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Multi-Button OpenOfficeMouse At OOoCon 2009

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the flying-in-the-face-of-simple-design dept.

Input Devices 265

An anonymous reader writes "WarMouse has announced their new multi-button OpenOfficeMouse for OpenOffice.org at the 2009 OOoCon in Orvieto, Italy. The mouse, which features 18 buttons, a scroll wheel, and an analog joystick, has double-click functionality on every button and stores up to 63 application and game profiles in its 512k of flash memory. The OpenOfficeMouse runs on Windows, Linux, and OS X; its customization software will be released as free and open source software." We couldn't decide if this was a protest against Apple's new magic mouse, an elaborate practical joke, or just plain insanity run amok. In any case, it is hard to imagine a world in which so many tiny buttons on a mouse make sense.

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265 comments

Ahem (1)

orangeyouglad (1246256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009692)

Since when does insanity not involve running amok in some sense?

Re:Ahem (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30009774)

Well Apple just did away with even the 1 button they had on their mouse, so this offering appears to be the opposite end of the spectrum.

Wonder which will a success and which will fail?

Re:Ahem (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010198)

Actually, the Mighty Mouse has had right and left click (plus a scroll ball) for quite some time now.

The Magic Mouse added multitouch, not a second mouse button.

/Mikael

Re:Ahem (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010306)

I'm normally not an Apple fan, but the magic mouse actually seems like a good idea. If they lower the price a little, and someone creates some Linux drivers for it, I think I'd be interested. It seems like a very flexible design in theory.

Anybody tried one?

Re:Ahem (3, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009906)

Since when does insanity not involve running amok in some sense?

Some guesses:

An insane bicyclist
An insane paraplegic
An insane clown posse (they are all riding in one small car)
Catatonia

Now that the snark is done:

Running amok is characterized by rage. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off isn't the same as running amok.

The more you know... [wikipedia.org].

Re:Ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30009908)

It could be argued that Davros [wikipedia.org] was insane, and as far as we can tell never ran at all, let alone ran amok.

Reinventing the wheel (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009718)

Just put a mouse-roller on the damned keyboard instead.

Re:Reinventing the wheel (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009910)

That's pretty much what I have -- an integrated keyboard/trackball. Love it, never going back.
But the device in TFS sounds like a nightmare!

Re:Reinventing the wheel (0)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010070)

People have been designing "revolutionary" n-button mice (for n>3) since GUIs first hit the market in the 1980s. They were pretty much pointless* then, and they're useless still today.

*ironic pun intended

Re:Reinventing the wheel (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010104)

They're not useless - those stupid gadgety mice with a bazillion button ensures that the poor little 2 button and a wheel optical mice never cost more than $15. If simple mice were the norm I might be paying $75 for a decent one :).

Re:Reinventing the wheel (4, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010474)

True, but they're also hard to find if you want "just a basic" anything but USB mouse. For instance, it's very difficult to find an encrypted, bluetooth, full-sized, optical, wheel mouse without side-buttons.

Whoever thought side buttons are a good idea for a non-gaming mouse should be drug out into the street and pelted with rotten produce. Freakin' have to hold the mouse ever so gingerly if you don't want to accidentally flip web pages* or, if you're on a mac, something even more annoying.

*It's freakin' 2009. netbooks have 2GB of ram. Why the 'F does the page have to reload when I hit the back button, or two pages reload if I did so accidentally and hit the forward button immediately thereafter. Why aren't the fully rendered pages cached for several levels of back-ed-ness? (determined by some algorithm relating to the available RAM, to balance off use against the filesystem cache) If I need to reload, F5 is right there on the keyboard. My main use of tabs at the moment is because "back" is not implemented properly on any of the browsers I use.

It seems I have a lot of anger.

Re:Reinventing the wheel (2, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010174)

I have a mouse (Logitech MX Revolution) with the functional equivalent of 10 buttons.

You know, I though it was a pretty cool idea when I bought it, but I now must admit that I really only use 2 buttons.

Re:Reinventing the wheel (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010380)

QFT. My current mouse has two side-buttons which I never click on purpose. Particularly the one on the thumb side just ensures that I randomly move back in my page history when I grip it wrong.

Re:Reinventing the wheel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30010394)

I don't know about you, but I love my five button mouse. Having my thumb able to do forward/back (or whatever else I choose to map it to) is a productivity boost for me. I'd hardly call them useless.

Re:Reinventing the wheel (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010602)

Not entirely. Human interface devices are very stubborn with PCs. That's why gamers still play on devices specifically designed for easy typing.

Most "revolutionary" devices o offer improvements, but as applications don't support them they're seldom used and quickly fall into obscurity.

Re:Reinventing the wheel (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010364)

Or rather, an optical sensor. They're superior to track balls even before you take into account the bulk of the keyboard... trying to get that to roll smoothly would suck.

A modest proposal ... (5, Funny)

rrhal (88665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009738)

Perhaps we could just mount a mouse ball on the bottom of a key board. You just move the whole keyboard around when you want to scroll. The 105 button mouse.

Re:A modest proposal ... (5, Funny)

networkzombie (921324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009810)

Why stop there? Mount a small LCD to it, throw in a small HDD, and call it a mouseputer. If you attach a chair to it it would be a SOMO (Small Office/Mouse Office).

Re:A modest proposal ... (4, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009892)

Home Office/Mouse Office

Re:A modest proposal ... (5, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010030)

That's nothing. I keep my mouse stationary, and rotate Earth to scroll.

Re:A modest proposal ... (0, Offtopic)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010094)

mark this post (the one you're reading right now) off-topic, I need to reply to undo an accidental moderation I made.

Re:A modest proposal ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30010300)

You can always just go to the dropdown and select "Normal" again, and hit submit.

Re:A modest proposal ... (5, Funny)

zapakh (1256518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010168)

That's nothing. I keep my mouse stationary, and rotate Earth to scroll.

You rotate Earth to scroll? I have a teamouse. It scrolls by Brownian motion and then I simply destroy the Universe when the cursor moves in a way I didn

Re:A modest proposal ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30010282)

Don't forget a fridge for the Mt Dew or beer.

Re:A modest proposal ... (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010450)

Why stop there? Mount a small LCD to it, throw in a small HDD, and call it a mouseputer.

Keep going. Replace the keyboard with a touchscreen, put a mic and speaker in it, and wifi/3G networking. Then put the CPU in it and let it run independent of a computer.

Nah... never mind. That sounds retarded.

Re:A modest proposal ... (2, Funny)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009896)

What about scroll-wheel? My keyboard doesn't have one.. Even this bland featureless mouse oly has ONE? Even the old Microsoft Explorer had atleast two. I am not buying it until it has more scrollwheels!

Re:A modest proposal ... (1)

Tibia1 (1615959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010134)

Let's just get it over with. A clickable scroll wheel on every button on the keyboard, each with 6 additional micro buttons.

Re:A modest proposal ... (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010222)

This could actually be a decent workout if you built some kind of variable resistance mechanism into the roller.

Re:A modest proposal ... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010402)

I've heard of a video editing keyboard that was a lot like that. I didn't see it for myself, I was told of this from a person that made a living selling high end computers for video editing. He could have been kidding, but it seemed plausible to me.

Oh yeah? (5, Insightful)

avg_joe_01 (756831) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009744)

Clearly you don't PvP...

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010436)

Agreed, summary is speaking of ignorance. I have a 8 button mouse (only 5 work in a game/are comfortable), and I still wish I had more buttons on it.

Additional info for fps layout:
1st button for primary fire
2nd for secondary fire
3rd for "help" in game command (yelling for medic, etc.)
4rd for favorite weapon autoswitch
5th for voice chat (I hate voice activation for myself and when others have it on)

There are still many other actions I could use: flashlight, "use" key, jump/crouch, other in game commands, spray logo, throw grenade, lean... that's just off the top of my head, and don't say a keyboard is easier, because it can be harder to do multiple things on a flat surfaced keyboard.

Re:Oh yeah? (2, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010532)

You seem to run out of fingers very fast with this sort of approach. But again, maybe I am old and can't learn to use that many buttons. I have a mouse with 5 buttons, and I only use 4 of them; 18 buttons on a mouse with X functions each is just a proof of concept, nothing more. "We can do it!"-style.

Wow (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30009792)

Almost makes me want to reopen my wow account,

Then i could bind them all to the same key and face roll my whole desk.

I was just thinking... (1)

AtomicDevice (926814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009800)

...hmmm, what could make my computer better? Eureka! 16 more buttons!

Seriously though, this might be nice for a game like wow, or torchlight, where people have lots of different pew pews to shoot

Re:I was just thinking... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010446)

Not only are there 18 buttons, but there is:
  • An analog Xbox 360-style joystick with optional 4, 8, and 16-key command modes
  • 512k of flash memory
  • Adjustable resolution from 400 to 1,600 CPI
  • 20 default profiles for popular games and applications, including Adobe Photoshop, the Gnu Image Manipulation Program, World of Warcraft, and the Call of Duty series.
  • Audio notification of profile switching with customizable wave files

God damnit (1, Insightful)

moogied (1175879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009802)

This is like the 300th time I've posted this.. STOP MAKING UP NEW INTERFACES. Mouse and keyboard? 30 some odd years now.. mouse and keyboard. Its not that confusing.

Re:God damnit (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010060)

Yeah! Pen and Pencil has worked for a long damned time...why did we go to this damned computer thing! Also, no more new modes of travel...we have had feet for a long time, there is no need for cars, or planes, or trains, or any of that other stuff that comes from advancing technology!

Re:God damnit (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010344)

I use the side buttons to switch tools in microstation. (CAD program)

It's extraordinarily convenient.

Re:God damnit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30010542)

Try using the keyboard instead like an Autocad guru. much more convenient. Well not quite like an autocad guru, since autocad has a command line, but there are lots of keyboard shortcuts in microstation.

Re:God damnit (5, Insightful)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010256)

Actually, it wasn't that long ago that the scroll wheel was added. I thought that was pretty cool. Also, the side buttons on my mouse are pretty useful while browsing the internet or gaming.

But if you're still attached to your same old mechanical ball-style mouse with only two buttons and no scroll wheel, I guess that's your prerogative.

I'd like to see Steve Jobs face (4, Funny)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009836)

when he lays eyes on one of these -- 18 buttons! Seriously, I don't know how I would work this mouse as it looks cramped and it would be like learning a new keyboard layout.

Well, it's a perfectly FOSSist-style! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30010334)

Look at GNU/Linux. How many knobs and CLI-options does it have?

OS/X (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30009850)

WTF is OS/X? Bastard child of OS/2 and Mac OS X?

I call Shenanigans (5, Funny)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009900)

The features of the OpenOfficeMouse include:

  • ...
  • Clickable scroll wheel
  • ...

It truly is the world of tomorrow... Today!

Re:I call Shenanigans (4, Insightful)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010152)

Also, if anyone wants to see what this monstrosity looks like now that the site is slashdotted, I got this in the coral cache: http://www.openofficemouse.com.nyud.net/branding/images/OOM-OSS.jpg [nyud.net]

Re:I call Shenanigans (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010276)

Oh no! They've put the WordPerfect 5.0 interface on a mouse!

Re:I call Shenanigans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30010636)

Don't say it like that. WP5.0 was a damn fine word processor, long before MS Works was out of diapers.

(And everyone knows keyboard shortcuts > mouse gestures any day of the week, and twice on Thursdays.)

The Mouse (0)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009928)

"Here is the deal. You touch any button on this mouse, and I will give you a dollar. But somewhere, someone you don't know will have their Windows server die."

click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click.....

Metaphors (5, Insightful)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009944)

This mouse is a good metaphor for Linux and OSS. Too many choices and very confusing interfaces. Good job guys!

Re:Metaphors (1)

amplt1337 (707922) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010036)

Finally, someone who got the joke!

Well, this is /. All the commenters above you probably didn't read the article, the summary, or even the commenters above *them*.

Re:Metaphors (1)

CyberK (1191465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010108)

Well, at the moment the article is slashdotted, so all we can do is speculate wildly based on the introduction. Which, if you think about it, is what we do best anyway.

Re:Metaphors (2, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010082)

Too many choices and very confusing interfaces. Good job guys!

Yeah, but it's so customizable! Sure, you might get overwhelmed by the clutter and the huge number of rarely-used settings, and yeah, maybe the result is confusing and a little bit ugly. But boy oh boy, it sure is flexible!

And I'm sure the minute they started removing some of those buttons to try to clean things up, there'd be nerds coming out of the woodwork to complain...

Re:Metaphors (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010458)

You remind me of all those people in school that would take my funny comment, dumb it down, say it louder and get all the laughs. It's clearly a joke.

What if, for a start... (3, Insightful)

fgaliegue (1137441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30009998)

the OpenOffice "effort" split into the (clumsy) user interface and (not that good) underlying render library? And make the whole thing available in a more free license?

Instead of coming up with such an ergonomical disaster [openofficemouse.com]?

While I resent using Microsoft Office because of its sheer cost (its business model being but a nail in the coffin), I have to admit that the look and feel of the Great Evil(tm) outweighs that of OpenOffice by (hundreds of) miles. Such a pointless effort from the OO staff just makes me wonder whether Sun (or is that Oracle?) just want to ditch OpenOffice altogether. Well, fine, but they could just ditch it by dropping support for it and changing its license so that a real, motivated community take it over and make something really useful out of it.

Re:doesn't seem so bad (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010180)

I can't open TFA, [Slashdotted?] but based on your link it doesn't seem so bad. Finger Memory works just as well on a mouse as a keyboard and once you learn buttons, I think it could be useful. Have a button to close program in 1 click, I suggest a alt+f4 style so you are still prompted to save if relevant. Lots of stuff I do daily I don't keep my other hand on the keyboard consistently. Copy, Paste, select all, would also be good all around fuctions. I"m sure if you use a certain apps you can think of more. skip to next song? so you don't have to tab to the mp3 player or stop clicking through web sites. Just because it hasn't been done successfully doesn't mean it can't be

Re:What if, for a start... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010508)

it's a joke, the only effort expended was to shoop a shitload of buttons and a logo onto a mouse.

Tablet pucks (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010018)

I used to use a 12"x12" digitizer tablet when working with AutoCAD back in the early 90s. The tablet overlay had a ton of controls to click, and the puck itself had 16 assignable buttons. It was incredibly useful to have all that functionality assigned and available right on the mouse while working with complex GUI-oriented programs.

Bring on the buttons.

Re:Tablet pucks (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010172)

Graphics systems used to have huge numbers of controls. Evans and Sutherland had a workstation with eight knobs, a trackball, a joystick, and a tablet. There's some justification for this in 3D CAD and animation programs - for example, it's really useful to be able to zoom while you're dragging, resizing, or drawing something. Mouse wheels were a big win in 3D work - at last, you could get that capability without nonstandard hardware. People who do character animation often have a knob or slider box on a MIDI port, driving the character's joints. Some shops make up a jointed model as an input device. In 3D work, you're trying to control so many interrelated adjustments that you need all the help you can get.

But for an office program, it's just silly.

OpenOffice does need UI help; it's hugely inferior to Microsoft's products in that area.

18 buttons? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30010040)

I'll buy one when they get ribbons on it.

Engadget handles Slashdotting much better... (3, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010062)

So here's a better link if you want to see this monstrosity [engadget.com]. The guy earlier in this discussion who was joking about putting a mouse wheel on a standard keyboard wasn't far off.

I'm sure if anyone actually buys this a lot of wrist surgeons will rejoice...

overkill (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010066)

It's too bad that hardware built today has little to no ability to just add or remove components as needed instead of designing a sepate piece of hardware for every possible combination. Imagine instead of buying a mouse with 18 buttons and tons of things you may or may not need; you could get a bare bones mouse that you could just clip on new components as you needed. As an analogy, it'd be like snapping lego blocks together to make different things yourself is better than having to buy a specific configuration of blocks that can not be modified. Want a 10 button mouse? get the components together and snap the pieces into place. Hate that trackball after all? swap it out for a laser tracking component instead. The possibilities are nearly endless. Of course, there's already something liek this just not for mice and such yet... Open hardware.

Time flies while in cryostasis. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30010128)

I leave my desk November 6th 2009, I come back and load up Slashdot and it's April 1st, 2010?

Oh, wait...

Fuck it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30010176)

We're doing 19 buttons

Re:Fuck it (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010216)

Which is one higher then 18.
Thing is starting to look like a keyboard and mouse had sex.
Seriously I don't think I can go on living without one.

"Double click" functionality (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010230)

"has double-click functionality on every button"

Oh yeah? Well, I can click MY mouse buttons three times fast, so there. My buddy has a mouse that allows him to click four times quickly.

I'd use one (1)

Judinous (1093945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010238)

Although this is most likely a joke product, I would definitely go for something like this for gaming. MMOs in particular require an absolutely insane number of buttons to control your character proficiently. Changing the movement keys to TFGH, binding every other key within reach, and using an 8-button mouse still falls short most of the time.

Mouse is passe!! Here comes Hedgehog !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30010278)

As every invetion computer mouse will finally give ground to better and more sophisticated device...

The device is the very first, but relatively simple hedgehog device. 18 initial spines/buttons will soon be replaced
by 5000-7000 spines in mature designes (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_spines_does_hedgehog_have).

Digitizer (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010284)

I had a Calcomp Digitizer tablet with 14 or so programmable buttons.... back in 1995.

That being said, I'll probably buy this to go along with my Nostromo n52.

Which is more scary? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010298)

Which of these is more scary?

  1. OOo has its own convention.
  2. Someone thinks OOo is popular enough to need its own mouse.

I mean, to my knowledge, even MSOffice isn't popular enough to have its own conference or its own mouse! Every mouse I've seen with more than the standard number of buttons either has them mapped to web browser actions or to game functions.

Really? (1)

sensei moreh (868829) | more than 4 years ago | (#30010540)

THA says,

Developed by WarMouse in partnership with the OpenOffice.org community,...

. I'm part of that community, as I'm sure many of us here on Slashdot are, and that monstrosity was certainly not developed in partnership with me.

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