Why the one-button mouse is best...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by SuperChuck, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. SuperChuck macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2003
    Chucktown, SC
    I have been whining about the lack of a multi-button Apple mouse for years, but today, I finally understood what Steve has been talking about.

    I was teaching my mother and grandmother how to use my old computer now that I've replaced it with a shiny new Powerbook. My mouse of choice was a lovely three-button scroll wheel model. For those of us who use our computers regularly, these mice are indispensible tools. We can use all of the buttons without thinking - it becomes a reflex to click with the index finger, right-click with the ring finger, etc. But what if you've never touched a mouse in your life? I can tell you from watching the previous generations of my family handle mice for the first time that it is anything but reflexive.

    Teaching my elders to use a multi-button mouse was like teaching a fork and spoon user to eat with chopsticks. Every time the hand reached the mouse, the fingers did a hesitant dance, trying to remember what went where. When asked to click on something, the proper button was rarely the one chosen by the shaking fingers. Learning to use the computer was becoming a painful lesson in using the mouse.

    Lesson one ended when my exasperated pupils were fed up with that impertinent mouse, and I was left to ponder what this scene would have looked like had the teacher been an AppleCare tech trying to explain a simple process over the phone. It occurred to me that if my grandmother had called tech support with a three button mouse, the conversation would have ended in heated profanity.

    Surely anyone who buys a computer knows how to use a mouse, right? Wrong. My great aunt in Florida has a very expensive screen saver in her study. She bought her computer (HP with a standard multi-button mouse) after much coersion by friends and family so that she could send and receive email. Now, when someone comes to visit, they check her email, print it, and she responds with a handwritten letter. If no one is visiting, she is the proud owner of a screen saver with a terrifying number of buttons attached to it. She has managed to grasp the concept of mouse movement, but the clicking part gets her every time.

    If you are reading this forum, you are no doubt a member of the multi-button class of computer users. That beautiful but useless thing that came with your Mac is like the spare tire in your trunk - it's there in the event that your real mouse meets an untimely demise. But before you curse Apple for bundling that lovely piece of junk with your machine, I challenge you to find a completely new computer user and teach them the basics with your mouse of choice. Trust me, you'll be reaching for the Apple mouse within minutes.

    I still maintain that a G5 should not be bundled with a one button mouse, and a Powerbook should probably sport an extra button below that touchpad, but for entry-level computers, the one button mouse is the way to go.
  2. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Totally agree, my mother is the same way with mice.

    Although I do think the customer should be given a choice of single button mouse or a multi button mouse (possibly with a scroll wheel) made by Apple.

    If Apple can make computers this good, imagin how good their multi-button mice might be.
  3. m.r.m. macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2003
    yeah. we're not all mothers and grandmothers. :D
  4. chv400 macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I just got a 2 button mouse yesterday. My only true reason for getting one was for the scroll wheel. I dont even use the 2nd button my fingers just kinda stay on one side of the mouse.
  5. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States
    I completely agree. My grandmother uses a standard two-button with scroll wheel but she rarely ever uses the right click. However, two-button mice do come in handy with games and the scroll wheel does come in handy on the internet. But if you're a new computer user, one button is perfect.

  6. Finiksa macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2003

    I gave up my five button/scroll wheel mouse three years ago when I got a Mac, I am never going back.

    About everything else you said, couldn't agree more. Teaching my mother to use a mouse was like experiencing one of the lower circles of hell.
  7. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I love my 2 button mouse. Having the scroll wheel is a huge plus.
  8. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Before I switched I was using a 3 button/scroll wheel mouse. Even after I switched I used it for a couple months. I switched to the Apple mouse because there was no trick to pressing the button. I could push the mouse along from behind or hold it however I wanted and still hit the button. Right clicking to get a menu is fast, but so is control clicking and you pretty much always have 1 hand on the keyboard, right? I do anyway. The scroll wheel--it took a little while to get used to not having it. I don't miss it though.

    So I can see why people like a multi button mouse, but the one button mouse isn't just for grandmothers and morons. Use whichever works best for you.
  9. tomjleeds macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    If you're new to the concept of 'mousing', then yes, a 'shaped' mouse with two main buttons, forward and backward buttons, a scroll wheel, 'fast forward' and 'rewind' buttons and an application-switcher button is way overkill and horribly confusing. However, if you're accustomed to it, it saves a lot of time.
  10. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    ...and its hurts like a bitch.
    there are tons of mice out there i would like or that i absolutely adore, but i mouse with my left hand most of the time. apple's one button mice might not be the greatest in my opinion, but at least apple and logitech think differently from Microsoft who beleives that everyone mouses with their right hand, because 99% of their mice are designed for right hands, not left.
    I used to have a zillion button logitech mouse (or maybe it was kensington, shrug), and it's rotting away in my closet now. i gave up on it because it was not only frustrating to get used to, i just dont like using mice with my right. touchpads are easier to use though.
  11. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I never understood why people would need five buttons. Two plus a wheel is enough for me!

    I have an MS Wheel Mouse Optical, and it's symmetrical :)
    And at NZ$33 (US$21), it's cheap too :D
  12. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    My grandmother has a G3 Tower, and thank goodness for a one button mouse or she would be constantly confused about what button to use.

    On the other hand I love my two button mouse with scroll wheel:)
  13. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    I have a 5 button mouse. But only because it's the cheapest trackball I could find. I have limited deskspace and I don;t like picking my mose up and moving it around and such. Keeping my hand still is where it's at. If Apple made a one button trackball, I'd buy it.

    Oh, and did you know that if you Shift+Click and drag your mouse down in Safari it'll scroll down? Probably works in other apps too.
  14. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    I do now! thanks! :p
  15. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    ubergeek: I have tried both the Intellimouse 3.0 and 4.0 (extensively for right-handers), hated it. Tried the MX700? Too heavy.

