Thursday, June 16, 2011

Oh Magic Mouse! How do I hate thee.

While Apple have, over the years, had many design wins, there have also been some unfortunate design failures. The design failure that happens to torment me on a daily basis is Apple's Magic Mouse. Admittedly this bluetooth mouse is quite responsive and accurate as a pointing device, but it's the mouse's more esoteric features which are pimped as a unique selling point that really irk me. Namely the "multi touch surface", especially when used for scrolling.

The multi touch surface is just far too sensitive and easily triggered when you're just using the mouse to move the pointer. As a coder I spend most of my day in text editors. I'm always accidentally scrolling the text window up and down; even worse - when using the command key and accidentally scrolling, the most common behaviour is to zoom. Not helpful. Give me an old fashioned scroll wheel any day. Likewise in a 3D modelling package I often find myself accidentally zooming.

It's back to the simple $20 mouse for me. On a similar note I have a theory about the efficacy of mice based on price. The sweet spot on mouse functionality is definitely around the $20 mark. Pay more and "features" get in the way. Pay less and accuracy, reliability and that comforting solid hand weight quality possessed by a good mouse are absent.

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