Forwarding Address: OS X

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I bounce back and forth between those two candy-coloured operating systems, OS X and Windows XP, every day with the greatest of ease except for one serious annoyance: the difference in mouse acceleration. It was bad enough in the days of mice with balls, and now that my mice are all optical castrati, it's even more maddening.

Thankfully, my accordion-playing hobby exposes me to a lot of Mac-using raver kids (really). These pups -- some of whom have never known a world without the Macintosh -- are complete speed addicts (in many senses of the phrase, no less) and also find the Mac's maximum mouse speed a tad too languid for their liking. I don't know how it came up in conversation, but one of them pointed me to MouseZoom, an extra control pane that can be added to your Preferences window.

The interface is raver-attention-span-friendly: it has just a single slider that lets you adjust the mouse speed on a continuous scale of 0 through 10. As you move the slider, a comment appears above it, giving you raver-friendly descriptions of the mouse speed: "Ok fast", "Nice and fast", "Uber fast!", "Ridiculously fast!" and "OS X crazy fast!!!" to name a few. The application tells you that standard maximum mouse speed is a pokey 1.7; I'm rather happy with mine set to a nice 3.2112674, the perfect speed for Python or PHP coding with some trippin' breakbeats in the background. Since it's just a preference pane, installation is simple: just put it in your /Library/PreferencePanes directory.

Thanks to Ben Hines for writing MouseZoom, and to the raver kid who told me about it: PLUR!