I have used a yellow lined writing pad as a mouse mat for at least the last seven years. This doubles as somewhere to make random notes as I work on stuff.
My Apple Magic Mouse started going wonky the other day. The tracking was jumping all over the place, making it hard to use. I have had it since 2012 and despite warnings from @owen that it will give me RSI I have done very well with it. I like the combination of optical mouse with built in mini-trackpad. It sure beats mice with scroll wheels.
I wondered if the Yellow pad was the issue, I had started a new one a few days ago and while I hadn’t changed brands it was one of two things that had changed recently. The other was a new Bluetooth keyboard.
I turned off the keyboard, which ruled that out. I tried a clean page of the legal pad, that didn’t make a difference. I tried running the mouse around on my desk, that worked. I tried running the mouse around on other surfaces, that worked as well. Only a problem for my trusty yellow lined pad.
I tried cleaning the optics and removed stray hair using tweezers, that didn’t fix it. Everything else looked fine as far as I could tell.
On a hunch that maybe there was something wrong with my mouse - after all it is 7+ years old and has experienced thousands of hours of use per year - with the yellow pad giving it an issue I reached or my backup. Yes I have a backup Magic Mouse. I kept it at the office until we closed it a few years ago so I had to find it first - in a box in the garage.
Sure enough my backup mouse works just fine. Now I’m back to using my yellow lined pad mouse mat and have a reserve backup mouse that works on most other surfaces.