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Mighty Mouse is here to save the day

  1. Aug 9, 2005 #1

    Moonbear

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    Mighty Mouse is here to save the day!!!

    For all you PC fans who complain Macs don't have two-button mice!

    http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/

    Not only does it perform as a two-button mouse, it has a scroll ball to let you scroll in any direction, and is clickable as a third button, and you can squeeze the sides as two more buttons (they're preprogrammed to work with Tiger, but are programmable to do anything you want). I have to say, this is a pretty cool looking mouse!

    (dduardo seemed bored, so I thought I'd start another Mac vs PC war...er...I mean thread) o:)
     
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  3. Aug 9, 2005 #2

    dduardo

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    Purely from an ergonomics standpoint the scroll ball is a bad idea. Fingers like to move up and and down not side to side. I like the concept of squeezing the mouse though.

    What I'd really like to see is a combination of the mouse/keyboard. Why do we need three rows of letters? There should be one row with each key representing say three different letters/characters. Then have software deduce what your trying to spell. It is similar to the feature cellphones and pda have of guessing what your tying to type. Unlike the cellphones/pdas I wouldn't have the letters going from ABC DEF GHI, but rather some combination so that for the most common words you end up pressing one or two buttons max.

    Once you are able to reduce the keyboard to one row you could easily split the keyboard into two mice with four side thumb buttons.One button on the bottom side and one button on the upper side. These buttons would act as compose/shift/enter/space.

    The left mouse could be fixed in position but is able to rotate like a ball-and-socket to simulate the UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT white the right mouse wont be fixed and able to move the mouse cursor.

    The GUI would have to radically change, but it would definitely be more efficient in my mind.

    Btw moonbear, thanks for posting in technology. :smile:
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2005
  4. Aug 9, 2005 #3

    Moonbear

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    Actually, I would love it if I could program the scroll ball to scroll just off center, the way you can change "up" on some mice. My natural scrolling direction isn't quite up and down but just slightly diagonal (up to the right and down to the left). I don't like regular scroll wheels for that reason.

    As for your mouse/keyboard thing, it would meet with a lot of resistance from those of us who would need to relearn to type. It's also not perfect in terms of the way it works with text on phones...try typing technical terms! I have enough trouble having to turn off autocorrect. (For a thorough example of resistance to changing keyboards, there was a thread in engineering called "parallel keyboards" or something like that, which is invisible now, but I believe you can still view). It's not quite the same idea, but some of the arguments would be valid in this case too (especially that an 8 key keyboard would be something like what a stenographer uses; hitssquad had posted some links about those and the associated technology). Ergonomically speaking, yes, a split keyboard that didn't require lifting your fingers from the keys would be good, especially if it was curved to fit a natural curve of fingers.

    (I did really think it was a cool mouse, so didn't really come here just to start trouble, but you sure did look bored. :biggrin: Apple is really doing their best to convince me to upgrade to Tiger! First dashboard and widgets, and now a two-button mouse designed to work best with Tiger! I want, I want!)
     
  5. Aug 9, 2005 #4

    dduardo

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    I think the reason why the concept doesn't work well on phones is because the keypad simply going from A to Z. It would probably be better to to group letters based on usage and position in words, but this would take some research.

    Apple is doing a very good job in terms of trying to bring new things to the desktop. The same can't be said about Microsoft. Have you seen screenshots of the next version of windows? It looks identical to windows xp with a new theme.
     
  6. Aug 9, 2005 #5

    Moonbear

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    Nope, I haven't really been paying attention to what Windows is doing. I use it really infrequently, and no matter what version they're on, very little changes (on the other hand, sometimes that's a downside to macs that you need to relearn where EVERYTHING is when they put out a new version of their OS...I remember being very puzzled trying to find out what they did with Appletalk when I first upgraded to OSX...having to go to GO and look for servers was not intuitive; it was about as intuitive as going to START to shut down :rolleyes:).

    I'll have to start paying attention to PCs and Windows again though. The lab I'm moving to uses all PCs and the person I'm going to be working for is even less computer saavy than the person I'm currently working for (he still doesn't realize there's a "track changes" feature in Word, so just types all his comments on stuff I send to him in a different color text...that's what he thinks we've done with all our comments that show up to him in different colors. :rofl: I'll have to show him that feature when I get there).

