Apple’s mouse that roared

After hearing about iPod this and iTunes that for what seems like years now, it was refreshing this week to read about Apple’s new Mighty Mouse. (We kind of forgot that our iMac’s mouse was even there, never mind that it could be upgraded.) Not all of the hard-core Apple faithful are happy about this new gadget, which is the first Apple mouse to feature multiple buttons—more like a PC mouse. In general, we never realized the degree to which the Apple brand was built on the one-button mouse. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang gives us a little history about that topic in this cool story about the first Apple mouse, and also has an interesting post up on his blog about the new Mighty Mouse. His point is that the whole idea of “ease of use” is changing. When the mouse first came along, he writes, it was “a total novelty, and anything with more than one button required users to think and make decisions. In contrast, in an age of GameBoy, PlayStation, Treo, Blackberry and the cell phone (not to mention multibutton mice on Wintel machines), kids can look at a device with four buttons and a scroll ball and think, ‘Hey, that’s easy to use.’ ” That may or may not ease of the mind of one visitor, who writes of the Mighty Mouse: “Hell has frozen over and the devil has taken up hockey and ice fishing.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd