Apple Everywhere

Show Some Love for Apple's Round USB Puck Mouse

- 2011.09.09 - Tip Jar

After two LEM Round Tables on the subject (Steve Jobs' Legacy at Apple and My Favorite Mac Mouse), I figure I'll continue to beat the dead horse that is the puck mouse controversy with some insight I've found while using my puck mouse.

You're Holding It Wrong

The proper way to hold Apple's round USB puck mouseManufactured long before the iPhone 4 and Antennagate, the puck mouse suffers from a case of "you're holding it wrong." Most people say it's supposed to be intuitive to use a mouse, and I agree - but claiming that Apple has always made intuitive mice is a bit of a stretch, don't you think? After all, there were the wonderfully-informative ads for the original Mac mouse that demonstrated how to properly hold the mouse - in an actual "pointing" gesture.

Yeah, how well did that work?

The proper way to hold Apple's round USB puck mouseAt any rate, I at least found the puck mouse to be quite intuitive. Maybe it's my years of playing the piano, but my fingers seemed to know instantly how to hold it: thumb on the left colored area, pinky and ring finger on the right colored area, index and middle finger on the button. My palm never touched the mouse, and my hand seemed to float above it. It's quite comfortable to use that way (maybe my arms and wrists are strengthened from playing the piano), and I've had no problems with holding it sideways, even in the dark.

The proper way to hold Apple's round USB puck mouseMy parents even liked the puck, especially my dad, which makes me wonder if it's something genetic.

Surprise, Surprise

In light of my love for the puck mouse, I'll let you in on something: Before I tried it, I had been bashing it. Yes, I'd read all the comments about the horrendousness of the puck mouse, and to my great surprise, my artificial disgust with the puck faded away the moment I put it in my hand. It was quite a shock to me, really - here, I'd been reading all about how horrible the puck mouse was, how it was one of the worst designs Apple had ever made, and yet, as I started moving it around for the first time, my only thought was, "This is so cool!"

Not coincidentally, I think it was the puck mouse that made me reconsider my dislike of CRTs as well - every CRT I'd used up to this point had been either washed out, unsaturated, grainy, or filled with field lines. My blueberry iMac's CRT is amazingly clear and crisp, and the fast refresh rate does wonders for my poor eyes.

Conclusion

I encourage all those who have hated the puck mouse to give it another try (and possibly take up the piano!). Try different hand positions, try using your non-dominant hand, try using it at different heights or at different lengths away from your body. It's a delightful little mouse to use, and one that has earned itself, in my humble opinion, an unfairly poor reputation. LEM

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Austin Leeds is a Mac and iPad user - and a college student in Iowa.

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