Mousing Around

So why DOESN’T the standard Mac mouse have more than one button? We sure could use a two button mouse, or even better, THREE buttons!

First, this third party mouse with multi-buttons would have a function control panel. Huh? You would get to decide what the extra buttons do! Lets say you have a two button mouse: the first button would always be “standard”, meaning it does what your regular mouse button does. The other button you get to decide, via an easy dialog box, it’s function. To select the function of that other button, you highlight the button in the control panel, then press a key, such as “delete”. When you click that button in the future, it acts like a delete key.

The three button mouse is even better. Using the same Control Panel described above, you could assign command keys to each button. The first would always be standard, the middle button could be command-C (copy) and the last button Command-V (Paste). Imagine how much faster you could get work done! Less time going to the keyboard!

PC Mouse
Have you ever used a PC mouse? For some reason, they just don’t seem as responsive. Or perhaps they are simply too touchy. I barely move my hand, and I lose the darn cursor! It’s clear on the other side of the monitor! That’s not to say I don’t like a fast cursor. I do. In fact, a great shareware control panel from way back in 1989 sits in my system folder as I write this. It is called Mouse Excel from Ryoji Watanabe. With this handy $5.00 control panel, my mouse zips around the screen twice as fast as the fastest speeds accessible from Apple’s Mouse control panel. Now, before everyone writes in wanting to know where to find it, the answer is “I don’t know”. I have had this for so long that I no longer remember where I got it from. Nor have I ever seen a “read me” file for it. (My Mac Deluxe subscribers will find it with their copy of My Mac). However, I have been told by a few users of Mouse Excel that it does nothing for certain machines.

So, HAVE you ever used a PC mouse? I don’t like them. They just don’t feel right in my palm. Too square. (No pun intended!) I have also used some third party Macintosh mice that are not as “Palm fitting” as the OEM Macintosh mouse. That little sucker just seems to fit my palm like it was made for me. 🙂

Mouse Fuzzies
I am very forgetful when it comes to my mouse, I am sorry to say. I take it for granted, I know. Ask yourself this: when was the last time you cleaned your mouse? With a OEM Mac mouse, you just twist the little plate holding in the ball, clean out all the fuzzies hibernating there, twist the plate back on, and you’re done! Of course, I only seem to do that when my cursor stops moving to the left. And then I will pick the mouse up and move it to another spot on the pad, thinking it may be the pad that is bad. “Hey, I just cleaned my Mouse Roller Ball five months ago! I think this darn pad is out of whack!” And I will do that two or three times, trying a different spot on the pad before I actually clean the darn thing. And what ARE those little fuzzy thing that build up in there, anyway??? I have never seen any little fuzzy things on my mouse pad before. Are they coming from inside the mouse itself? Are they little “Mouse Presents” that you have to clean out every now and then, like my daughters Hampster cage? Is my mouse wearing an invisible track in my Mouse pad, and the top layer of the pad is what those little Fuzzies are? Someone tell me, please!

Hi-Tech Pad?
Have you seen that advertisement for the new 3M mouse pad? The one with “Enhanced Tracking Performance”? The ad’s say it has a “Micro-structured Technology”, “WYPIWYG” and “Ultra-Thin Mousing Surface”. What the hell is all that?!? It’s a MOUSE PAD for crying out loud! And for this, they take out a full page ad in MacUser? Sounds to me like 3M is trying to get into the home computer market any way they can. Of course, I could be wrong. It may be better than any mouse pad ever made. It may make your mouse act like a fine precision laser beam. Who knows? If 3M want to send me one, I will let you know. But no way am I going out to buy an overpriced mouse pad!

Attack of the fifty foot cord
I do have one problem with my mouse. The darn cord is too long! The stupid thing must be four foot long! What, did someone think MAYBE you would be three feet away from your keyboard with the mouse in your lap? I have tried letting it hang free, but then it gets all tangled up. I have tried rolling the excess up, and tying it off. No good because then it takes up too much room between my keyboard and main box, and pushes my keyboard almost off my desk and into my lap. I have tried hiding it under a part of the mouse pad. Yeah, right! A hill climber the mouse is not. So what do you do? At the moment, much of it is hiding under that little stand/leg thing that props up the top of my keyboard. This is really not a solution, as it tends to poke out without me noticing, and then gets all tangled up again. Or it makes my mouse start to pull to the left. So, anyone have any ideas?

My Mouse. I like it, and could not imagine working on a computer without one. I have tried the trackpad, trackball, and that little stick thing on PC notebooks. Nary a one works, for me at least, as well as my mouse. But no matter how much I like using it, no matter how nice it fits my palm, there is no way I am naming My Mouse! (Or changing the name of this magazine!)

I would like to thank Mike Gorman for the “Killer” mouse artwork for this column of “My Mac-Mousing Around”. I asked him if he could make me an “evil mouse” picture, as I was at my wits end. The above is the result. I knew Mike was good, but that picture just blows me away! If you think so as well, write to Mike at

As for me, my name is Tim Robertson, and I am the publisher/owner of My Mac. I have always wanted to be a writer, but found my skills not up to par to write for MacUser or MacWorld, thus I started my own digital magazine to become a better writer. So, how am I doing? I would like to hear from you! Please drop me a line at, or reach me via the internet at I read every letter, and will write you back!

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