I’ve been using a MacAlly two-button mouse for, well, as long as I’ve used a USB Mac—ever since I pinched it borrowed it from my dot-com in 2000. It’s a good mouse, even though it’s not laser-based and it doesn’t have a scroll wheel, but it does have green blinky lights that flash when the buttons are clicked. OOOOHH, BLINKY LIGHTS. The clicking action is easy and it tracks very well for a roller-ball mouse, even if I have to clean the ball every evening. Which leads me to my first complaint: the disgusting gunk that magically collects on the bottom of the mouse. I don’t know which camp you fall in, dear readers, but I am that guy who needs to have a clean mouse. Some people are able to design whole magazines and create buildings and write novels with the contents of a landfill stuck to the bottom of their mouse; Mine must be spotless. I’ve pulled entire animals from the trackball of some mice because the hair kept jittering the cursor. This drives me insane. But I lived with my blinky mouse because, at heart, I’m cheap, and I couldn’t justify $50 for a new one, which they used to give us for free with a new computer in the olden days.

All was fine with my mousing world until I graduated to a big-boy laptop, and the short cord of the mouse failed to reach the two USB ports on the left side of the machine. Instead I had to use the right-side port, which meant I was constantly bumping the front of the mouse into the cord and the plug base. This was, to me, about as annoying as having a monkey following me around repeatedly poking me with a cattle prod: My primary interface with the computer needs to be as seamless as possible, hence my anal-retentive cleaning habits and hatred of desktop obstacles.

The idea of the wireless desk appeals to me, so I tried an early Apple bluetooth mouse a few years ago which drove me insane in two minutes: the action was jittery and laggy, and I felt like I was working during the middle of an epileptic fit. I’ve tried several laser-based PC mice, which the MacBook Pro immediately made friends with, but I couldn’t find one that felt right in my hand or didn’t cramp my wrist. Then, I tried a Kensington bluetooth mouse a consulting client had, and I was smitten immediately. It was smooth, the mouse had good weight (manufacturers, listen: a heavy mouse feels good) and the action was very snappy. I looked at the local Computer Superstore (the one laying off 1/3 its workforce) and found entire pallets of mice that had cords, looked painful, were painted with fanboy FPS graphics, or defined ‘wireless’ as ‘dependent on a USB dongle’, which is just stupid. Browsing the the local Apple Store, I didn’t find full-size Kensington mice, but they did have another brand which I bought and tried out.

The Logitech V270 looks and feels nice, but I found it hard to press the buttons without use of a sledgehammer: within five minutes my carpal tunnel was vibrating all the way up my arm and down the back of the chair. The scroll wheel was big and felt good under my thumb, but the action was just like scrolling through text in MS Word: Select something and begin to drag it slowly, and suddenly the cursor is five pages below where it started. I boxed it back up after three hours and talked Dave into going to the Apple Store with me Wednesday night to return it.

I was happy to walk out with a refund and empty hands until the helpful Apple Specialist showed me the new Mighty Mouse, which I’m led to believe is an improvement over the old version. Right and left clicking that doesn’t require years of weightlifting, a scroll button that doesn’t leave me in the dust, and a great feel for my wrist. I’m a day into it so far, and I like what I have. It’s not quite as precise as a rollerball or a wired mouse, but it’s pretty damn close. And I don’t have to battle any cords other than the ones that lead to all the other crap on my desk, which is a nice change.

Date posted: April 6, 2007 | Filed under geek | 1 Comment »

One Response to Here It Comes To Save The Day.

  1. Linda says:

    Yeah – totally sucks re: Circuit City. I had only just recently committed to shopping there vs. Best Buy, because the staff seemed so much more knowledgeable. But it’s those senior, knowledgeable staff who are getting canned.