Ok… yes… I’m an Apple Fan Boy. One of the things I really like about it is its design.
Here’s a simple thing – when I plug in a USB mouse the track pad instantly shuts off. Its the first computer I’ve owned where that’s the default behavior (honestly… until I went to write this I’d never even looked to see if there was an option to do otherwise). My other PCs have always left the track pad on. In fact my old Compaq R3000 had a little button above the trackpad to turn it on/off. When is it really useful to have the trackpad AND the mouse active at the same time? (What… you think is it? Welcome to the 1% club! ). On my old PCs it just feels gimmicky compared to my Mac. Its a small thing and perhaps if my old PCs had defaulted differently it wouldn’t stand out. Certainly it can be accomplished on a PC. I have yet to find a PC who’s track pad doesn’t look like a small swimming pool in the center of laptop, but I digress…
I also purchased a Logitech VX Nano mouse. Which is a very nice laptop mouse (with one design flaw which I’ll get to in a minute). One of the things that appealed to me was that it has a very tiny receiver that plugs into your USB port. As a matter of fact, one of their bragging points is that you never have to remove the receiver because its so small.
This is where the designs clash for me. You see… I use my laptop quite a bit without a mouse (usually from my family room). Typically what happens is that I use the mouse at my desk at work, then when I get home I use it from the family room. Finally, later in the evening when I move to my home office and use the mouse again. The problem is without fiddling with the settings on my Mac, the trackpad is dead when I leave the tiny receiver plugged it.
So… why not unplug the receiver? I do all the time. But, this is where I run into the other issue. You see… the folks at Logitech designed the VX Nano’s receiver to be left in. They allow you to store the receiver in the mouse, but its an unhandy feature that has you popping off the battery cover all the time. Other mice made by Logitech that have larger receivers allow you store the receiver in a handy slot at the base of the mouse. Its really easy to work with.
It comes down this: I bought the wrong mouse for my needs.
Now the design flaw: The mouse has this great feature that the mouse wheel can “freewheel”. This comes in very handy when scrolling through code listing, long documents, big web pages, etc. In fact, its the main reason I bought the mouse. However, the clearance for the wheel within its housing on the mouse is very tight. On mine, the rubber grip ring on the mouse wheel has stretched just enough that it doesn’t clear anymore and therefore doesn’t freewheel.
Time to get a new mouse…