Primordial mouse-mats

Eleven years, ten months and 25 days ago, I reviewed the original Everglide mouse mats.

Everglide mouse mats

Everglide's "Attack Pads" were the first hard-plastic mouse "pads" to achieve any commercial success. The concept of a mouse mat that you actually paid money for was a bit ridiculous at the time, but since most people were still using opto-mechanical mice then, a hard mat with a textured surface actually did help accuracy a bit, and reduced gunking-up of the little rollers a lot.

All-surface optical mice have been the standard for years now, but a lot of gamers are still picky about their mouse-mat, to get exactly the right amount of friction. Or just to get something that doesn't wear out after a year of StarCraft/Team Fortress. The original polypropylene polyethylene Attack Pads lasted bloody forever; five years of frequent use will smooth 'em out a fair bit, but they're still not what you'd call fragile.

Black Everglide mouse mats

The black Everglide mats still work fine with optical mice. Actually, modern opticals may be fine on the translucent-white Everglide mats as well, but don't quote me on that.

The Everglide mats spawned many descendants, and even some mildly hilarious drama. And now, the other day, I got an e-mail from a nice lady who worked for the company that actually manufactured the Everglide mats back in 1998.

(Well, she says that's who she is. If this is some sort of scam, it's targeting a pretty darn narrow niche.)

She's got "about 200" original black mats, of the type Everglide themselves haven't sold for ages, and she's selling them cheap on eBay.

Apparently these mats are all slightly irregular, but perfectly usable. The problems are restricted to "a few uneven edges here and there along with some misprints". (Any small imperfections in these products really are evidence of their hand-crafted nature; the bevelled edges of the early Everglides were routed by hand.)

They're only $US10.95 delivered within the USA, which strikes me as a perfectly acceptable price for a shiny new piece of gaming history that'll last for years of heavy use, even if you do have to pare off a rough bit on the edge somewhere.

(No international shipping, unfortunately. You could try contacting the seller via their eBay store if you're outside the USA and desperate to buy.)

21 Responses to “Primordial mouse-mats”

  1. timix Says:

    There's also this one with DOOM³ written on it: http://cgi.ebay.com/Cutting-Edge-Mouse-Board-/260779965185

    I've just tried to 'ask the seller a question' to see if she'll post to Australia, but she's set it up not to allow questions... Any US readers willing to act as a mailbox proxy? I had one of the original translucent 'smoke' attack pads, and used it until it somehow got too bent out of shape to use (it bowed up in the middle, making my mouse rock side to side annoyingly whenever I used it).

  2. Carol Says:

    Hi Dan. Thanks for the post. I will change the settings (if i can figure it out) so that people may ask questions.

    Happy Gaming

  3. EugeneKay Says:

    Score.

    Got my order in :D

  4. EugeneKay Says:

    Just a nitpick, but your reviews(and all other data I've found) list the original Everglide pads as being made of polyethylene. This piece says polypropylene.

    [Fixed! -Dan]

    Also, I didn't think about it until after my order was marked as shipped, but it occurs to me that while the pad pictured in the auction is logo-free, this may be a mixed-bag lot. I've sent an eBay question to clear it up, will report back.

  5. alphacheez Says:

    I put in an order for 5 of these. I plan to give some of them as gifts to my geeky friends.

    I have a "Ratpadz" at home but will probably bring in one or two of these into work or might even use it at home if it turns out better than the ratpadz.

  6. EugeneKay Says:

    Just got confirmation that the ones listed in the first auction are logo-free. Guess they were put in the rejects bin before silk-screening.

  7. Carol Says:

    Hi again. Just wanted to confirm that so far all I have found in the warehouse are the blank pads and the one style missprints. If anything else come up I will let you know.

    I'm still trying to figure out the shipping thing. If you place an order and the shipping is crazy, send me a message and I will take a look. I've gotten pooched on a couple of these so far because I didn't charge enough for shipping. Your gain. : )

    We are thinking about manufactuing a new mouse pad. I need some feedback though. Does anyone even use this type of pad for gaming anymore? (can ya tell I'm not a gamer? ) We want to offer the hand routed product but in a new size & shape. Gamers input would be very welcome.

  8. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Does anyone even use this type of pad for gaming anymore?

    Yes. Particularly people who go to LAN parties, which are still somewhat popular in this modern age of ubiquitous broadband Internet. Even if all you're taking to the party is a laptop, you'll probably still use a separate mouse (because laptop pointing devices are awful for action games). A hard plastic mat works on any table (or couch, for that matter), and won't get bent on the way to or from the venue.

