Can OSX control mouse acceleration?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by ChrisH3677, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. ChrisH3677 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I am trialing a trackball on my PowerBook. But I don't have a steady enough hand for doing fine movements with it. I thought if i slowed it down it would be okay... but without mouse acceleration, large movement is painful.

    So does anyone know how I can add acceleration control to OSX?

    thanks

    For now, I've wedged a folded piece of paper under the ball which reduces its sensitivity/wobbliness
     
  2. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    #2
    System Preferences -->Keyboard and Mouse. Adjust tracking speed there.
     
  3. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

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    #3
    Ummm... Go to System Preferences and click on Mouse and Keyboard?
     
  4. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #4
    I think he is talking about acceleration, not tracking speed. Some mice have an option that small movements make small cursor movements, but fast movies are really fast. Kind of a hybrid slow/fast track speed.

    I too don't know how to set this up and if anyone else knows, please inform.

    P-Worm
     
  5. ChrisH3677 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    nah nah nah! I want to control acceleration not the speed! :)

    Speed controls how fast the pointer moves across the screen.

    Acceleration controls whether its speed increases the further you move it.

    It means that you can have the speed set lower which enables better control over fine movement but still allows quick movement across the screen.

    With the trackball which is so sensitive, acceleration would be really really useful.
     
  6. HexMonkey Administrator

    HexMonkey

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    #7
    I did a quick Google search and found a program called USB Overdrive, which you could probably use if it's a USB trackball. I haven't tried it, but it can apparently control mouse acceleration.
     
  7. dukemeiser macrumors 6502a

    dukemeiser

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    #8
    I've got The Mouse from MacMice. The driver that comes with it lets you control acceleration. Probably doesn't work with other mice though.
     
  8. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030

    mnkeybsness

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    #9
    please only post if you actually have something to say.

    i don't understand why you would want the speed to increase when you move it further across the screen. that just seems unintuitive to me.
     
  9. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #10
    Well, this is one of those things that is easier to try than explain. The reason for it is that it allows you to have a really fine tuned control, but not make it take forever to move all the way across the screen. Just believe us when we say, "It works."

    P-Worm
     
  10. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #11
    on the windows side i have never managed to setup the acceleration in a way it would be useful - maybe that's why osx doesn't have such control available. in my opinion mouse pointer SHOULD be slow and accurate, and it's just useful to get predictable behaviour out of it instead of wacky spurts here and there.

    that only points out that trackball is not useful pointer device and regular mouse or trackpad would do better. but that's only me - no offense for trackball owners.

    do i remember correctly, is the mouse acceleration a microsoft invention? i have first seen it with microsoft mice drivers.
     
  11. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #12
    It's not quite that way. If you move your mouse (or trackball etc.) slowly, the pointer moves slowly, if you move it fast, the pointers goes faster. I'm not sure how long Mac OS has had this though. I know Kensington's driver's let you control it, and I assume USB Overdrive would too.
     
  12. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #13
    No. If anything, acceleration was a feature on the MacOS before Windows--early versions of Windows, if anybody remembers, had basically no acceleration curve, making the mouse nearly unusuable--twitchy as all heck. The relatively early MacOS, on the other hand, had a nice acceleration curve that made it a pleasure to use, and that hasn't changed much to this day. You can adjust acceleration independantly from speed in Windows now, but I don't think they got the default comfortable (like the Mac, that is), until around ME/2K (maybe 98, but I don't think so).

    In any case, it's worth noting that the speed control in the mouse control panel IS an acceleration control, or rather that's part of what it changes. On the low settings, for example, the acceleration is about 2:1 (dragging slowly covers about half the distance of dragging rapidly), while at the high end it's at least 4:1. The overall speed also increases along this line, but you're not just adjusting linear speed.

    That said, the built-in control doesn't provide for precise enough control for some people's taste. In which case, unless the driver made by your trackball's manufacturer supplies acceleration adjustment, your only option is USB overdrive. Try it and see if it does what you want--if so, surely it's worth the $20 to register it.
     
  13. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030

    mnkeybsness

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    #14
    this isn't what they explain 'acceleration' to be...

    what you are saying is the tracking speed, which we already have.

    seriously though... the Mac OS is meant to be intuitive... acceleration is not intuitive. when you move your mouse, you can move it fast or slow or accelerate. if you are moving the mouse at a constant speed on your mousepad, why would you want it to accelerate on the screen? that would just confuse your hand-eye coordination.
     