    So what mouse do I use now? The same as Nermal. I personally think its the best they've ever made--light weight, ambidextrous, and affordable. Its been rocking for 6 years (since 1998), and I don't see a reason for getting another one.
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Two button mouses (with scroll wheel) rule! Thankfully I had a number of M$ Windoze compatible mouse available when I made the switch to Mac. All of of them have worked including the M$ "wireless" mouse.

    I am looking forward to an Apple BT two button with scroll wheel muse that is "worthy: in terms of looks.
  17. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I am happy that we have a choice and it's possible to use a Mac with a 1 button mouse. I have a multi-button mouse with my Mac and take advantage of the Expose shortcuts.

    My Mom finds it easier to have a one button (or no button) mouse by just clicking down on the mouse. She just uses iChat, Safari, Mail, TextEdit, and Sherlock. She used Windows for 20 years and now loves Macs.

    Some people just want a 2 button mouse.

    Perhaps a one button mouse isn't the best for everyone but having a choice is the best.
  18. mvc macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2003
    Pro option:

    Apple should just make a 2 button scroll mouse as a pro option, so you can get one if you want one but otherwise a new mac comes standard with the one button. If they can do it with ram and harddrives, why not a mouse.

    It almost looked like it was going to happen with the release of the bluetooth mouse option, I thought they would make the break but it seems ol' one-fingered steve gave us pro Apple users the one-fingered salute again ;)
  19. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    I dont think people will dissagree with you on newbies using a 1 button mouse on the grounds that well it just eaiser to learn

    I need at least 3 buttons to be happy and on my PC I use them all. Hell my main mouse for my computer is a memorex 5 button.

    I used to be among the people thinking why do people need 5 buttons then some showed me something about them and what they could do. Plus I though hey 5 buttons are cool. Now that I gone to 5 buttons I never want to switch back. They make web surfing a lot easier have back and forward on the mouse. Plus for games the extra 2 mouse buttons are really nice
  20. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    a wee bit off topic, but i happened to be in the galleria in houston and happened ;) to drag my parents to the location near the apple store and went in and was foolin around with the 17" pb's and the ipod minis and 4gs (click wheel blows!!!! hear that ives?) and finally saw the powermac g5 2ghz with a 23" cinema (old) and a 17 studio (drool) and was usin it and the first thing i noticed was the keyboard and mouse were comfortable! my laptop keyboard hurts like hell and so do most pc keyboards ('cept dell's) *goes in corner and sobs in shame* my kensington pocketmouse le is the most comfortable pc mouse ive ever used and it still hurts my hand (i have big hands but hate big mice) and i never right click cause i use the right click button on the keyboard. if the apple pro mouse were pc compatible (w/ software o' course) id gladly pay 50 bucks for it and ctrl+click my way thru windows (by the way, anyone know any freeware that allows that?) well when i go off to college in a couple years ill be gettin the top o' the line powermac and a film-quality 100" cinema display (i hope) and add that onto my student loans hopefully for penn ill be usin a 1 button mouse even if apple makes a 2 button. im right handed and hate right handed mice. apple doesnt make an "ergonomic" mouse but it's damn comfy and incredibly practical. too bad some of their own software wont work with it *coughcoughshakeneedsathreebuttonmousewithscrollwheelcoughcough* sorry about the rambling
  21. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    concerning comfortable KBs? I always use Natural. There is NO replacement for it.

    As soft as Apple's white KB's are...they will never replace to true comfort of typing ERGONOMICALLY. Does Apple have a "natural" version of its KB? Or the question should be--why ISN'T it the default one?

    I went from an OEM KB to a MS Natural KB (first version). That was back in 1999. I never looked back. I just try typing with my hands sqooshed together, like they are on all laptops/most KBs, and its just extremely uncomfortable.

    All this talk on the one-button mouse, and no mention of natural kbs? Pretty amazing -_-
  22. Peyote macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2002

    Glad you find your mouse so practical...I suggest you get familiar with the Shift key.
  23. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    actually it was apple who invented the whole natural keyboard thing - a lot before microsoft's apple had such a keyboard that could be adjusted being a normal one or a natural one (it broke from the middle and the parts could be pulled off to an angle). i have no idea why apple doesn't make it anymore... maybe it's just that apple sees no profit in it and leaves those to 3rd parties? the same reason why apple shouldn't make many different mice.
  24. echeck macrumors 68000


    Apr 20, 2004
    Boise, Idaho
    I must admit, I'm a two-button w/ scroll wheel man myself.

    I get extremely frustrated when I use a mouse without a scroll wheel, and I would much rather just right click than ctrl+click...too bothersome when you can simply right click. Of course I never had the option of the one-button mouse with my powerbook, I just bought a handy little retractable USB two-button/scroll wheel by Kensington and was as happy as could be.

    As far as those "natural" keyboards go, they are the single most uncomfortable and annoying keyboards I have ever had the misfortune to use. Of course that's just me. :)
  25. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Yuck man. I tried those boards--very, VERY flimsy (not necessarily an Apple). Those KB's (quite a few on the shelf at the store) were pretty much useless--more or less for the show factor (not having much functionality). My mother actually thought she could use one of those--tried one for a horrible 20 minutes. Went to the store and returned it...came back with a real keyboard--MS Natural. You could actually type on it, and NOT be afraid of it breaking.

    I initially complained b/c it made the Warcraft2/Starcraft hotkeys farther apart (e.g. hitting "H" on a regular vs. natural KB). Course, now that I actually can chat/type without looking at the keyboard, this is more or less a moot factor.

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