Archive for August 2, 2005

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Pan-Mass Challenge

Seth Dillingham is looking for developers to donate licenses of their software so that he can auction them to raise money for cancer research and treatment.

Apple’s Mighty Mouse

Apple selling a multi-button mouse isn’t quite as surprising as them selling a haxie would be. Still, I’m surprised that Apple went this route, rather than coming up with something more different.

I’ve liked nearly all the mice Apple has made, and the Pro Mouse—I still use the original black-and-clear model—is the most comfortable mouse I’ve ever used. I love the idea of a multi-button mouse (as an option) in theory, but I’ve never found one that was comfortable. Having multiple buttons on the top increases tension in the hand, because I have to press one button while not pressing the other. Scroll wheels are cumbersome to use (though people only seem to admit that when they appear on MP3 players) and seem even more likely to cause repetitive strain.

The Mighty Mouse’s side buttons look good. I’ve been using their inert predecessors to pick up my Pro Mouse for years. I withhold judgement on the top shell until I actually try it, but from Apple’s description it sounds like it will feel like a regular two-button mouse; the new technology just makes it look better. The scroll ball seems like an improvement in function (two dimensions instead of one) that doesn’t address the scroll wheel’s core problems: poor ergonomics and control.

I think what I’d like better would be OS support for MaxiMice functionality. (A similar feature was built into the OS 9 Finder and Internet Explorer 5.) Rather than deal with a scroll ball, I could press the side button with my thumb to turn on “hand cursor mode.” Then I could scroll by moving the whole mouse, with the comfort and wonderful Apple acceleration curve that implies.