  14. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #15
    Ok, maybe I'm confused now, but I think you're confused, mnkeybsness; as I understand it, acceleration works like this:

    If you move the mouse very slowly, the pointer on screen moves very slowly. This gives you fine control. If you move your mouse faster, the pointer moves faster, but not in a linear proportion to the speed of your motion--it covers even more distance.

    So, for example, if you start with the mouse at one physical edge of your mousepad and the pointer at the same side of your screen, then drag your mouse very slowly to the other edge of the mousepad, it might take the entire width of the mousepad for the pointer to cross the screen. Do the same thing, but drag very quickly, and the mouse might only take half of your mousepad for the pointer to cross the whole screen.

    This allows you to have fine control over precice motions (pixel-by-pixel photoshopping, for example), but allows you to move large distances (from the dock to the menubar, say) without having to pick up your mouse two or three times just to cover the distance. We're all using this, and it's intuitive enough that you don't even notice it.

    If this is correct, then some programs let you adjust the ratio of acceleration to speed--only a little acceleration for faster motion, or a whole lot. I'm guessing slow motion with a whole lot of acceleration is probably the best for trackball people, since they want precise control, but don't want to sit there spinning the ball to cover the screen--just a quick jerk in one direction to do it.

    Am I on target here?
     
  15. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030

    mnkeybsness

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    #16
    ah... i get it...

    so you mean that we already have acceleration built in... but it SHOULD be called "speed/distance" to make more sense. acceleration means that you are continually moving at a faster rate, ie-speed is changing constantly, which is what threw me off.

    so you all want to be able to adjust the "speed/distance" that the mouse has?... that makes much more sense now, but it is still something that won't be useful for me with my wacom tablet :D
     
  16. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #17
    Well, I don't know the specifics, but it's quite possible that the pointer does accelerate its motion when you move the mouse at a high speed, while the speed remains constant for gentle motions. This would work, since when you move rapidlly you're just trying to get the cursor to the general area on the opposite of the screen, and you slow down when you get there.

    I'm not sure that's the way it actually does work, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is, meaning that acceleration would be accurate as a term.

    And actually, you should be able to set your tablet up to use accelerated motion--just most people prefer to have the tablet mapped 1:1 to their screen, since that's more intuitive.
     
  17. cc bcc macrumors 6502

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    #18
    USB Overdrive is exactly what you need! I think OS X build in acceleration curve is very uncomfortable, but with USB Overdrive you can fine-tune it. You can even make different profiles per application. My games now have a linear mouse curve. Safari and Finder now have left<->right scrolling with the scrollwheelbutton pressed while scrolling. Nice!
     
  18. dudeami macrumors regular

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    #19
    I'm not sure what vendor manufactured your trackball, but I use Logitech's controll center for my TrackMan mouse. It gives me better control over the settings then the built-in drivers did.
     
  19. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #20
    YES! That's exactly what I was saying, but in more detail.
     
  20. ChrisH3677 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Thanks for all the useful suggestions. I've looked at USB Overdrive and altho it is good, it's too pricey - it costs as much as I paid for the Trackball!

    I am finding to my surprise that i quite like using the trackball (except for the unstableness for fine movements). I actually find it feel more natural than a trackpad or mouse - which really surprises me.

    On the subject of intuitive, a mouse without acceleration is what's not intuitive. Isn't it intuitive to expect that the faster you move your mouse, the faster it will move across the screen? Try setting your mouse to it's slowest tracking speed and you'll find you need more than one swish of your hand to move the mouse the full screen width - which, imho, i don't consider intuitive.

    On testing, i don't believe OSX has combined acceleration and speed as no matter how fast or slow i move the mouse, it still takes the same length swish to move it the width of the screen - whether set to slowest (4inches) or fastest (3/4inch).

    I've now set my trackball to the slowest speed and with one flick it only covers 3/4's of the screen, but at least it easier to control for fine movement.

    The drawback is that I have to change it when I use a mouse as the mouse setting applies to the trackball - and also even with the Logitech driver as changing the mouse speed multiplier changes the trackball one too.

    yanyways!

    thanks again.

    PS I now have four pointing devices on my Mac! (I have a Wacom too). Just looking at it's driver I see the mouse section has settings for both speed and acceleration. (I don't have the Wacom mouse tho)
     
  21. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #22
    That's exactly what it does, the speed settings are there to adjust it to suit the user. Some people can't follow a fast moving pointer, and some people can't move their hands very far due to injury or lack of space or some such thing.
     

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