Brad Choate, Mac User

Well, I've got a Mac now. I've been a closet Mac lover for as long as I can remember. But they were always just a little too pricey for me (that is, given the option to buy a Mac or a new PC, the new PC always won out). Well, that changed this week when I found out that my company had a few old Macs they were looking to sell at a minimal price. So it's a G3/350 with 256 MB RAM, a 6 GB hard drive, mouse and keyboard. For $100.

So now it's at home on my network. It's replacing an old Pentium Pro 200 MHz PC that Georgia was using. Don't hold your breath for a "switch" video from me. I'm still using Windows and Linux. The Mac just complements everything else. Lets me experience the side I've been missing.

Now that I own a Mac, I get my chance to complain about the one button mouse. <rant>What is up with the ONE BUTTON MOUSE? I mean, does Apple lack the engineering wherewithal to put that second or third button on their mice? Yes, I think they know better too -- but why don't they? I must research this. My very first mouse -- the original Microsoft mouse -- had two buttons.</rant> Ok, I feel a little better now. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my optical Microsoft mouse would work on the Mac, but alas only it's left-hand button.

For those of you Mac fanatics, now is your chance to tell me what software I must install on this thing. It's been a few years since I've had convenient access to one (6 years since college), so post a comment below and tell me what I've been missing. I'm currently running OS 9, but I will probably rectify that soon. Already on my list (once I'm running OS X anyway): iTerm and Spring.

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11 Comments

mini-d said:

If you need an addiotional mouse button just upgrade to a 2 or 3 buttons mouse... my mom can use a mac without learning wich button should press... 1 buttom rules! PD: i use a 5 mouse buttom on my mac...

Brad Choate said:

Ah yes -- I discovered soon after my post that there were Mac drivers available from Microsoft which solved the problem. Now I have 5 buttons too. But the question still remains -- why doesn't Apple ship Macs with more capable mice?

  • Chimera (Mozilla minus a lot of suck) http://www.mozilla.org/projects/chimera/
  • NetNewsWire Lite (RSS reader) http://www.ranchero.com/software/netnewswire/
  • iPulse (top meets eye candy) http://www.iconfactory.com/ip_home.asp
  • TigerLaunch (easy program launcher) http://www.ranchero.com/software/
  • Searchling (because I can't spell) http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~mthole/searchling/
  • BBEdit (I think of it as emacs for Mac, even though there is an emacs...oh you know what I mean!) http://web.barebones.com/
  • Transmit (s/ftp client) http://www.panic.com/transmit/
  • fink (install tons of *nix packages in a snap) http://fink.sourceforge.net/
Mark said:

Welcome to the light side of the force.

As far as the mouse thing goes, it's pretty much excepted fact that Jobs will probably never ship a multi-button mouse. He wants them to come out of the box and be "easy to use." I know that is a very relative term, but it's what they are going with. They also know that the people who don't want a one button mouse will either already have a two button mouse or buy the 24-sided 4D scroll mouse ;-)

I'm trying to think of a real world analogy, and I think that car stereos are pretty close. Sure you can have a stock CD-player, but in most models the speakers will suck or whatever. The point being is that you will probably replace some of the stock parts with stuff that you know you want.

But then that leaves the question why doesn't apple offer it as a BTO option at the store? Back to point one. They have data that says most of the people will be fine with a one button mouse and there is no compelling reason to switch, no pun intended. It may sound dumb abnd pig-headed to those of us who have mastered the manuver of right-clicking, but it is the way it is.

Mark said:

While we're on the subject:

LaunchBar (amazing keyboard-based program launcher) http://www.obdev.at/products/launchbar/
DragThing (amazing icon-based program launcher and switcher) http://www.dragthing.com/
CandyBar (fun icon twiddler) http://www.iconfactory.com/cb_home.asp

And no Mac geek should be without Mac OS X Hints - http://www.macosxhints.com/ .. Great stuff every day.

milbertus said:

Hey, at least your mouse isn't one of those annoying hockey-puck mice they shipped with the original iMacs. ;)

I will second the recommendations for LaunchBar and BBEdit. I am somewhat of a minimalist about what I have on my system and both of those programs are very functional and stable. As for a ftp, I use rbrowser (www.rbrowser.com). rbrowser offers both a free and commercial version and while I am planning to purchase the commercial version, the free version works better than any of the other options in the OS X graphical interface category. And I mentioned this in my weblog a few days ago, but the best utility for finding Macintosh (and probably PC) software on the internet is: www.versiontracker.com

lowmagnet said:

It's about time!

I second Chimera, except it sometimes fails andcrashes on flash ads. I usually keep ie up for that reason. However, I just know not to visit the new york times and most of the geocities pages with it. Bad code! Bad bad code!

Welcome to Macintosh though!

I still have my one button Pro Mouse, and I use it daily. It's nice because I can swap it easily for my left-handed friends. That is why it has one button, so it can be used ambidexterously.

Phong Huynh said:

I would like to express what I feel is the absolute and just plain cool apps with a lot of them repeats form previous comments. I cannot live without LaunchBar (www.obdev.at), BBEdit Lite (www.bbedit.com), and Transmit (www.panic.com). As for the other apps, I would reccomend Speed Download (www.yazsoft.com, note: it actually works, and it works great), TypeSet (www.vizspring.com) and remember to download Apple's Safari (If you have Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar). Welcome New Mac User! Oh yeah by the way, as of now (this comment), for the mouse situation, you should read this on deal news (http://dealnews.com/articles/46860.html). Great price on Microsoft mice!

-Phong

Pete said:

My kids do fine with the one button mouse. I think two or more buttons and a scroll wheel might confuse my 4 year old. ;)

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This article was published on December 17, 2002 10:48 PM.

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