Tag Archives: Mac Mini

Using a Multi-Button PC Mouse on a Mac

SteerMouse 4.0.2
SteerMouse 4.02 (via Apple Downloads)

I have been using a Mac Mini at work now for several months. I use a PC mouse and keyboard (for several reasons, namely i have big hands and fingers so using those tiny Apple keyboards is out of the question, and I like my multi-button mouse too much to give it up). If you are curious of the model, I use a Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710 Laser (keyboard/mouse combo).

As is expected, both the right and left mouse buttons work correctly “out of the box” on OS X, but the extra buttons and the horizontal scroll do not work! This has annoyed me for far too long and it was time I did something about it:

The Failed Attempt

First I tried searching Logitech’s website for drivers and/or software to fix the problem. I had done this before, but figured I’d give it another go. Nothing… So I tried Google… Oddly enough Google supplied me with a link to Logitech’s website — apparently they have a “Logitech Control Center” just for Mac’s.

I was excited that it could be so easy to fix, so I quickly downloaded the program, installed it, rebooted, and… LCC told me that no compatible mouse/keyboard found. I rebooted again… Same result… I did some more in-depth searching and discovered that this program is for the Mac versions of the Logitech devices only (which explains why when I registered my product the actual model I have was not to be found in the drop-down).

The Successful Attempt!

I decided I had enough and searched Apple’s download page under the “Drivers” section. I had read about a utility called “SteerMouse” when trying to troubleshoot the LCC (funny…in those searches it was SteerMouse people complained about as it apparently interfered with LCC — obviously not the case for me lol), so I thought I’d see if it still existed or if perhaps there were other options.

Sure enough, there was SteerMouse. I downloaded, installed, rebooted. Then I started up SteerMouse and was surprised to see that it did not detect a compatible mouse, however it knew enough to instruct me to remove the LCC as that was interfering! I uninstalled the LCC and rebooted.

I was pleasantly surprised to see SteerMouse now detected my mouse and allowed me to change settings for every feature. And the best part? Not only did it work flawlessly, but it already had my preferred settings set as default from the start!

You can download SteerMouse 4.0.2 here: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/drivers/steermouse.html

You can download the Logitech Control Center here (wont work with PC models): http://www.logitech.com/en-us/494/3129

A Linux lover on a Mac?

Image from daskeyboard.com

Wow has time passed since my last post or what?!

Well I see I still have some readers still hanging on so I should update if nothing but for your sakes. Thank you for sticking around. 🙂

I can’t recall if I mentioned this before or not, so I’m going to talk about it now anyway. I purchased a Mac Mini for my business. Why a Mac? Well because it will allow me to develop iPhone apps to sell on the App Store (man I really need to get cracking on that). Yes, I know it is kind of like feeding the beast, but do not worry, I still run Ubuntu at home and even run it on this Mac (yeah, I’m at work) through VirtualBox (I suppose I should post something about that sometime soon). And yes, I’m running Windows XP through VirtualBox too. I’m such a wreck right now!

So, what do I think about my first Mac?

Well to be perfectly honest, I love how smooth the boot and shutdown processes go, and how clean the interface is. I am still getting used to having the menu bar for each application stuck at the top of the screen instead of the top of the application window, but it is growing on me. I thought I would loath it, but I am finding more and more it is quite convenient actually. I also like how clear the display is and I like (for the most part) the dock at the bottom.

I do not, however, like the mouse/keyboard situation. I purchased a PC mouse and keyboard (the Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710 Laser) because I have to have a right click button, and I have big fingers and those tiny Apple keyboards just wont work for me. Not to mention I had planned in advance to use VirtualBox to host Linux and Windows and wanted to have a familiar keyboard/mouse feel when working in those environments.

Everything on the mouse and keyboard work as expected in Linux and Windows (even through the virtual machine), but there are some serious annoyances when it comes to using them in the Mac OS.

PC I/O devices on a Mac

The Home and End keys do not work the same in OS X as they do in Windows or Linux. On Mac they take you to the top of the document or the end (or something, it honestly confuses me when I press them and I really don’t know what is going on). Either way, I can’t stand it. When I press the home key, I want it to go to the start of the line I am currently on (this is huge for coding). When I press the End key, I want it to go to the end of the line I am currently working on… Similarly with Ctrl+Home (sorry, that’s the windows/linux version, on a mac it’s open apple + home or the “Windows” key + home on Windows aka the “Super” key + home on Linux), or Ctrl+End (you get the idea), I expect to go to the beginning or end of the document respectively. Additionally when holding shift and pressing any of those combinations, I expect it to highlight the text between my current location in the document to the respective destination.

Additionally, I want my 4th and 5th mouse buttons to work properly! right now they work just like a “middle click” in the Mac environment.

How to solve this? — Well I’m looking into it. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments!

What next?

Not sure yet. I’m working on some websites and going to be quitting my other job (I’m so burned out and it’s falling apart everywhere), so I will be focusing on this business full time from here on out! I’ll try to keep the updates coming more frequently.

What about Linux?

Don’t worry, I have not and will not abandon my obsession with Linux. The new version of Ubuntu is here! So I am downloading the ISO and will at the very least be booting it up here on my virtual machine to play with and will be doing a complete system wipe and re installation on my laptop at home when I have time (was playing around the other day and found out I was using the 32-bit version of Ubuntu when I could be using the 64-bit, and also still have Vista partitioned there taking up 50GB for nothing!).