    That said, there about a zillion fancy mouse mats on the market today, a significant fraction of which are hard. Many of them are stupidly expensive, though - at the moment, the cheapest hard mouse mat sold by m'verygoodfriends at Aus PC Market here in Australia costs $AU56.10 delivered! So I reckon that if you can sell straightforward polyethylene mats for, say, $US15 delivered in the US, you could do OK. I don't see it being a huge profit centre (and all bets are off if Everglide or someone decides they own the design and sue you, of course), but it wouldn't just be a nostalgia product, either.

    (You could still make mats aimed at the middle-aged gamer market, though. Suggested print: "Get off my lawn!" It is now also mathematically possible that an Everglide-type mat will, for a fraction of the gamer market, literally be "just like daddy used to have".)

  9. Carol Says:

    Thanks Dan. What we are thinking is making our own design. They would be the hard mat, hand routed product, but just a new shape. I would love to hear any feedback about what is desired as far as shape and size.

    In the meantime, I found about 100 more of the blank pads. Wahoo!

    I like the 'Get off my lawn!"

  10. whacko Says:

    I don't know about anyone else, but the shipping price looks like its $14 on top of the $11 the mouse pad costs.

    I am in the United States and it should be completely possible to ship something the size of a mouse pad for about $5 anywhere in the U.S. using USPS Priority Mail.

    Shipping would even be a little cheaper if you went with a slower service like USPS First Class, assuming the mouse pad can fit into a padded envelope.

  11. Fallingwater Says:

    I've been using the same mousepad since I got my first computer, which makes it about *counts* 14 years old. It has a picture of a kitten in a large wine glass, so you can understand why I couldn't bring myself to replace it. (Although, in kind of a downer, the kitten in question is probably dead by now.)

    I'd get a pad or two from Carol's eBay page, but shipping to Italy is stupidly expensive - I'd have to order 10 pads before their unitary price became acceptably low, and then I'd have 8 pads I wouldn't know what to do with.

    So, how would I go to build one myself? Specifically, how could I reproduce the surface texture?

  12. RichVR Says:

    Personally the only thing that I do, and it may or may not be just me, is use mouse pads with the vertical longer than the horizontal. In other words I prefer the Y axis to be the longer one. So if there was no cutout on the X or normally horizontal axis I'd be more likely to purchase it.

    But I also put the toolbars for the OS (Windows specifically) on top of the screen and that seems to annoy people. Even though all the damn places that you usually click on are there. So why shouldn't the damn toolbar be there as well?

    YMMV do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

  13. frasera Says:

    I bought a few from them, but for some reason I always had a warping problem, the mats weren't entirely flat. Eventually this and the cost of the pads led me to jump ship and get a cheap ratz pad, more sq inch per dollar...about the same feel and wear pattern. I also found the c4 thin pads worked pretty well, or mouse skates type ptfe teflon tape, if your desk was cheap, you didn't need a pad at all.

  14. Fallingwater Says:

    I second the taskbar on top. That, plus my ergonomic split keyboard, have worked better at keeping people from using my computer than any spoken warning.

  15. RichVR Says:

    Yeah, well the only problem with having the taskbar where it really belongs is doing telephone tech support. Trust me, after you're used to having it in the correct place, it messes with your mind trying to coach the "average user".

  16. Itsacon Says:

    A problem with having the taskbar on top is that you can `overshoot' when going for the title bar of your current window. So trying to close a window, and instead hitting something in your tasktray.

    To each his own though.

    I don't use mousemats, I've used trackballs for the last 15 years. :-)

  17. Carol Says:

    Hey Guys. I understand about the shipping cost outside of the US. I've been doing shipping for years and it is just crazy how much it cost sometimes.

    I'm going to be putting up some 5-pack prices so maybe some people could get together and buy that way.

    If you had a mouse pad in the past that warped, it was probably one of the moulded products that came after the original hand made surface.

    And if you just don't want to spend the $$, buy a black or dark colored plastic cutting board. Very close material to what we used but not as dense so it might warp a bit.

    Again, if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me. I'm always open to looking into other methods of shipping. Using a bubble mailer ends up costing me $5 ($2 for bubble mailer & $3 for shipping) so that's why I just go ahead and use Priority Mail.

    cclebl@yahoo.com

    Thanks!

    Carol

  18. Jenssof Says:

    Wow I'd love to get those. Right now I use an old logitech mouse that hardly works anymore so I might consider buying those.
    Anyone got any ideas for international rather than contacting the ebay seller? I tried but he doesn't reply.

  19. Carol Says:

    @Jenssof-

    I didn't receive your message. E-mail me at cclebl@yahoo.com or thru e-bay.

    p.s. 'he' is a 'she' ;) wink

  20. Jenssof Says:

    @Jenssof:
    If you want to get one shipped internationally then you could go to ebay.co.uk or global.ebay.com. I'm sure they will have some there and they ship internationally.

  21. Jenssof Says:

    Btw try contacting "ujama" on ebay.co.uk he got some cheap ones for sale.


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