Multi Touch Comes to Magic Mouse

Apple’s key to success:

Come up with an amazing technology and use it on everything.

First the iPhone, then iPod touch, soon after macbook trackpads, the newest apple product to adapt multitouch is their new revolutionary “magic mouse”. It’s the first mouse I’ve seen that is without a single button. The entire surface of the mouse is sensitive and can detect your fingers.

Like any apple fan I decided that I needed to go try this out, so I headed to my local apple store to give it a shot. During my short time using it I notice it was surprisingly easy to use and enjoyable. The scrolling was simple and had no learning curve whatsoever, two finger swiping worked near perfectly. I do wish that apple would have kept a way to trigger expose but who says that cant be fixed with a creative software update. All in all the mouse was easy to use and I think I’ll be picking one up sometime soon.

Multitouch Coming to the Mighty Mouse?

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Following Apple’s patents on multitouch applied to mice, MacBlogz has created this simple prototype of how a multitouch Mighty Mouse could look like. I specially like the fact that it’s aluminum and its low profile.

3The fact is that the current nipple in Apple’s mighty mouse doesn’t work very well. At least two of mine, which lose precision and stop functioning if you don’t clean them regularly. A complete buttonless mouse, with a trackpad on the front, would be great!

GSR Electrode Implant

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Looking to spark up a makeshift psychology lab in the basement of your house? Look no further than the galvanic skin response computer mouse. For those unaware, GSR electrodes can gather data about human interactions with computers, though most rigs are so invasive that test subjects end up freaking out rather than passing on useful information. This non-obtrusive method relies on a device that the vast majority of computer users already use: a mouse. By simply installing the sensors into the left and right click buttons, you’re left with an analyzing tool that may not even tip off your kid sister, significant other, or you most favorite poker pal.

Presenting to The Back Row

I received an e-mail from a user who would like to remain anonymous. He/she has a question to ask me: 

Is there any way to download a larger cursor for my MacBook? When I’m giving a presentation, it’s difficult for my audience to keep track of where the pointer is on my screen because it’s so small. 

You’re in luck! You don’t need to download or purchase any additional software to get a larger cursor, because this functionality is built right into your Mac.

Go into System Preferences > Universal Access, and click the Mouse tab (or Mouse & Trackpad if you’re using a laptop). Adjust the Cursor Size slider bar near the bottom of the window, and your cursor will instantaneously grow or shrink right before your very eyes! This size selection will affect all of the cursors on your Mac: the mouse pointer, the grabber hand, the pointer finger, the text selection tool – everything.

However, when you’re giving a presentation, your audience may really want to see the entire screen a little larger, and not just the cursor itself. If that’s the case, you can easily turn on your Mac’s zoom option by pressing Command-Option-8 on your keyboard. ONce you zoom option is enabled, you can zoom in and out of your entire screen by pressing Command-Option-= (equal sign) and Command-Option (hyphen), respectively. 

And for even better visual effects while giving a presentation, try Mousepose ($16.95, http://www.boinx.com), which will highlight your cursor’s location on the screen, display a colored circle whenever you click your mouse button, and visually display your keystrokes. 

I hope this helps,

Robert

Apple: Fail

Apple, the creator of fine products and the pillar of good design for the universe, cannot create a mouse worth a penny. It’s like their version of kryptonite. Seriously, people, how hard is it to make an ergonomic, multi-button mouse that doesn’t suck? HARD, apparently, since Apple has never done it. We’ve seen blocky versions that make hands sore just looking at them, non-directional one-button hockey pucks that are sexy and useless and now, this god-forsaken Mighty Mouse bar of soap piece of carpal tunnel aggravation.

