Apple should thank Jef Raskin for Mighty Mouse

15 thoughts on “Apple should thank Jef Raskin for Mighty Mouse”

  1. Om (and Brian): Unfortunately Mossberg dropped the ball a bit on this as I would bet a good amount of money he didn’t take the time to actually install the new driver which came on the included CD. We all did the same thing in our office and had similar clicking problems. Once the driver was installed though, everything worked perfectly.

  2. Everything I’ve ever read on Mac history says that Raskin hated mice, and had no intention of putting one on the Mac when it was still his project.

  3. Actually, Raskin argued a lot with the other developers to get them to use the one-button mouse. He felt that the multi-button mouse based (based on what they had seen at PARC) was too confusing. See Wired or just Google.

    Despite what people say, Raskin was not opposed to the mouse and the GUI, he just thought they were too expensive for “appliance cumputing” (they cost about $300 back then!) and didn’t like the desktop metaphor in general. He was an early WYSIWYG evangelist and actually was responsible for getting the Apple heads to take it seriously. Remember that the Mac was originally cancelled by Steve Jobs for not being a “serious” computer.

  4. I’m missing something, here. Raskin advocates labeling the buttons and Apple has a mouse with no labels and invivisble buttons, and, therefore, Raskin should get credit for the design? Raskin does propose a trackball on top of the mouse, but sees it for a very different use than Apple puts it to.

    BTW: here’s an old quip of Alan Kay’s: “Apple has always had a three button mouse. It’s just that two of the buttons were on the keyboard.”

  5. Web reports suggest that the right click doesn’t work when a left finger is resting on the surface of the mouse. This is a major flaw. My tests indicate that the diagonal scroll only seemed to work with certain types of documents (or in certain programs). I also found the “sides” button (since both sides act together as a single button) cumbersome to use – I had to move my hand on the mouse to actually “click” this button. It was additionally frustrating because there was no “click” physical feedback. If there was audio feedback, I couldn’t hear it.

  6. I just wanted to say that Jef Raskin was truly “one of a kind”, very rare, even nowadays.

    I worked with Jef after the Cannon Cat project, and the man had great insight into interfaces, but most importantly he was dead on in focusing on people first, and technology second.

    Its too bad nobody in Redmond, or nearly everyother technology company ever learned that lesson. Especially the damn cellphone companies, aka an “information appliance” for the unwashed masses.

  7. Hmm, on close reading that vague description could apply to any number of enhancements. It’s pretty clear to me the “Selectâ€? “Activate,â€? and “Grabâ€? ideas were quite different concepts to what the buttons in a multi-button mouse are for.

    As for the trackball, the description clearly intends it to manipulate the cursor, something the Mighty Mouse and all other mice do not do, for good reason (that is what moving the mouse is for).

    But anyway, I hear Gil Amelio wants credit for inventing the iMac, the iPod, and restoring Apple to prominence!

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