The Idiots Say Goodbye To The One-Button Mouse October 26th
Randy: I have to talk to you about something. I ...I don't...I don't quite know how to put it.
(click, click, click)
Randy: You and I have been through a lot together. And I have always been faithful to you. I never even thought about another one like you the whole time we have been together. Even when my friends would chide me and tell me I should "trade up to a newer model," I would describe to them your smooth curves, how you were the original.
(click, click, click)
Randy: Remember the time when we were playing Klingon Honor Guard and that band of marauders had us trapped up on that ice cliff? I thought you could never fire that fast. But you took out every one of those Klingons, and never missed a beat. You have always been there for me.
(click, click, click)
Randy: But I can't lie any longer. I have been with another. And I loved it.
Gary: Hey man, what are you doing down there talking to your mouse?
Randy: I'm...uh...I'm breaking up with my old one button Apple mouse. I have tasted the forbidden fruit of three button mice and I have fallen for their evil ways.
Gary: Sweet Lord No! You, the defender of the original one button Apple mouse, are finally jumping ship?
Randy: Hey it's not like I didn't hold out for a decade before I jumped. And it wasn't easy. The curvy old Apple mouse was just the epitome of style and simplicity. That elegant dew drop shape was used in every print ad that showed a computer mouse. The Apple indented logo was always neatly airbrushed out but I recognized it. And I was proud of my Apple mouse.
Gary: Man you watch way too many commercials. The Apple beige mouse was a cool mouse in it's time but you have got to roll with the changes, and USB is where it's at baby.
Randy: Did you just call me baby?
Gary: With the choices out there today for USB input devices you would be a fool not "to trade up to a newer model."
(click, click, click, click, click, click, click)
Randy: Gary, this is difficult enough. Please, have a heart.
Gary: Oy! Just shoot me now, please!?
Randy: I don't know what to tell you. There was something cool about the old rounded beige mouse that I just identified with Macintosh. But now with contextual menus and games all configured for special weapons using the right mouse button I was getting sick of always having to reach for that Control key every time.
Gary: Oh I remember the pain my friend. I even used the excellent shareware control panel Look Ma No Hands to fake myself out for a while. It allowed me to use the OS level contextual menus without hitting the Control key and mouse clicking. It allows you to set a delay when you click on something in the Finder and then the contextual menu will popup, Control key free.
Randy: Yea but when it comes to games you just can't beat the multi-button mouse. I didn't even know some of these first person shooters had super fire buttons. I was too busy hitting keys to run around, I couldn't even think of Control firing. With my new three button mouse a simple right click can blast a super fire round off without even missing a step on the keyboard.
But lets not forget the third button, the all important scroll button. When your hauling butt down a long hallway in Quake III test with three Fragmasters on your tail, you don't have time to reach for number keys on the keyboard. But that convenient third button makes an excellent way to roll through your weapons without taking your hands off the keys. I think the three button mouse may be the best thing to hit gaming since indoor pluming!
Gary: Well Randy, you do need all the help you can get when you're gaming!
(click, click, click, click)
Randy: Shut up, both of yous! Next I hoped Apple's new round USB mouse was going to be another cool breakthrough that would keep me happy in my simple one button world. But alas the tiny blue disc only made my hand crampy.
Gary: I just couldn't stand the round shape. I never had the damn thing in my hand right side up when I moused up to the top of the screen for a menu. My cursor would go shooting off the side of my monitor somewhere between my Browse the Internet desktop icon and my Trashcan.
Randy: See ya!
Gary: So I have been using my nifty three button Contour Design UniMouse for a while now and I do so enjoy it's smooth responsiveness.
Randy: I have to confess a USB mouse gives you so much more control over speed. And it just seems to respond to clicks faster. But it does freak me out that I can't move the mouse during startup until after the USB device driver loads.
Gary: True, but you also get all freaky when someone serves you toast with the crust still on, too, so maybe you're just crazy. But I don't believe Apple's new USB machines have that issue. Their machines have the USB built into the motherboard so devices are recognized during the entire startup.
Randy: I am going to go out on a limb here and make an Idiot's Prediction here. I believe one day in the near future, maybe early this next year, that Apple will start offering a mulit-button mouse. Maybe only as an option at the Apple Store, or maybe standard on all Macs.
Gary: Some would say you are crazy, but since I already did that, I'll just say you're stupid. But you may just be on target here. By all accounts Steve Jobs himself has personally been a one button man on the issue of Macintosh mice, but with contextual menus all over the Mac OS now it would just make good sense to make them easier to get to.
Randy: And with the big push on bringing gaming back to the Mac at Apple headquarters, multi button mice are definitely the way to go. If the Mac is going to be the premier platform for gaming then we need the best input devices to stand toe to toe with out PC counterparts. Better mice mean better gaming.
(click, click, click)
Randy: Sorry. Geez don't look so down in the logo there my old one button friend. Just because I'm switching to a three button mouse doesn't mean you are going on the scrap heap. In fact, I'd like you to meet RoadMac my PowerBook G3 266. He a Virgo and he's hoping to meet a single, attractive ADB mouse for travel and possible long term commitment.
Gary: Hey, I think they look great together.
Randy: Yea. I think it's going to work out fine.... Until my USB PC card comes in that is.
Gary: You are so cruel.
Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.
The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.
You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .