Inert Detritus The Internet's dust bunnies

22 December 2008 @ 9pm

Addendum: Logitech Control Center software

So, I tried the Log­itech soft­ware. I real­ly gave it a shot, I swear. It did well for the most part: it did­n’t brick my machine at boot, or break any apps that I could tell in the few hours it was installed.

But there were some glar­ing bugs.

First, what’s the most typ­i­cal thing to do to a mouse with two scroll wheels and five but­tons? You cus­tomize the but­tons and scrolling to do cer­tain things by default, across the sys­tem. You’re allowed to do that, but as soon as you make some cus­tom set­ting set for, say, Fire­fox (using that side, snap-back wheel for switch­ing tabs is amaz­ing), you have to re-do your oth­er but­ton settings.

Steer­Mouse gets this one right. You set your sys­tem defaults, and then on a per-app basis, it has an extra option for each but­ton: “Same as Default”, or what­ev­er action you want. Bra­vo, I say.

Sec­ond, scrolling speed was bust­ed in Fire­fox. There was some weird con­flict between the soft­ware, the OS X default scrolling speed, and Fire­fox’s idea of scrolling. When I slid the scrolling speed slid­er toward “Slow”, it moved more lines per sin­gle click of the wheel. Yet, coun­ter­in­tu­itive­ly, when you spun the wheel fast, you got less move­ment than a sin­gle click. Bust­ed like a cheap piña­ta, I say.

Third, and maybe this was just me, I could­n’t get the track­ing speed and accel­er­a­tion to behave. It just felt “off”, even after mul­ti­ple minor tweaks.

So, after an unin­stall of LCC and a reboot, I installed Steer­Mouse (after anoth­er reboot, jeez). I love it. It does a fan­tas­tic job of cus­tomiz­ing the but­tons, nailed the track­ing speed (dif­fer­ent accel­er­a­tion curve, per­haps?) and even lets me con­trol the free-wheel vs. click-wheel engage­ment speed of the main scroll wheel (albeit, after run­ning a defaults write com­mand, fol­lowed by a logout). I’m going to give it one more day of test­ing to make sure there’s no deal-break­ing bugs, and I’ll be hap­pi­ly pay­ing for a copy of the app.