Mighty Mouse dissected

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
1
Thanks for the link, that was interesting. I like those pictures and diagrams, very clean and simple. :cool:
 

Gizmotoy

macrumors 65816
Nov 6, 2003
1,081
118
Hey, they shop at the same Apple store I do! I didn't know they were from the area.

It's pretty neat how the touch system works, but it is strange that the right portion of the pad never gets used. I wonder if it was a late-in-the-game design decision...
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,195
"This leads me to wonder why the Apple engineers even included the right sensor at all."

I thought the same thing for a moment--normally only the left sensor matters! Because clicking with both fingers is the same as clicking on the left.

But the answer's simple I think: in Prefs you can swap the left and right click functions for left-handed people.

If you do that, then the right-side sensor becomes the relevant one.

(Also, there does seem to be a fair amount of air in there! The mechanisms seem quite compact. I think with some rearranging Apple can squeeze a BT antenna and battery in there one day :) )
 

michaelrjohnson

macrumors 68020
Aug 9, 2000
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nagromme said:
But the answer's simple I think: in Prefs you can swap the left and right click functions for left-handed people.

If you do that, then the right-side sensor becomes the relevant one.
I'm not so sure. It says that every time it's clicked, the chip detects whether or not there is "finger presence" on the left side. Whether it's set for primary or secondary button, the physical funcitonality of the mouse doesn't change. It still checks, and knows that you're clicking with the right button, the software just knows to interpret that as the primary button, not secondary.
 

stridey

macrumors 65816
Jan 21, 2005
1,136
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Massachusetts, Connecticut
michaelrjohnson said:
I'm not so sure. It says that every time it's clicked, the chip detects whether or not there is "finger presence" on the left side. Whether it's set for primary or secondary button, the physical funcitonality of the mouse doesn't change. It still checks, and knows that you're clicking with the right button, the software just knows to interpret that as the primary button, not secondary.
I highly doubt that's how it works, since that would mean you'd have to lift your secondary finger off the mouse completely in order to register a primary click in the left-handed mode. Seems unlikely.
 

Jimmery

macrumors member
Jul 25, 2005
86
0
Canada
Gimzotoy said:
Hey, they shop at the same Apple store I do! I didn't know they were from the area.

It's pretty neat how the touch system works, but it is strange that the right portion of the pad never gets used. I wonder if it was a late-in-the-game design decision...
I'm guessing it's for left-handed people, where the right side of the mouse is "active" while the left side input is not registered.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,195
michaelrjohnson said:
Whether it's set for primary or secondary button, the physical funcitonality of the mouse doesn't change. It still checks, and knows that you're clicking with the right button, the software just knows to interpret that as the primary button, not secondary.
Right, but the side DOES matter if you swap the buttons as Apple's controls permit--and the presence of two sensors suggests that Apple thought of this:

Clicking with the default right-handed setup:

1. Finger contact only on the left (index finger) = primary click.

2. Finger contact on both left and right (middle finger) = primary click.

3. No finger contact on left (only on right) = secondary click. (Works because most people lift their index finger naturally for a secondary/right click.)

Therefore: only the left needs to be sensed. Right-contact need not be tracked at all.

Compare:

Clicking with the LEFT-handed setup (primary/secondary swapped):

1. Finger contact only on the right (index finger) = primary click.

2. Finger contact on both left (middle finger) and right = primary click.

3. No finger contact on right (only on left) = secondary click. (Works because most people lift their index finger naturally for a secondary click.)


Therefore: only the RIGHT needs to be sensed. LEFT-contact need not be tracked at all. The second sensor is now needed.

This assumes Apple didn't screw up left-handed use and require people to lift their middle finger in order to do a normal primary (= right in this case) click. Someone should swap the buttons in Prefs and test this to confirm--but the twin sensors ARE there, and that's what's needed to eliminate the problem. So I bet Apple thought of that--I can think of no other good reason for the extra sensor.
 

michaelrjohnson

macrumors 68020
Aug 9, 2000
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stridey said:
I highly doubt that's how it works, since that would mean you'd have to lift your secondary finger off the mouse completely in order to register a primary click in the left-handed mode. Seems unlikely.
nagromme said:
That's just my interperetation of the article. It would seem to me, how I mentioned it is how they discovered it over at Ars. I'm not saying I'm not wrong, I just thought I was interpreting their findings correctly.
We decided to put the issue of the combined right and left contacts to rest. I took the mouse and plugged it into my Ubuntu box and loaded up xev. Xev reports every mouse event in a nice window and, most importantly, which button "numbers" it sees. Xev reports "button 1" for a solid left click, "button 3" for a solid right click, "button 2" when you squeeze the side buttons, and finally buttons 4 and 5 correspond to the X and Y axes of the trackball. I couldn't get Xev to report a button event by clicking the trackball. Testing the functionality on Ubuntu's desktop showed that Apple made the decision to effectively check the status of the left switch on every click.
 

stridey

macrumors 65816
Jan 21, 2005
1,136
0
Massachusetts, Connecticut
michaelrjohnson said:
That's just my interperetation of the article. It would seem to me, how I mentioned it is how they discovered it over at Ars. I'm not saying I'm not wrong, I just thought I was interpreting their findings correctly.
Don't get me wrong. I think you interpreted what arstechnica said correctly, but I don't think they tested the system with the left-handed option on.
 

michaelrjohnson

macrumors 68020
Aug 9, 2000
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stridey said:
...I don't think they tested the system with the left-handed option on.
True, they never mentioned it outright. I figured that the hardware specifics (physical funcitonality) wasnt' affected by the software preference.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,195
What you're saying makes good sense about the hardware tests NOT being affected by software settings.

That leaves the question then: did Apple screw up left-handed support AND included a needless extra sensor?

Anyone want to try left-handed and see? Swap left/right in Prefs, use your left hand, and see if you can still primary-click with both fingers touching the mouse.
 

Hemingray

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2002
2,914
26
Ha ha haaa!
Wait a sec, so if only the left sensor is checked, then theoretically if I pressed down on any NON sensored area of the mouse it would register as a right click. If that's true... that's bad design. I can't imagine this being the case.
 

aussie_geek

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,092
0
Sydney Australia
Left right combo

Was just thinking of the left click then right click when left is pushed.

What is stopping the mouse from being clicked on the left button and then activating the sensor for touch on the right. If Apple can do this, it could be used quite well for gaming.


aussie_geek
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,195
aussie_geek said:
What is stopping the mouse from being clicked on the left button and then activating the sensor for touch on the right. If Apple can do this, it could be used quite well for gaming.
I wish. And please someone test this :) But from what I've heard, it doesn't work that way.
 

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