    I've worked on two different platforms between home and office before, so it won't bother me much to do it again (though I hope the walls are relatively soundproof when I'm swearing at the PCs again). I used to use it to my advantage to switch back and forth to use features that were only on one system or the other (in much older versions of Word, this was a real issue for me...I'd even work between Word and WordPerfect back when people still used WordPerfect just because neither had all the features I wanted at the time).
     
  7. Aug 9, 2005 #6

    dduardo

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    I try to avoid windows like the plugue. The only time I use windows is when I'm forced to and even then I carry around my trusty USB drive and boot from linux within windows.

    As nice as macs are I probably wouldn't use them because they isn't nearly as customizable as linux.
     
  8. Aug 9, 2005 #7

    Moonbear

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    Unfortunately, I know NOTHING about linux, and am usually the most computer literate person around the labs I work in, so that's not likely to be an option for me any time soon (if I had a machine already set up with it and someone around to pester with lots of questions while starting out on it, I would definitely give it a try...no chance you want to move from FL to WV is there? :rofl:)
     
  9. Aug 18, 2005 #8
    oh I love it. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


    dduardo, I know this question will probably spark a huge debate ( and maybe create a thread), but why do you prefer Linux so much to windows besides it's virus problems, its a rip off, and its not very customizable?
     
  10. Aug 24, 2005 #9
    You mean OS X has had right-click functionality this whole time, and you guys didn't immediately replace your Mac mouse with a 3rd party multi-button mouse? I had to replace mine with the Kensington Studio Mouse. :)
     
  11. Oct 26, 2005 #10

    Moonbear

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    Just ressurecting this thread because I now own the Mighty Mouse! I couldn't resist, I had to try it for myself and figured I could then report back to share whether it was worth it. Keep in mind that for a while now, all I've been using are either the trackpad on my laptop (single button, ergonomically painful for my thumb) and a cheap two-button mouse I got free from some vendor at a conference (it looks cool because it has blue liquid in it, but it's the old kind with a ball in it that sticks even when it's clean). I haven't used the old logitech trackball in a while (the one with the maroon, marble-looking trackball) because the response to that was sometimes sluggish; don't know if it was the trackball or the mac, so just stopped using it.

    So, I've been using my new Mighty Mouse for all of a few hours now.

    Okay, first impression as I took it out of the box, "Oh no, maybe this isn't what I was hoping it would be." Now, this is before I had it plugged in or anything. I was just pushing buttons to see how they felt and thought the scroll ball thing that also functions as another button was incredibly easy to press down, so anticipated trouble scrolling without accidentally clicking! And the side buttons you squeeze give no sensation of motion when you squeeze them (or very subtle), so I was wondering just how hard they needed to be squeezed to work. I was also not entirely convinced that something that looks like a one-button mouse really would function smoothly as two buttons.

    But, I proceeded to plug it in and install the driver (I was a little surprised at having to do this; somehow I expected this to be plug and play with the support already built into OS 10.4... based on the way it was advertised, but okay, this is hardly anything to get flustered over).

    So, I got it all installed, cranked up the tracking speed and double click speed (if you haven't figured it out, I'm a speedy sort of person...no sluggish mice for me...if you want to move your mouse halfway across your desk to get to the other side of the page, I'm not the person to give you a review that will predict your experiences). Like any multi-button mouse, I had the option to set what I would use the buttons for. So, I set the standard left and right clicks as primary and secondary buttons (given the shape of this sucker, if you're left-handed, you could easily switch those if it would be more comfortable for you, but I'm right-handed, so stuck with the traditional). As for other functions, I don't really have anything that I would need a 3rd or 4th button for, so decided to try some of the featured options. The default for the scroll ball button is to open and close dashboard, and the default for the squeeze button is to activate expose (expose is the feature that lets you either clear the whole desktop with the press of a function key so you can get at stuff ON the desktop, or you can tile all open windows to find something you're working on that you've buried under a bunch of active windows). I decided using a mouse for something I don't use much anyway, and that can be accomplished with a single keystroke already wasn't really useful, so set the scroll ball button to switch between applications. So, now it pops up in front of whatever I'm working on a menu (with big icons...I don't know if I can change the appearance of that yet) of all the currently open applications (as opposed to my dock that shows all applications I put on it that I can open them from), so I no longer need to scroll down to the dock to switch applications. This is a minor advantage, but I think when I'm really busy with multiple applications, it'll be something I'll really grow to appreciate. I wasn't sure what else to use the squeeze of the mouse for, so set that to dashboard. It didn't work quite the way I anticipated, but I actually like it better. I expected it to work like hitting F12, click once to open dashboard, click again to close it. It worked that way when I used the scroll ball button for dashboard. But, when I use the squeeze button for it, it just opens dashboard when I squeeze, and closes as soon as I let go. Obviously, if you have widgets you use often that you need to click on or type things into, this won't be a good use of this button. But, for me, I like this because I can quickly glance at the calendar, time (I have a few clocks for different time zones so I know when to call people), whether I have new mail in gmail (Yes, I now have that...I wish when everyone was offering all those invitations around here they had explained more properly how it worked as different from other online emails...I love it!), and weather reports, and then let them just as quickly drop out of the way.

