Mighty handy

by Giles Turnbull

Here's a quote, widely attributed to Steve Jobs:

"I want a mouse for $10 that can be mass-produced, because it’s going to be the primary interface of the computer of the future."

I doubt very much that the all new Mighty Mouse can be manufactured for as little as that, but I think the more interesting part of the quote are the words "primary interface".

Because if indeed Jobs did say that back in 1980, he's been proved correct. For the vast majority of computer users (and I don't mean computer-savvy O'Reilly readers, I mean their moms) the mouse has become the most important means of issuing commands to the computer.

"Click" has become a verb. People use the word "click" to mean "select an option in a GUI" even when there's nothing to click on, or nothing to click with; think of cell phone interfaces and how you describe them to other people verbally.

What I like about the Mighty Mouse is the evolutionary approach to file manipulation using your fingers.

Take a moment to lift your mouse hand away from the mouse. Hold it in mid-air and flex your fingers; imagine you're holding a mouse in your hand, one not made of plastic but of clay. You can squeeze it, shape it.

Everyone who uses a mouse knows this gesture, the configuration of the fingers as they grip the device. The Mighty Mouse builds on this, allowing you to continue gripping in the same way, but flexing your fingers in new ways.

I'm looking forward to trying one, although I agree with other commentators that the price, in comparison with generic mice, seems a little steep.

Hands up if you wuv the MM


2005-08-04 00:16:27
On the one hand...
I've already placed my order for one and with any luck, should be here today.

I've had a multi-button mouse before and I was very pleased, but it was right-handed, as are almost all mice.

Being a left-hander, that's a problem for me. Although I am sort of semi-ambidextrous, I use my right hand for my mouse but I use my left hand when playing games and such.

So this new mouse from Apple will fit the bill quite nicely, given the fact that its not handed.

So in that sense, I really have to hand it to Apple .. sort of...