OS 9 Compatible
It has taken me nearly ten years to graduate from a generic Apple mouse to a fancy alternative. You are probably asking, “Nemo, what took you so long, pal?” Well, I was perfectly content first with my beige standard issue desktop Performa mouse and then with my delightful Apple Pro optical iMac mouse.
But the cord on an optical mouse is annoying, and the thought of a cordless mouse was appealing. How is this AeroMouse, and will I continue to use it?
My initial contact with Macsense’s AeroMouse was not encouraging. Opening its battery cover and inserting two AAA included batteries was surprisingly confusing, but not difficult. An eight page printed manual did not address most of the concerns I had as a completely new user. Yet the AeroMouse worked immediately, with perfect speed and tracking, even before I installed its Control Panel software. In this unprogrammed mode each of its two buttons and scroll wheel serves as a clickable button, like a normal mouse has.
Physical fit and feel are ergonomic in design, and comfortable for either of my my mid-size adult hands. I was already used to it after only ten minutes of mousing.
AeroMouse gets its instructions from a cradle-mounted iPod-sized receiver that is bus-powered from a computer’s USB port, either built in or hub connected. The 900 MHz receiver has an impressive range, and can handle up to eight AeroMice at once.
PROBLEM: Macsense’s CD installer froze my iMac into a terrible lockup. SOLUTION: download the correct 436k software driver from the company’s web site. The installer places both a driver and a settings file onto your pre-X computer in one second.
Once its software is installed, a green light flashes on the receiver each time AeroMouse is used. When inactive for five minutes, a couple of clicks are required to bring AeroMouse back to life, which prolongs its battery vitality.
AeroMouse navigates via a rubber ball, like mice of old. It is not optical, and therefore its screen movement is not quite as smooth as my Apple Pro mouse, but I got used to the insignificant difference in minutes.
Here is a look at Macsense’s AeroMouse Setting control panel in OS 9, with my preferred settings for the two buttons and scroll wheel.
I am new to wheel scrolling. So far this wheel does not scroll to my satisfaction, but this is no handicap for me, comfortable with conventional mouse click-hold-drag scrolling.
How to rate AeroMouse? What it does well it does marvelously, but its manual and scroll wheel are inadequate. In OS X you lose use of its control panel, but I expect a fix is in the works.
Using the cordless mouse all day every day for weeks now, I find this product to be extremely handy (excuse the pun) in spite of its shortcomings. Our OS 9 score is therefore offered to the entire Macintosh community with knowledge that AeroMouse is here to say on Nemo’s workspace desktop.
Nemo’s MyMac.com “Q/D/S/V Standard” for all product reviews:
Q = QUALITY, including ease of installation, performance, stability, and general happy relationship with everything on my system;
D = DOCUMENTATION, both printed and electronic, plus appropriate website material;
S = SUPPORT, in the form of email, phone, and web updates;
V = VALUE, which includes both original cost and subsequent expenses
MacMice Rating: 3 out of 5
David Weeks’ evaluation of AeroMouse in OS X follows:
I inserted the USB transmitter into my Titanium PowerBook running OS X (10.1.3). It showed up in Apple’s System Profiler as “Class O” device, which told me nothing.
Without any custom control panel or driver software installer available for X, I was pleased to have the AeroMouse work right out of the box. No restart or re-login is required. The left clicker operates a standard generic single click function, the scroll wheel scrolls as it should, and the right clicker brings up a handy contextual menu, also normal procedure.
I’m happy using this cordless mouse, except for the scroll wheel, which has too much friction for my taste. As to rating AeroMouse, I give it higher marks than does Nemo, and I will probably revise my score upward once an OS X driver becomes available with enhanced functionality as currently exists for OS 9.
MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5