Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why was my OS X mouse behaving so badly?

It had been bugging me for a while, but now I was going over the edge.

OS X 10.4.11 wasn't responding to my mouse clicks. I was double, triple and quadruple clicking where one should have done.

What had gone wrong? Some recent update? Something stealing the mouse clicks?

I keep my system very plain, so I decided to check into a new mouse driver. It had been a while since I'd updated my Microsoft IntelliPoint driver -- years, come to think of it.

I installed the new IntelliPoint and IntelliType Pro driver from Apple's site. The reboot took a long time, the mouse install seemed to require some major rebuilding.

The new driver had loads of new options, but my mouse clicks were still being missed. Now, however, the driver told me my battery was low.

New batteries, but the problem remained. The driver had one more diagnostic though ... my signal was oddly weak.

Yes! The small wireless receiver (this is pre-Bluetooth) had fallen off my desk, and was now buried between the back wall and the back of the desk. Restoring the receiver restored the signal -- and my mouse clicks.

Of course the real problem was that I'd lost my receiver, but it was odd that I didn't get the battery and signal warnings until I installed the new driver. My IntelliMouse driver was ancient, probably inherited from a 10.3 build. I wonder if some recent update didn't knock out the battery warnings it used to give; Apple can't possibly test against ancient drivers.

Really, these computer systems are a wee bit complex.

I do like the new mouse options however, especially Microsoft's acceleration support. I feel as though I got a new mouse out of the deal.

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