Last night, after the Bluetooth connection failed for the hundredth unexplained time, I switched back from my Apple wireless Mighty Mouse to my old Microsoft optical scrollmouse. I must say, the change is for the best. The old mouse is lighter, smaller, and more comfortable. It is possible to press both buttons at once, and press the middle button without accidentally scrolling. Most importantly, the scroll wheel itself is much less finicky – it may not be able to scroll horizontally, and it lacks the Might’s Mouse’s useless ‘squeeze’ buttons – but it seems the superior device overall, despite the need for it to be tethered to my computer.
In general, I think Apple does a magnificent job of making computer gear and software. If I had to make two complaints, the first would be about the way they sometimes privilege form over functionality. Alongside the Mighty Mouse (and the infamous prior hockey puck mouse), there is the interface of Time Machine, which is pretty but probably less useful than it could be. My other complaint is their willingness to change things after the fact in ways that cannot be reversed and that people might not like. For example, there was when they locked iTunes so that only three people per boot session could access your library over the network (a real pain in university residence), or when they limited the volume on my iPod Shuffle through a software update.