Aleksandar • Vacić

iOS bits and pieces

Mighty Mouse

Ever since I decided to ditch the desktop for the laptop, I was looking for the wireless mouse I will use with my future mobile platform. Since my choice of laptops (ultra-portable) has very limited amount of USB ports (Sony SZ has two) I did not want to permanently occupy one of them with USB receiver for the mouse.

This ruled out majority of mouses out there and left me searching Bluetooth options.

In reality, there were two: Microsoft and Logitech. All the others was not really good ones and all belonged to entry level class. However, both MS Intellimouse and Logitech MX900 are designed for the right-hand users and I happen to use the mouse with my left hand. I am right-handed person but I strongly believe that mouse should be used with left hand as that is more comfortable than the usual way. I eventually bought MX900.

For its own, it is an excellent mouse, which works on practically any surface, even mat-black as my working table. However, it soon became obvious that it was very battery consuming and it having a charging cradle naturally leads me to think it’s a BT mouse aimed to be used in desktop situations.

Mighty Mouse

That’s where wireless Mighty Mouse enters. First, it’s much less battery consuming. Second, it has laser tracking which is miles better than the crappy wired older brother. Third, it was symmetrical, so I could use it with both hands, as I saw fit. All winner points, if it wasnt for the one small thing: Apple decisively says that is works only with MacOSX, preferably 10.4.6 or higher.

Well, crap that!

It’s a Bluetooth mouse - why the hell it should not work with any BT stack, even Windows’s one? I didn’t need any special functions, just: left, right and middle click + wheel scrolling. I asked people in Apple’s London store, but they firmly claimed it works only with Mac because the Mac software runs it. Ludicrous. I was so sure it must be working that I bought it anyway - if it really wasn’t working…well, it would make a nice present.

It turns out that I was right - it does work fine with Windows, with the minimum of functions expected from a mouse these days. The main trick is to supply a Bluetooth PIN code without which it refuses to work. The code is “0000”, as explained on the Apple site and I must say this is the first time that I have seen a HID device requiring one.

So there you go gals & guys: wireless Mighty Mouse does work with Windows.

Impressions

After trying it out for several days, I was somewhat dissapointed. Not by its basic functionalities - no, they were quite fine, 100% as I need them. Mouse is precise, works without jitter I could notice. Wheel scrolling was too fast by default, but after slowing it down from WinXP default of 7 lines per click to 2,it was fine. I easily got used to the fact that there are no buttons, much easier than I thought I would.

The problem is with the hand I’m using.

I used it with my left hand and had big troubles getting used to it. It seems that sensors and whole thing inside of the mouse is geared towards use with the right hand. The left side of the mouse has higher priority than the left side. Let me explain…

Apple StoreWhen you put fingers on both sides of the mouse, and click, it always does the action assigned to the left side, be it select or context menu. Also, if you click in the middle of the mouse and even 1cm to the right it still performs left-click or select-click, whatever you want to call it. In order to get the opposite action, you need to click on the far right side of the mouse and lift the fingers off the left side. Even if your fingers are not touching the surface but are close to left-side of the mouse, it will still peform left-side click. When using the mouse with the left hand, this is very frustrating.

I guess that there are Mac owners that use the mouse with the left hand and I also thought that Mac software drivers for it must do something to the mouse, otherwise any left-mouse-hand Mac users would be very pissed off. That computer-speaks-to-mouse would also somewhat justify the use of PIN code. But, how to test this? My best shot was to go to Apple store and install the mouse on one of the MacBooks there, if possible - meaning security will not jump on me as soon as I tr to put the CD into one of the comps. :) It proved fruitless though, as I could not install the mouse software (did not know the password for the Apple user) and I couldn’t find a machine with the WMM software already installed.

I’m a bit stuck, but will figure this out, eventually. :)