How is it that Mac users are not up in arms about this little morsel of ergonomic misery? It defies logic. It even defies the well-known Apple MO – people have devoted more time and attention to fixing the appearance of the Stacks folders than they have to the terrible history of the Mac mice. And so, Apple bumps ignorantly along while my poor tendons weep.
I want to highlight a few of the failures here:
Fail: It’s hard to hold onto. The thing has more curves than an Italian sports car, without an edge or lip to catch your fingers. It’s nearly impossible to pick up and when you do… IF YOU DO:
Fail: You inadvertently squeeze the side buttons, triggering whatever useless feature they’ve been assigned to. Mine toggle Expose, so 50% of the time, I lift my mouse up, whatever I was working on becomes irrelevant as all the windows on the computer glissade out onto the desktop.
FAIL: The entire top housing is a button. No – it’s TWO BUTTONS. Three, if you count the scroll-ball. This failure is actually two failures in one. 1) The curvature of the upper housing is perfect for capturing cords or other low-profile desktop items under its radius, so that should one bump up against the item while trying to click the mouse, the item gets pinched and prevents the click. This never fails to make me confused, for a second or two, I try to figure out why my mouse suddenly lost the ability to click. Clean my desk, you say? Right. Well, In my fantasy lifestyle, the only things on my desk are my 30″ Apple Cinema Display, keyboard, mouse and a little desk ornament that I can look out while looking out the windows of my penthouse suite overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Meanwhile, back in reality I have some number of cables, paperclips, pens and pencils, papers, and other things that are ALWAYS greater than the number of tasks I have to do, and that shit (pardon my language), is going to get caught under there. 2) Because Apple loves the magic of technology, they opted for making the buttons work on magic instead of just regular, discreet hardware components. So if you happen to click the right side of the mouse in an attempt to trigger the right mouse button, but you haven’t lifted your index finger off the left side of the mouse button, so letting go with that finger is scary and potentially dangerous. I’ve spent painfully long stretches in desperate attempt to figure out why my right-click menu isn’t working before carefully lifting my index finger, moving my middle finger so far to the right that it’s nearly falling off, and firmly pushing down. Right on top of a cable. FAIL FAIL FAIL.
Fail: Which slides better, a hockey puck or a hula hoop? Ok, how about four hockey pucks vs. a garbage can? Too confusing? How about this – everyone else thought that slipper little plastic pads would help a mouse slide around your desktop. Apple decided to put a huge ring of not-very-slippery plastic around the ENTIRE PERIMETER of their mouse to make it slide…better? It’s noisier by double, and it drags a lot. But it’s great because as it wears out the edge starts to flatten out, increasing the effective surface area from a thousand square feet to about 20 square miles. You can not only hear every crumb and particle of dust as you scrape over them, you can feel them too. If only you could pick it up and wipe away these obstacles…
PASS: That little mouse ball is tactile bliss. It feels great. It works pretty great, with the directional navigation. And the subtle ratchety feeling is sublime. If only it didn’t fill with finger grease, crumbs and the occasional hair, it would be heavenly. And that wouldn’t be completely intolerable if you could take the sucker apart now and then and clean it out, but you can’t because:
FAIL: There aren’t any screws! It’s held together with magic, and we all know that magic doesn’t come with a tool kit. See your local witch or wizard for help. Twenty years ago or so, they put the ball on the bottom of the mouse and since it was pretty obvious to everyone that it needed occasional cleaning they made a little ring that your could twist to remove the ball. But now that it’s on the top of the mouse where it’s in constant contact with your grubby hands they’ve sealed that sucker in well and good. Fortunately, the shape is aerodynamically suited for flights across the room.
In what can only be described as a sick twist of irony, there’s one company that does it so much better that it makes me wonder if there is in fact a God, one who does things just for a good laugh now and then. Microsoft, whose shiny new OS that took every design template from Apple and still failed to duplicate it, is totally stealing Apple’s “mouse mojo”. I dunno – I guess it’s fitting, in a way. You can’t be the best at everything

How Do You Keep Your Laptop Cool?

They’re usually designed to help make your notebook more ergonomic and comfortable for people, and helps keep it properly cooled. No matter what kind of notebook you have, they tend to overheat without proper airflow. Getting some type of laptop stand is a good thing for this reason. The one I want to get is a Targus. It has a couple of fans, and a couple of USB ports. The Alto from Logitech is the one I’d like to talk about today. First, let’s look at the features:

  • Notebook display riser: Elevates and extends your notebook’s display for viewing comfort. Relaxes you while also making you more productive.
  • Full-sized keyboard: Type faster, with less fatigue. The integrated soft palm adds wrist support and keeps your hands away from the hot notebook surface.
  • One-touch hot keys: Get instant access to your digital music with media and volume controls. Additional hot keys instantly take you to your favorite applications, folders, and Web pages.
  • Multipurpose USB hub: Use three high-speed USB 2.0 ports to connect your favorite peripherals, including cordless mice, webcams, printers, and external drives.
  • Works with virtually any notebook: Use it with your current notebook – and your next one.
  • Easy setup and storage: Flip it open for instant use on almost any flat surface; fold it down for easy transport and storage. 
I think this is a nice laptop stand, but it is really pricey. It looks good, and is really functional. It will make good office decor, for sure. But I don’t think I will be buying it, though, because I do not have any use for a separate laptop cooler.