I am blogging from my mom's MacIntosh.  Apple has done a lot of good things with its electronics of late, but their absolute refusal to adopt the two button mouse is just absurd.  Sorry, but cntl-click is just not the same. 

By the way, I think the iPod may be one of the best bits of industrial design in decades, but I am not about to join the Apple worship.  Microsoft gets dinged all the time for silly instances of proprietary over-control, but to my mind Apple is often worse.  However, I may not be entirely unbiased in this judgment, as I spent an hour the other day waiting in some zoo of an Apple store line just to buy a new video cable for my iPod Touch, since Apple added a chip in their latest iPods to cause third party cables to no longer function.


  1. Isaac Crawford:

    Ummm, you can use a two button mouse with a mac with no problem. This isn't an issue, if you like right clicking, get a two button mouse, maybe even one from Apple...


  2. Bob:

    Apple's shipped the Mighty Mouse with every desktop Mac since October 2005. It detects when you're pressing the right side of the mouse, and treats that as the second button. With MacBooks and MacBook Pros you can two-finger-click to simulate the second button.

  3. Matthew Brown:

    Don't you have to enable the fake-two-buttonness in System Preferences, though?

    Anyway, yes, Apple have refused to deal with the reality that the two-button mouse has won; the Mighty Mouse is simply, IMO, a way to give the two-buttonness customers want and vote for with their dollars without abandoning the sacred principle of one-buttonness. Note that no third-party mouse for the Mac has only one button.

    The video thing isn't in the end Apple's fault; it's due to movie studio piracy paranoia, apparently. It does, though, constantly amaze me how much the bigger industry (consumer electronics) willingly bends over for the smaller industry (movies).

  4. Daniel:

    Isaac and Bob, the issue isn't the mouse for me, it's the single button on the trackpad of Macbook. My work computer is a Macbook Pro. It's a great machine, but I absolutely hate that Apple thinks it's ugly, and therefore unnecessary to include to buttons on the laptop. Of course I use a mouse at work, but not always when traveling.

  5. Isaac Crawford:

    I thought it was weird using the one button on the laptop, but I've gotten used to it and never think about it anymore.


  6. Micah:

    I have an iMac. I like it. But the Mighty Mouse is the single worse pointer device I've ever used, on any platform. It's an ergonomic disaster... worse than my generic serial mouse on my old Turbo286. I replaced it with a $2 POS from MicroCenter, and it's been a huge improvement.

    The iMac keyboard is pretty decent, but the Mighty Mouse is an abomination.

    And don't get me started on Apple's insistence on trying to control my files. Picasa for Mac can't come soon enough.

  7. EricP:

    My understanding is that a Mac will accept any regular mouse and will handle a right click with it. The one-button mouse is a gigantic middle-finger to all customers in the name of a design ideal. If any other software/hardware company was so hostile to customers in the name of some programmer-ideal they would get flayed but Apple is untouchable to its fans. Me, I have a Mac for testing website compatibility but it gathers dust otherwise.

  8. Jens Fiederer:

    No, the proprietary fixation is MUCH worse at Apple, and always has been. But perhaps that is why their design is so much more elegant, everything is controlled by one "artist".

    Microsoft has to play in a world that - although they dominate it - they did not create.

  9. Doug:

    Take your one-button gripe to Steve Jobs. He insisted on the one-button mouse in 1984 and hasn't backed off one inch, not even when he came back in 1997. There's not a programmer or designer in the entire company that can do ANYTHING unless SJ approves.

    Jens' observation is dead-on. I don't know that he would agree, but sometimes a benevolent dictator gets it right. (Singapore is another example.) I'll take Apple's form of product tyranny over Wintel's model of product anarchy any day.

  10. Jim:

    I've been using a 2 button mouse on my G4 Mac for years, a non-mac mouse that cost me $20, a small price to pay not to have to do windows.

  11. Greg:

    I also think the one-button mouse is stupid. At work, I now have a two button mouse, with a scroll wheel, and side buttons that page forward and back on Internet Explorer.

    And why does iTunes require me to burn a CD to turn the files into normal .mp3 format?

  12. tehag:

    "And why does iTunes require me to burn a CD to turn the files into normal .mp3 format?"

    You misspelled the responsible party: it's "RIAA" not "iTunes."

  13. HTRN:

    Remember the old saying folks: Microsoft may think their customers are idiots, but Apple KNOWS it...