a wired mouse, there’s thus no need to replace batteries, no risk of running out of battery in the worst possible moment, no added weight, no lag.

Alternatives might be:

Mad Catz R.A.T. 7:

– heavier

– no hyper-fast scrolling (I really miss that)

– less ergonomic forward and backward buttons

– terrible, totally unusable Mad Catz drivers (works well on Mac OS X though using the SteerMouse driver version 4.2.3 and newer – I tested a beta version of it – thanks, Yoshi!)

+ super customizable and adjustable geometry

+ handy precision-aim button (can also be programmed to show Mission Control or the desktop, for example)

+ handy horizontal thumb scroll wheel

Mad Catz R.A.T. 5:

If you can do with fewer or without customization options, the R.A.T. 5 or 3 will likely suit your needs as a fingertip grip user more as they’re lighter and smaller.

If you don’t care about (supposedly) durable, high-quality material, some of the other Mad Catz mice might be good alternatives too (e.g. the hard-plastic mice are generally lighter than those incorporating steel and/or aluminium)

Mad Catz R.A.T. Prox

This pro gamer mouse looks very exciting and promising for fingertip grip users – it looks like the perfect mouse to have, also for non-gamers with that grip. I really hope Mad Catz will dramatically improve their drivers though, as terribly bad drivers is currently their biggest weakness.

Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0

Many people, particularly gamers, still like this mouse a lot, despite its age. It has a nice geometry and is light-weight (best for palm grips, but suitable for fingertip grip users with big hands too). I once had and used this mouse too (also its predecessor) and liked it a lot. The sensor is quite outdated (but liked by some gamers for its 400 dpi resolution) and used to prematurely die from one day to another. Nonetheless it was the last good mouse produced under the Microsoft brand.

Luckily, you can still find the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 on Amazon.

[Edit 20150201: Fixed some typos, clarified some things, added a warning]

Got a Zeppelin Air? Upgrade its firmware now.

All in all, after several months of using it, I can strongly recommend the B & W Zeppelin Air. It’s a truly great iPod/iPhone speaker, filling even larger rooms with quite impressive depths and crisp heights. And in contrast to its competitors (e.g. think of the lousy hardware of the otherwise innovative Sonos speakers – what a pity!), you can see, feel and hear its excellent build quality. It’s been engineered by the guys who equip the famous Abbey Road Studios, supply the audio system for Jaguars and invented extravagant speakers like the Nautilus, after all.

The only thing which wasn’t satisfying so far, is the Zeppelin Air’s buggy default (software) implementation of Airplay, i.e. that the Zeppelin Air lost the Wifi connection after a while in stand-by mode. As I finally found out, all that’s needed to fix this is a firmware upgrade to version 2.00.24 [updated 20120930]. At least, my Zeppelin Air hasn’t ever lost its Wifi connection anymore since. So, if you experience Wifi connectivity issues with your Zeppelin Air (likely), don’t hesitate and upgrade the Zeppelin’s firmware now, although it’s somewhat cumbersome (you need a suitable USB cable, e.g. from an external hard drive or printer, as this isn’t included in spite of the Zeppelin’s upmarket price). It’s well worth it!

Zeppelin Air firmware download at Bowers & Wilkins Support.

Ready, steady, go!

Refreshing. Innovative. New. Creative. The sky is the limit. Startup fever. Brian Haven:

This new job is ambiguous. I don’t have a job title. The company doesn’t have a name. At the moment, there are only three of us. We don’t know what this will become, we only have a general direction. My office will be at my house… in Austin… and in cyberspace on IM, Twitter, Facebook… To many, this recipe might spell fear. To me, it’s comfortable. I thrive in the unknown–no rules, no baggage, no momentum to pull us into mediocrity. We get to build this from scratch in a thoughtful and disciplined manner. It’s my opportunity to bring my engagement ideas to life and the perfect time to leverage my background to apply a design thinking approach to the way we, and our clients, do business.

I had the joy to experience the reviving entrepreneurial spirit at yesterday’s public beta launch party at the Wuala office in Zurich. And I experience it daily when working for my own company – Printscreen GmbH. A great feeling indeed, and inspiring others, too.

Aug 29, 2008: BlogCamp Switzerland 3.0 in Zurich

Note that this year’s Swiss BlogCamp, the BlogCamp Switzerland 3.0, will take place on the same date (August 29, 2008) as the Tag der Informatik (informatica08) and the tweakGrill, and at the same location (Technopark in Zurich), too! Of course, this is no coincidence :) No matter whether you’re a blogger or not (or plan to be, have been, are interested in the Swiss blogging scene, the web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, whatever etc. ;): Be there, I’m sure it will be an interesting event, again! (And attending the “Tag der Informatik” is a point of honor anyway :)

(Bloggy Friday will start at 8 PM, guess where ;)

BlogCamp Switzerland 3.0

[UPDATE 20080802: I probably can’t be there due to military service :( At rather short notice as they managed to send the march order to an address that doesn’t exist. No comment.]

August 29, 2008: tweakGrill @ informatica08

The innovative guys from tweakfest.ch will present what they call The first digital BBQ in Switzerland, aka the tweakGrill. It will take place on August 29, 2008, starting at 6 PM on the Turbinenplatz (that’s Zurich’s biggest place (*cough*) right in front of the Technopark building (which some call the “Swiss Silicon Valley” ;) in Zurich-West/entertainment).

According to the newsletter they’ll have several multimedia performances, serve sausages from USB-Grills (I wonder how that will scale ;) and open source beer brought to you by [project 21].

tweakfest group on Facebook

Flyer (PDF)

More information in German in this post on the tweakfest home page..

