Mighty Mouse...

Apple Mighty MouseApple
Mighty Mouse

Something that everyone in the Mac world thought that they would never see… a multi-button Apple mouse, with a “Scroll Ball” no less.

They’ve called it the Mighty Mouse so you don’t get it confused with any less than mighty mice that you may have used.

I remember the days when, at work this is, we would un-box a new PC and more or less throw the mouse away. Well, usually just into a cupboard. Not that the mice weren’t usable or that we had a superior alternative, no, simply because we only used DOS. The PC’s didn’t even have a hard-disk drive, they were considered an unnecessary luxury.

The first mouse that I ever saw was naturally on an original Apple Macintosh at Manchester Polytechnic, as it was then known. One of the computer labs had about six of them and because we were studying all aspects of computing we were allowed to play with them for a couple of hours.

Since then I must have used and abused lots of them. Whenever something bad happens, because you usually have the mouse in your hand, it is the first to be punished. I’ve only recently started slamming them into mouse mats.

When we bought the white Microshite® mice at work the instructions suggested that you changed the orientation of the mouse periodically so that you didn’t get RSI. There was even a mouse setting in control panel which let you do this. You were asked to move the mouse up and down across the mat and it would set this orientation, no matter which cock-eyed direction the mouse was pointing at the time. Being the little scamps that we were we would wait until someone had left the room and reset their mouse orientation. They moved the mouse up and down the cursor went left and right, you moved the mouse left and right the cursor went up and down. Oh the fun we had!

At this time all mice had a little ball underneath which rolled around on the mouse mat. It obviously picked up fluff, hair and dead skin cells on a daily basis and transferred this debris, mixed in with a little sweat and the oils from your hand, via the ball, onto the little rollers inside. After awhile the mouse pointer would jerk and twitch across the screen until you opened it up and scraped the gunk off the rollers with your finger nail. Someone I knew, no names no pack-drill, used to just bang it on the mouse mat hoping that that would fix the problem. He wasn’t technically minded and too tight to buy another one.

When I bought my second generation iMac it obviously came with a one button mouse. This was the first mouse that I’d ever bought for use at home. My old Dell Inspiron obviously only had a track pad. Having used a mouse with a scroll wheel at work it did take some getting used to. After awhile you do tend to be able to do things quicker. You can scroll down a web page faster by dragging the scroll bar on the window than you can scrolling with a wheel. You end up using the wheel just because it’s there. I even became used to using two fingers to do the clicking. There was no point using just my right index finger if the mouse had only one button. You do get used to hitting the Ctrl key with your left hand and then clicking the mouse, I mean what are you doing with your other hand anyway.

Not long after I bought the iMac I purchased a Wacom Graphire graphics tablet so that I could touch up photos easier. The tablet has been fine. You can set the buttons on the mouse or pen to do different things depending on which application you are using. The one snag is that if you click on the top bar of a window to bring it to the front the mouse pointer and the window can end up being displaced by about 400 pixels. It’s annoying as you have to move the window back into its original place.

So I’m still undecided about buying a Mighty Mouse. After I scanned in and patched up all my negatives there hasn’t been much need to use the pen on the graphics tablet. I think that it’s all down to my niece Zoe. If she wants one then I’ll have to buy one. I obviously can’t let her have one and not me! I mean what if she had a problem setting it up, I wouldn’t be able to help her!