The famous/infamous one button mouse.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by *old-guy*, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. *old-guy* macrumors regular

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    #1
    I got to thinking last night about Mac stuff. With all the spare time I have and being stuck in one place, that's what I tend to do. I pick a subject and then worry it to death. Last night was the Mac mouse'e turn.
    In a word, WHY?
    Why is it made like it is?
    I don't mean the curves and such like. I mean this single button idea.
    I mean, there must have been a time when some boffins at Apple got together and somebody said, "Right, chaps. What sort of mouse device shall we have?" Somebody then suggested having one big button on top and the rest is history.
    Over the years, and this is where my timescale gets a bit sketchy, Microsoft, Atari et al were bringing out mice with 2 buttons and devising software for the very clever "Right click". Bewfore you know it there are mice available with 5 buttons and a wheel. Probably more but 5 buttons and a wheel is what I use on a PC. But the last time I looked, Mac desktops still had mice with just the single button.
    Now I know the Apple purists will say that you can do all the "Right click" stuff using mouse and keyboard strokes but even the die-hards would have to admit that a two button mouse would make it easier.
    Is it a copyright thing that only Bill's PCs can have 2 button mice?
    Or is there some other reason why Macs still come with that single button?
    DO they still only have one button?
    It's a mystery :)
     
  2. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    Jan 11, 2007
    #2
    How about that god-awful round mouse they had a while back.

    I stopped using the pill-mouse about 12 seconds after the scroll ball gave me flak. (which was about 14 seconds after first using it)

    MX Revolution ever since.

    I've now got 2 pill mice sitting in a box, aging gracefully. (parents weren't a fan either so I traded em for my old logitech scroll mouse)
     

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  3. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #3
    No mystery…
    All recent Apple mice have two button functionality.

    There is just no surface division between the buttons.
    Just chalk it up to Steve Jobs (apparently) being set on the idea of a buttonless mouse.

    That said. I hate Apple's mouse designs and definitely recommend a Logitech MX Revolution.
     
  4. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #4
    You could ask "why was it" but that is really here nor there anymore as there have been 2 buttons on the mouse for years. Unless you talking laptop, then my response would be that would be one extra button that could break.
     
  5. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    WOW!!!... That "Touch-sensitive top shell" is a pretty nifty bit of kit. I'm impressed.

    When I first started writing the OP I was meaning Macs such as eMacs, iMac's and other desktop machines but laptops also only have one button. With desktops though, you just HAVE to add a mouse so a two button, scroll wheel is an easy option. You can use the same mouse on a laptop if you use one of the USB ports but it just seems a bit Heath Robinson if you have to keep adding stuff.
     
  6. neonblue2 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Wait, what's this thread about? Every new Mac comes with a right-buttoned mouse, even the laptops. Apple even added right-click functionality to the January 2005 PowerBooks with Leopard.
     
  7. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    #7
    All Macs come with far more mouse functionality than PC's.

    There are 5 buttons on the mighty mouse. On the trackpads there are a million and one different multi touch features.

    The "Macs have one button mouse" is a complete myth.
     
  8. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #8
    This is very true. People don't like to look beyond the surface, though, and it's a bit scary how often you hear "I won't use a Mac because they only have one mouse button. . . Come on!" Although Apple's trackpad technology is ahead of everyone else's right now, and I do like the Mighty Mouse, but it's not the end-all be-all of mice.
     
  9. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

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    #9
    Like Big-TDI-Guy I dumped the hockey puck and never looked back. Have used a minimum of 3 buttons and a scroll wheel any time lately.

    I had a chuckle revisiting SJ's iMac intro from 1998. I quote "and a great, great keyboard and mouse", "We've got the coolest mouse on the planet right here".

    The iMac was a great computer, the mouse not so much.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BHPtoTctDY
     
  10. Sly macrumors 6502

    Sly

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    #10
    As a long time Mac user I can't understand why anyone would need more than one button and a scroll ball or wheel, one hand for mouse one hand for keyboard, not so hard is it? If I ever have to use a PC I get totally confused, ctl clicking doesn't seem to do much and i always end up pushing the wrong mouse button as I'm used to just pressing the mouse anywhere and it working. I am so pleased you can turn off the right click function on new Mac mice, it will be a dark dark day for Apple if they ever faze out the one button mouse.
     
