Teaching an old mouse new tricks

Teaching an old mouse new tricks

Summary: Tuesday's announcement of Apple's US$69 Wireless Mighty Mouse elicited a lot of excitement from the Mac faithful, but I am more of the opinion that it's about time.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware
9
wmm.jpgTuesday's announcement of Apple's US$69 Wireless Mighty Mouse elicited a lot of excitement from the Mac faithful, but I am more of the opinion that it's about time.

One of the very first criticisms of the original Mighty Mouse when it debuted almost one year ago was the lack of a wireless option. The original Mighty Mouse was a revolutionary step out of the dark ages for Apple as their first mouse that featured more than one button. Like most things from Apple, they took it to a new level by adding four independently programmable buttons "without compromising simplicity for users who prefer just a single-button mouse."

While I like the scroll ball idea in the original Mighty Mouse, it can be a bear to clean. The invisible button concept is a little hard to get used to as well. I find myself always clicking on the scroll ball and opening up the annoying Dashboard application. After I turned that off I found the right button implementation to be hokey, it's hard to tell if I'm clicking in the right place some times.

Nick Starr has posted some pictures of the new and old Mighty Mice for comparison. In his hands-on experience he notes that the Wireless Mighty Mouse can be used with one or two AA batteries and that it works on 2-inch thick glass (a feat for optical mice).

One of the most interesting features that has come to light about the Wireless Mighty Mouse is that it's a true laser mouse as opposed to the previous Mighty Mouse which is only optical. Apple claims that the new mouse is "20 times more sensitive than standard optical mice." Starr also notes that there is "no visible laser" in the new model.

While it's great that Apple finally released a Bluetooth version of their mouse, it's about a year too late. Combined with the weird button configuration ("squeeze the two side buttons?") I am going to pass and stick with third-party Bluetooth mice. My current fave is the BT510 from Radtech.

What mouse do you prefer?

Topic: Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

9 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Why do you do this?

    How much does m1cR0$$$pl@T pay you to spread FUD about glorious Apple? You are such an M$ shill. ;)

    [i]without compromising simplicity for users who prefer just a single-button mouse.[/i]

    Hehe, I got a kick out of this one. Does Apple believe that its users are so simple that anything more than 1 button is just too confusing? Is it that hard for someone who prefers having only 1 functional button on a mouse to ignore the second button? I'm picturing this ADD Mac user:
    "Gotta click it. Gotta click it. Button is there. Gotta click it."

    [i]The invisible button concept is a little hard to get used to as well. I find myself always clicking on the scroll ball and opening up the annoying Dashboard application. After I turned that off I found the right button implementation to be hokey, it's hard to tell if I'm clicking in the right place some times.[/i]

    It's all about form over function. The iPod is a good example of form AND function.
    NonZealot
    • Not an Apple apologist, sorry

      A Microsoft shill? Hardly man...

      Just because it has an Apple logo on it, doesn't mean that it's perfect. My opinion of the Mighty Mouse is that it's lame. (Expert for maybe the horizontal scrolling part).

      If Apple built a bridge, would you jump off it?

      Let's face it, there are at least six BT mice out there that I would buy over the WMM in a heartbeat. Have you used the MM? What's so great about it?

      Besides, if I was truly a M$ shill, wouldn't I have plugged that new M$ mouse??

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • My apologies

        I added the winky face after that line as an indicator of sarcasm. I've been reading your blogs long enough to respect what you write. I was only trying to have a bit of fun at the expense of those who automatically label anyone who doesn't tow the Apple/Linux line as an M$ $hill.

        Keep up the good work. :)
        NonZealot
        • no worries...

          we're cool NonZealot -

          I was hoping that you were being sarcastic, but wasn't sure.

          - Jason
          Jason D. O'Grady
      • m$ shill?

        "Besides, if I was truly a M$ shill, wouldn't I have plugged that new M$ mouse??"

        so does that mean since i have a microsoft mouse, office 2004, and windows 2000 installed on vpc7 that i'm a m$ shill? *grin*

        just kidding, but i do agree that the mighty mouse in any form is pretty weak. apple should have used buttons instead of sensors, even though the sensors will outlast the rest of the thing.

        speaking of the scrollball, instead of a miniturized version of a mechanical mouse on top, why didn't they use either a joystick (similar to the mousestick on ibm/lenovo thinkpads) or a small touchpad? either one would have worked just as well and not have been dirt and grime prone.

        as for "If Apple built a bridge", give me a bungie cord and i'm game. *grin*
        nix_hed
  • How thick was that glass?

    >?and that it works on 2-inch thick glass (a feat for optical
    mice).

    That sentence really caught my eye. Did Nick Starr [i]really[/i]
    say the mouse could track on [b]2-inch thick[/b] glass (I couldn't
    access the link)? Two inches of glass is pretty darned thick, and
    probably pretty opaque, too. I wonder if the real test was 0.2-
    inch thick glass.

    Just being pedantic,
    Clint
    ClintMacD
    • It's actually a 2-inch thick piece of lucite (not glass)

      His post originally said glass (it appears to be down right now) but it's actually a 2-inch piece of acrylic or lucite, as you can see in this flickr photo set:

      http://flickr.com/photos/nickstarr/198944104/in/set-72157594212851765/

      http://flickr.com/photos/nickstarr/sets/72157594212851765/

      Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • Re: It's actually a 2-inch thick piece of lucite (not glass)

        Mr. O'Grady:

        >His post originally said glass (it appears to be down right now)
        but it's actually a 2-inch piece of acrylic or lucite, as you can see
        in this flickr photo set:

        Thanks! That clears it up for me (and the Flickr photosets really
        made the point).

        Best wishes,
        Clint
        ClintMacD
  • ddpmbwc 58 oav

    fgoumh,pymuiyhl31, deurz.
    bmakrekdw80-24378989085206037169939486017350