Web Paint-by-Number Forum
Topic #241: Pixel gets "hung" and messes up the puzzle
By Billie Patterson (bpat)

#1: Billie Patterson (bpat) on Sep 25, 2010

Jan, occasionally, my pointer will "hang," for lack of a better word, on a color or dot, and whenever the mouse moves, it drags the hung color/dot across the puzzle, royally screwing it up.

When this happens, the mouse button is not depressed, and I can make it stop by clicking the mouse button wherever it is. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the size of the puzzle, how many tabs I have open, how long the computer has been on, or anything at all that I can determine. I have a touchpad on the computer, but it is disabled because I prefer a wired mouse.

I'm running Vista Home on a Dell Inspiron 1420, Firefox 3.6.10.

Has anyone else had this problem, and do you have any idea what might cause it?
#2: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Sep 25, 2010
What is happening is that Firefox is not getting notified that you "unclicked" the mouse button. This could be caused by several different things.

Easiest (and what happened in my case) is to replace batteries in a wireless mouse to increase its transmitting power.

Since you seem to have a wired mouse, you could try using a different mouse to see if it cures it. (In which case the old mouse is failing.)

Unfortunately, it could also be a software thing. If Firefox loses focus briefly when the mouse is unclicked, it could still think you're still holding down the button. This could be due to many (many many) things. It could be an add-on to Firefox, or a focus-stealer like some instant-messengers. It could be a notification pop-up. Or... etc

The kludge-cure for this is the undo. While it it very rare for this exact thing to happen to me, it is very common for my mouse to go flying across the puzzle trailing pixels. Not for any hardware or software reason, though. It's because my cat Raven wants to get petted and noses my hand. Hard.

So the cure is to pick a pixel I know I just did and watch it as I hit "z". Eventually undo gets me back to that point.
#3: Byrdie (byrdie) on Sep 25, 2010
I've had the same thing happen and I'm not using Firefox (IE7). It's tedious but I just click the "undo" until I get back to where it started ... same as Joe. If you've done a save recently you can also do a restore.

Not sure what causes it but it's infrequent enough. I don't puzzle on my desktop often enough to remember if it happens there or only on my laptop.
#4: Mark (mark.jeronimus) on Oct 4, 2010
It happened to me too, in firefox 3.5.13.

After I clicked the mouse to register the mouse release signal with the script, I tried pressing z a lot to undo it, but for some reason it typed zzzzz... in the address bar. I clicked on the page and pressed z again and now it typed zzzzzzz.... in the google search box. When I clicked on the page again (and double-checked that I clicked in an area governed by the script) it finally started undoing.
#5: Mark (mark.jeronimus) on Oct 4, 2010
I found out at least one trigger for the stuck mouse button.

It happens when I have multiple windows on my screen at the same time and I try to activate the firefox window by middle-clicking on the page. (A habit I developed over the years)

A solution would be to assign the middle mouse button permanently to the "M" option (Pop-up menu) in your profile settings.
#6: Billie Patterson (bpat) on Oct 4, 2010
Thanks for the answer, Mark, but I don't have a middle mouse button. So there must be other triggers, but I can't figure out what they are.
#7: Teresa K (fasstar) on Oct 4, 2010
Okay. This has happened to me a few times. I don't use Firefox, so that's not the problem. I don't have a middle button either.

WEBPBN is a script driven site. Jan explains how his software works in the FAQ section. It is complicated Javascript, and Jan explains that Javascript is not always compatible with all browsers.

What I think might be happening is this. In the middle of your browser carrying out the scrpited program for the mouse drag or mouseover task, some other program on your computer running in the background (like your firewall) interrupts the WEBPBN scrpit for a split second and your mouse doesn't get unclicked and continues to drag after you release. I don't think it is a glitch with Jan's script. I think it is a problem with Javascript that Jan can't do anything about. I'm just guessing here. But at this point my guess is as good as anyone else's. :-)

In any case, when it happens, I just get the cursor off the puzzle grid and click again to unstick the mouse. Then I hit the U until I get back to where I was when the mouse got stuck. No big deal.
#8: Byrdie (byrdie) on Oct 5, 2010
If your mouse has a scroll wheel it can be used as a middle button. I'm loathe to admit I had a scroll wheel mouse for quite some time before I realized the wheel can be "clicked."
#9: Minnie Fuerstnau (m.fuerstnau) on Oct 17, 2010
I have had my iMac G5 in to the repair guys and spent lots of time on the tech support line trying to solve this problem, too. Nobody knows what it is, but it always is a cumulative thing; the more windows that are open and the longer the computer has been on the more often it happens. I thought it was just me. I use a wired mouse and Safari.

I also get another weird thing that happens- suddenly the screen will go into what I'm told is called "expose" mode that is a mouse setting that allows all open windows on the desktop to be viewed simultaneously. It causes the windows to shrink and move and have a funny pale blue "overscreen" come over them. They jerk back and forth a bit and make a funny faint clicking sound. And you can't hardly catch them with your mouse to close the windows. At its worst the whole thing will freeze and need to be manually shut down. EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING for me, as the Apple people say they have never heard of it, and as soon as I disconnect my computer and haul it into the Apple Store in the mall, it won't duplicate the complaint as it is cumulative as I said earlier.

The suggestions for improving things have ranged from emptying the caches on a weekly basis, shut the computer down entirely more often, and add more RAM, (I recently went from 512 MB to 2GB- no change). Nothing has made any appreciable difference, and I guess I was hoping if there happened to be someone who loves these puzzles, too, and is a tech wizard, they might have a suggestion for me? Please!

Thanks so much, Jan, for this site, and to all who make the puzzles and comments a pleasant way to pass some time.
#10: Minnie Fuerstnau (m.fuerstnau) on Oct 17, 2010
#11: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Oct 17, 2010
Minnie, I know that Exposé can be activated by the keyboard. I think my keyboard used f9 to open it. (It's been almost a year since I used a mac). -- A look on Google says it's f9, f10 or f11 on older keyboards (for 3 different modes) and f3 on newer ones.

Try opening Exposé on purpose and see if it messes up that way. If not, then find another keyboard (with a cord) and use it for a while.

It may be that your keyboard is dying and randomly getting stuck sending bunches of signals saying that key is pressed. Note that this wouldn't show up if you don't bring in your keyboard with the system (or if they automatically attach one of theirs).

If it continues with a different corded keyboard, it's probably software rather than hardware. Then I'm out of ideas. Unless you can find a way to disable Exposé (good luck).

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