Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Who's the genius? 18 Button Mouse

If someone loses his job at Sun for this idiocy - he shouldn't be surprised (unless it was meant as a joke - and shareholders don't mind burning money)

18-Button Open Office Mouse Makes A Keyboard Look Minimal

One button. One button. One button. So goes the mantra at Apple, chanted before and after the compulsory morning yoga sessions, watched over by Steve Jobs in his cube-shaped glass office as he meditates on the minimal over steepled fingers.

Over on the free-software side of the world, things are a little different. If the phrase “design by committee” ever sent an icy pang of fear into your heart, then look away now. The Open Office organization, behind the splendid free MS Word alternative of the same name, have come up with a mouse with not one button, but 18, all of which can be double clicked, if you can actually contort your fingers to reach them.


One of those stands out: “PDF export of profile button assignments”. A mouse so complicated that you need a cheat-sheet to use it. What’s more, it is butt-ugly. looking like somebody cut holes in a generic dime-store mouse and inserted the plastic leftovers of pill-bottle lids.

The saving feature, if indeed this thing can be saved, is the analog control stick, very similar to the Nintendo 64 controller’s mushroom stick. Unlike the nodule on the mighty mouse or the tipping, clicking scroll wheels of any other mouse, the stick is on the side, under your thumb. This strikes us a dead handy.

The pictures you see are either mockups or prototypes, and the actual mouse should be available in February for $75. It’ll work with Windows, OS X and of course, Linux.

Somehow I imagine some Linux people using it... ooh cool - when do I get my 27 keys mouse? Yikes.


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