The Magic Mouse 

Welcome back folks.  Another electronics topic for you today, mainly to do with computer hardware for the Mac.  I made the leap of faith from PC to Mac over seven years ago and while I still understand the benefits of both, I have to say I’ve never looked back.  It has only been in the last few years that I’ve switched from USB mouse to the trackpad, though since doing a lot more creative work on my Mac I’ve come to need again, the flexibility that a mouse gives.  I’m looking at utilizing Apple’s Magic Mouse.Magic Mouse 

Though I’m a big Mac fan these days and have known for many years that the Magic Mouse has been available, I’ve never really had the need to even explore it’s features or functions.  I’ve become so used to mastering the Mac’s in-built trackpad I never really thought anything could excel beyond everything I already have at my fingertips, especially without having to carry around any extra devices with me.  Two year’s ago however I got very heavily into graphic and web design work.  The graphic design work in particular needs a lot of creative expression to be input from hand to computer in the most effective and efficient way possible.  I was blinded somewhat as I’d become so used to the trackpad it had become an extension of my left hand, though you can only get away with an excuse like that for so long when it comes to the world of design.  

In the design world, using creative software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign or Dreamweaver and the like, it doesn’t take long for even mouse users identify with their limitations.  Basic maneuvering around each piece of software isn’t the end of the world and the trackpad handles the majority of Adobes functions quite well.  When it comes to making selections however – by attempting to accurately trace around the outline of an image – in order to remove a tree from an existing image for example, the trackpad just doesn’t offer the flow of movement necessary to get a good hand-to-software interpretation.  It would the same as doing exactly the same task with a mouse but using your ‘other’ hand. 

Software like Adobe Illustrator, which I’ve also been using for a couple of years is extremely powerful and its functionality would be limited if using the trackpad was the only option.  From tracing jpegs and implementing freehand sketches, to intricate curved shapes using Illustrator’s ‘pen tool’, you just couldn’t embark on any serious project using only the trackpad.  So, as you can see, it looks like I’ve been hindering myself somewhat.

Underside of the Magic Mouse 

So naturally, I got online and started digging around for some good deals, whereby I found, a fantastic deal which I jumped on immediately.

How it Works 

Akin to most mice using laser sensors to track movement, the Apple Magic Mouse uses a similar sensor to that in its iPhones: using the natural electrical conductivity of the human body which triggers the core sensors (which are incredibly sensitive and receptive) in the device.  

The top of the Magic Mouse is basically one huge button filled with sensors ready to pick up a variety of pre-set natural hand and finger gestures.


Magic Mouse Gestures 

As with the trackpad the surface of the mouse is set up - through the use of software - to receive and interpret ‘gestures’ (in the Mac world this means a single touch or a motion using the tips of one or more fingers).  When your finger or fingers make contact with the sensors, they interpret whether they way you’ve made contact constitutes a scroll (one single finger in one consistent direction) or whether it constitutes a swipe (two separate fingers touching and moving rapidly in one consistent direction). If this input doesn't identify with either of these presets to create action, it simply passes under the radar ignored. 

Out With the Old, in With the New 

Apple originally release of the Magic Mouse in 2009.  It carried an optical sensor and was battery operated.  There was at the time, a lot of criticism about the short battery life and inconvenience of replacing batteries so it wasn’t long before they released an all ‘new and improved’ Magic Mouse 2.   

Apparently the features and design we’re practically the same but with a laser sensor which completely eclipsed the functionality of the old optical senor and an internal USB rechargeable battery to replace the plastic door and regular shop-bought batteries compartment.  This finished off what should been in the first place a great all round input device.   Anyway, that’s about all from me folks, thanks for stopping by, until next time..