  11. bki122689 macrumors 6502

    bki122689

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    #11
    maybe apple just like to rebel and be different
     
  12. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000

    NoSmokingBandit

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    #12
    I really hope that is sarcasm. Every OS minus apple's has no cmd-click function, but rather a right-click. Apple was being different for no reason other than to be different.
     
  13. Sly macrumors 6502

    Sly

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    #13
    No other OS had a mouse at all when Apple introduced the one button mouse, so yes they were trying to be different.
     
  14. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #14
    for a long time the thinking was that the Mac system should be easy enough to use that it wasn't necessary to have more than one button
     
  15. hughvane macrumors 6502

    hughvane

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    #15
    I confess to exercising just a little mischief when I say how much I enjoy using generic Win-type devices with my Macs. I own about 6 mice, two of which are the apple one-button type. They lurk, waiting in vain for both daylight and recognition, in a bottom drawer. Meantime I use cheap two-button (three if you count the scrolling wheel) mice with all my Macs. They work a treat, and have done for about 3 or 4 years now. Oh, and then there's the 2-rate Kensington 2-button mouse, for which I quite unnecessarily paid a king's ransom.

    So why did Apple wait so long to introduce two buttons on a mouse? To be different. If I was the marketing type, I'd agree with Sly and say that "the one button mouse is to encourage the use of both hands at the computer". So who did develop the Ctrl-click habit with a one-button mouse?
     
  16. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #16
    Yeah, you know, all those other OSes using mouses in 1984 :rolleyes:
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    Exactly. I suppose the only question really is why two-button mice came on the scene afterwards. Who thought that was the right way to do it, and why?
     
  18. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

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    #18
    The old-guy uses an old-Mac. He's not talking about the iMac he bought yesterday with "one button", he's talking about the eMac he bought yesterday with one button.

    :D
     
  19. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #19
    That's a good question. I don't mind them on actual mice, but I've always found (even before I used Apple computers) the right-click buttons on laptops to be extremely annoying. I don't know if it's because other computers' trackpads are ridiculously small, and so are the buttons, or what, but I would always find myself hitting the right click by accident, and it's really not any more useful than two-finger tapping my trackpad on the Macbook.
     
  20. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #20
    I agree. I really don't use the right-click functionality much. Every once in a while I might find myself right-clicking on something, but not too often.

    Same here. I've never liked the right-click button on laptops.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #21
    The concept behind the mouse in terms of the way it was designed to interact with the Mac was for pointing, clicking and dragging. The idea that it should be able to invoke other functions is an additional concept. Useful perhaps, but not one that's inherent to the mouse.
     
  22. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #22
    I don't know much about the older Mac OSes, but didn't the user achieve the same results just as fast or faster with the OS designed without the need of a "right click"? The way it seems to me is that Apple just kind of "gave in" and made certain things act do right-clicky stuff for the switchers or for whatever reason, rather than designing the OS to do the same stuff just as well without the need for a right click.
     
  23. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    #23
    ... you can do right click stuff with the mouse and have been able to for years :confused:
     
  24. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    Hi again.
    I appear to have been castigated, and quite rightly so. I was talking out of an orifice not usually used for speech.
    My problem is that I tend to forget that the gear I use isn't cutting edge technology. I use the kit I can afford to use which means it is generally 3 or 4 generations behind. Don't get me wrong, I ain't complaining about it. That's just the way it is. But that being the case, I tend to write about the stuff I see in front of me and not so much about the kit I see in shop windows but have never actually laid hands on.

    Despite all the protestations ^^^ there, I still think that the ability to "right click" with the mouse alone is far, far superior to a keystroke + a mouse click.
    That would take both hands so what would you do with your beer? :D
     
  25. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    Drink it, rapidly?
     

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