[UPDATE 20080802: I probably can’t be there due to military service :( At rather short notice as they managed to send the march order to an address that doesn’t exist. No comment.]

Citizen Space Zurich – home page up and more details

[UPDATE 20080720: See also the comment from Chris Messina (the co-founder of Citizen Agency, LLC (blog) and one of the two master minds behind the original Citizen Space in San Francisco)].

By now, the home page of the new coworking location “citizen space Zürich” (see my previous post) is up and gives some more details about the (currently) planned offers and pricing [1]:

An excerpt (in German):

[…] citizen space vermietet Arbeitsplätze an unabhängig arbeitende Menschen in den vier Meter hohen Räumen der ehemaligen Steinfelsfabrik in Zürich West. Tageweise, wochenweise oder unbefristet. Allein oder in Gruppen arbeiten? An fixen oder mobilen Tischen? In der Lounge? Alles ist möglich. citizen space ist von Montag bis Freitag von 9 bis 19 Uhr offen, ab 19 Uhr Barbetrieb oder Events, Infos auf www.citizen-space.ch
Tarife: Tagesticket für 30 Franken, Wochenticket für 170 Franken, flexible Monatsmiete für 450 Franken, fixe Monatsmiete mit Schlüssel für 680 Franken, Friendshipticket für 15 Franken pro Tag und Person.
Verpflegung: Kaffee, Getränke und Snacks im Haus. Take-outs, Restaurants und Bars in unmittelbarer Nähe. Zur Josefwiese oder zum Unteren Letten sind es drei Minuten zu Fuss. Öffentlicher Verkehr: Bahnhof Hardbrücke und Escher-Wyss-Platz befinden sich in drei Minuten Gehdistanz. […]

So basically, this boils down to:

  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday daily from 9 AM to 7 PM for work, after 7 PM, the bar opens or events are taking place
  • Offers and pricing:
    Day pass: 30 CHF (in about 30 USD, 19 EUR)
    Week pass: 170 CHF (167 USD, 105 EUR)
    Flexible monthly ticket: 450 CHF (441 USD, 279 EUR)
    Fix monthly ticket with an office key: 680 CHF (667 USD, 421 EUR)
    Friendship ticket: 15 CHF (15 USD, 9 EUR) per day and person
  • Coffee, drinks and snacks in-house (but there’s no hint whether these are included in the price of a pass)

At first sight, this looks quite pricey (more than double the price) compared to its namesake in San Francisco (citizenspace.us). Further, there doesn’t seem to be any “24h access”[2] option (not even for keyholders?) and whether coffee, drinks and snacks are included remains to be seen. Conceptually, there’s also a difference in that there are no free drop-ins (it costs 30 CHF for random drop-ins and 15 CHF for friends), but in addition to monthly tickets there are also weekly tickets. I wonder particularly what influence the “no free drop-ins” policy will have on the idea of mingling people (well, the mingling will probably be less spontaneous and less heterogeneous and coworkers likely more commercially oriented and less willing to contribute to the idea of coworking or do things for free. Which might well cost more in the end [3]).

BTW, office space in Zurich West isn’t as cheap as in less central and less trendy districts, but this also applies to many areas in SF. The thing that’s generally somewhat more expensive in Zurich is food and beverages.

Let’s see how this develops.. my guess is that these offers and prices aren’t carved in stone and will probably also depend on the feedback they get (i.e. on supply and demand). Will ask them ASAP..

Thumbs up for starting it, in the first place :)

[1] Please note that these figures have not been officially announced or confirmed yet. They’re just published on the public web site (which has not been announced yet either).

[2] Some coworking space providers even guarantee 24/7 access and are open for public access on Saturdays, too

[3] I’m currently reading a great book that, among others, deals with the very thin line between social norms and market norms. And it also discusses the (predictably irrational) appeal of anything that’s for “free” (knowledge that can be leveraged for marketing purposes and profit, of course). (Book: “Predictably irrational” by Dan Ariely; 2008; HarperCollins. I’ll probably post about it in more detail later..)

Citizen Space Zürich for Digital Nomads soon to arrive?

Finally, Zurich starts catching up with its partner city San Francisco (and other Californian cities like Berkeley, Stanford/Palo Alto etc.) in regard to shared workspace for so called “Digital Nomadsand the like: According to these great news, a “citizen space” will soon be opened at Heinrichstr. 267 in Zurich:

11.07.2008 13:19: Ich bin daran ein solches zu eröffnen:
NEW: citizen space zurich. start: 18. Juli 2008
Auf 150m2 und einer Raumhöhe von 4 Metern völlig flexibel arbeiten.
Mietpreise ab CHF 30.-. Freie oder fixe Plätze. Komplette Infrastruktur.
Reingehen – arbeiten, besprechen, relaxen.
Im Steinfelsareal, Heinrichstrasse 267, 8005 Zürich

and

16.07.2008 11:36: Hallo
Das citizen space Zürich eröffnet am 24.7.08, wer Interesse an weiteren Informationen hat, kann ein E-Mail an [see below] senden, die Informationen sind natürlich kostenlos. Gruss in die Stadt. JR

The e-Mail is info at type and more remove spaces dot ch. The homepage of type’n more: typeandmore.ch

I really like this new groove here in “my” neighborhood.

Looking forward to it! :)

P.S. The domain citizenspace.ch is registered already, I don’t know though whether this is related to the citizen space to be opened in Zurich. Let’s see..

(Source: Ronorp.net)