    Okay, so, in contrast to my initial impression out of the box, this mouse is great (at least this is my impression after only a few hours of using it). The scroll ball button is actually not something you press by itself, but you click the whole mouse while pressing on it (like a middle button on a 3-button mouse). So, that alleviated that concern...I cannot accidentally click just by scrolling. The scroll ball is very much like a scroll wheel in having that "clicky" feel to it, which I like (though, when it's quiet, the clicks are audible too, if that's the sort of thing that might bother you). I feel like I have more control than I expected to have with it (I was afraid I'd be going every which way until I learned to control a tiny trackball type thing). I haven't yet opened anything that had a scroll bar in more than one direction, so haven't tested the multi-directional scrolling aspect yet. I'm on the hunt for an oversized picture to give it a try. Squeezing the sides does require a little more pressure than I expected at the time I bought the thing, but not as much as I expected upon removing it from the box. Considering where my fingers wind up while moving the mouse, this is probably a good thing to avoid accidentally pressing that button. Right and left click work perfectly as expected. No delays in response to the mouse either. I've had problems with optical mice from apple in the past (the single button ones that come stock with most macs) in that they don't always operate smoothly...despite the claims you don't need a mouse pad, I've always had problems with them "skipping" if I don't use them on a mouse pad. But, this one doesn't seem to have any problems with that. It seems to be working equally well on a TV tray as on a sofa cushion (yes, I'm working at home today), so they must have gotten something fixed.

    One thing about the scroll ball that contrasts with my experiences with scroll wheels on windows machines (but haven't used them enough to really say this is a difference...it could just be the applications I use them with)...this one seems to just know when I'm in a window within a window. For example, if I just place the mouse over this quick reply box, I can scroll up and down within the box. If I move outside the box, I scroll up and down on this page. If I scroll to the top of the quick reply box and don't stop scrolling, it switches to controlling the whole page. With Windows, I often have to click on the scroll bar I want the wheel to work with if I have multiple scroll bars on a page (such as this reply box within a page).

    So, I give the Mighty Mouse a very positive review. I have ONE complaint though. As is typical of apple mice, the darn cord is too short! The USB port on my PowerBook is on the left side, and once I have the cord run behind the PowerBook so the mouse in on the right side to use it, there's very little cord left to spare. I know, normal people usually have a mouse plugged directly into a keyboard and keep the two close together, but I have a tendency to put the keyboard in my lap (keyboard trays are never a comfortable height for me, and just bang up my knees that don't fit under them...I don't know how you taller folks manage) and keep the mouse on whatever work surface is nearest (desk, table, etc). Then again, if this mouse works so well on a sofa cushion, I may not need to concern myself with that issue, and I have an extension cable if I need it.

    So, I give the Mighty Mouse two trackpad-weary thumbs up! :biggrin: I'll update this report if I discover other good features or problems as I use it more.
     
  12. Oct 26, 2005 #11

    Moonbear

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    Oh, one more thing I realized to add specifically in response to dduardo's concern on the ergonomics of the scroll ball. For a page like this where I'm only moving up and down, it's more comfortable than a scroll wheel. I don't have to move the ball exactly up and down. It seems anything within about 45 degrees of up or down is still interpreted as up and down. So, for me, given the position of my hand as I hold the mouse, I'm much more comfortable scrolling southwest than due south (using the location where the cord inserts at the top of the mouse as due north, for reference). This may not be the case when scrolling in more than one direction becomes possible on a page.

    Incidentally, on the installation instructions, it says it works as a 4 button mouse with windows too, without requiring any additional drivers or software installation, so even the windows users could get some functionality out of this one, though I don't know how well it really works with that.
     
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