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I'm not too sure if I should be posting here or in the newbies section, but here goes anyway... Mods feel free to move this if need be.
I've been having problems getting mouse funtionality in Gnome. I've had a logitech serial firstmouse, a labtec optical ps/2 mouse, and now I'm trying an RCA (badged as HP) cordless USB mouse. This last mouse is the only one I've had any indication of mouse activity with. Problem is that the mouse input has no bearing as to what happens on the screen. Any input on the scroll wheel - scroll up, scroll down, click - moves the cursor up the screen, any up/down movement of the mouse sends the cursor to the bottom-left corner, and left and right movement of the mouse is super-exagerated - 6 steps to cross the screen going right, 4 while going leftt. The right mouse buttons do nothing, whether there's something to do or not.
I'm using the 2.6.8-2-386 kernel with Debian/Gnu distro 'sarge'
I don't know if it's related, but my mouse nipple has gone bad, and keeps throwing my cursor around the screen. I had to disable the internal mouse in the bios. Sadly there doesn't seem to be a way to disable just the nipple and leave the track pad working. I only mention it because it sounds like you have similar symptoms, but it doesn't sound like exactly the same thing.