Seamless design is hardly humble

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 2015, 4:21pm


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Apple Computer has had an intriguing relationship with the humble mouse. We all know Apple did not invent the device, but it produced the first commercial computer that used one. It did not take long for a number of other companies to jump down the rabbit hole, as it were, and follow that mouse.

But a rather interesting thing happened soon after that Apple innovation. A number of companies built mice with two, or even three buttons. Microsoft Windows-based personal computers adopted the two-button variety, while Unix-based machines preferred the three-button kind. There were also clickable scroll wheels, programmable toggles and solid-state slides that followed.

One thing remained constant: Apple refused to build anything but its original one-button mouse.

That has now changed. The Mighty Mouse is yet another leap ahead, though not everybody will agree. I must say straight off the idea of a mouse with a tiny knob on top that would enable you to move the cursor in any direction did not immediately appeal to me. I was certain it would not work.

Then I heard about the 'one-button-is-two' technology.

The entire mouse, with its seamless top shell design, appears as a button, but it can sense if you are touching the right side or the left. Consequently, you can programme it as if they were two buttons. The knob at the top can be programmed and so can squeezing the sides of the mouse.

Much though I dreaded the idea of using this thing, I was quite pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to set up and use. Now I cannot imagine using anything else.

The one thing I was worried about - the scrolling - turned out to be the best. A simple touch of the finger and the cursor moves effortlessly across the screen. The entire page can be moved up, down, left or right as well. This really makes looking at pages that take up more space than the window can show much easier to navigate.

Unlike any other mouse on the market, Mighty Mouse was also designed specifically to work with Mac OSX Tiger. Apple engineers added the force-sensing buttons on either side of Mighty Mouse that let you click, roll, squeeze and scroll, instantly activating Mac OSX Tiger Dashboard, Expose and other features.

It is impossible for me to say if everybody will have the same reaction I had. I will say this, though. I was able to tell within seconds if I was going to like this mouse. I did.

The one thing some have already complained about is that this mouse is not wireless. That will no doubt come some day.

Apple Computer Mighty Mouse


Price: $370

Pros: Extremely versatile, multi-button mouse

Cons: Quirky and not wireless