How to improve the mouse speed on Mac OS X

Ok, I've been annoyed by this since the very first day I've been using my Mac Mini: the mouse feels weird, very weird. Broken actually!

Part of my problem was the Bluetooth operating range, which I could only fix by moving the mac nearer to where I usually use my mouse in my living room.

However, the core problem is still the acceleration curve. When you move the mouse on OSX, it first moves verrrry slowly, so you move it faster and when you reach a certain speed the mouse suddenly accelerates like crazy.

This is not controllable through the "tracking speed" slider in the control panel. The tracking speed is only the fastest the mouse will go. (And you can actually make it go even faster!) But my problem is not with how fast it would eventually get. My problem is with how freaking slow it initially starts (even at max traking speed).


Apple's been stubbornly unresponsive to this problem, as they always are, especially when the mouse is at stake (took them 10 years to aknowlege the need for a right button... good luck with acceleration!)

Fortunately, since the last time I checked (errr... 2005 :roll:), third party fixes now work well on intel Macs.

Check these out:

  • USB Overdrive (no bluetooth support, but you can try it as long as you need)
  • SteerMouse (15 days trial only but it can handle the bluetooth Mighty mouse)

Since I'm trying to do some desk work right now and have a wired mouse, I'm currently and happily using USB Overdrive with these settings:

  • Speed: 120 dpi (feels like Windows fast ;))
  • Acceleration: 50% (no longer feels like sticking to the mouse pad ;))

I'll try SteerMouse when I go back to "Media Player" configuration...

How to open Windows Explorer with the Folders shown

Dammit, I had this at the time I was using Windows 2000 and I don't understand how I beared living without it ever since. My life just got better, again ;)

Here's what you need if you want a shortcut to open the Explorer on a given folder (for example: D:\www\), with the Folders pane open (which standard shortcuts don't open):

C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe /e,D:\www\

Motto of the day

"We're all dealt a different hand in life. All you can do is play the cards you're dealt."
- B. Knoblach

Sicko - about France

Sicko - about France

Yesterday I saw Michael Moore's Sicko movie.

First off, let me say that it's absolutely terrifying when you see the stories of all those people literally ripped off by their health insurance company! Boy I was worried about that stuff before (when considering to move to the US), now I consider it as the #1 pitfall if I ever actually want to relocate over there.

Anyway, as always with Michael Moore, the reality is twisted to make it more... tasty? For example when he comes to France and shows how a "middle class family" lives... he doesn't actually show a middle class family.

He asks them how much they make and they say 8000 € a month. Well... the average salary in France is around $1500 a month. Now a family where both parent work will make an average on 3000 €/month. More than 2.5 times less than what Moore depicts as a "middle class" home.

On the other hand, the rest of the story about how the government takes care of our health is basically accurate... with a lot of details overly simplified...

Again, he states we pay a lot of taxes (I won't deny :P) but doesn't mention that those taxes aren't actually enough to cover for the costs. The healthcare system here is growing a humongous debt year after year. For some reason, it doesn't seem to implode though...

So how much can you actually trust the guy on accuracy?

Now I wish someone from the US would deny it all and tell me that if you cut your fingers off, you'll get them fixed, no matter what. And that if you get cancer, you'll get treatment without having to put a mortgage on your house... if you have one. That kind of crap would never happen in France. (I mean, it hasn't happened yet...)

The good thing: it helps me see the good side of France :> ('coz I could bitch about France for hours...)

iPod touch: what's missing!

So that new iPod touch that Apple presented today is pretty nifty, isn't it? And Steve's keynote was pretty entertaining too.

Yeah well... there's quite a few missing features (no it's not the Beatles) that itch me... even before I lay down the $399 I will no doubt end up spending on this (nonetheless) beautiful peace of art. And Especially:

Podcasts: yes, so it has WiFi and a browser and an online music store... but what about podcasts? You subscribe to podcast in order to get new episodes when they become available. The least I'd expect from a WiFi enabled portable podcast player is to actually get the episodes of the podcasts I'm subscribed too. Not a single word about that...

...well maybe it is actually there. Maybe Steve just didn't mention it because they haven't found a way to gently rip you off with it, as they're getting ready to do with their iPhone ringtone business! Think about it: you already bought a full length song (at a fairly high price). Now Apple lets you clip out 10 seconds of that song to use as a ring tone. All you have to do is pay another $.99 for those 10 seconds you already have on your iPone! Why exactly did people applause to that?

Email: can you name one single good reason why this thing doesn't include a POP3/IMAP mail client? Does Apple's partnership with Google go so far they're going to encourage us to use Gmail instead?

And by the way, if Google rules, where's the Google maps application?

Edit: The new $20 iPod Touch upgrade finally addresses that!

Games: Steve proudly showed off the games on the new iPod nano. What about the iPod touch? Can I play all the games I purchased for my iPod "classic" on my soon to be iPod touch? Odds look pretty bad...

PDA features: This device now clearly has the capabilities of a top of the line PDA. It just lacks some software to do it right. Todo lists, anyone? Can you at least edit your calendar and contacts on the go? You couldn't do it with the previous iPods and Steve didn't mention it. It would be odd not to be able to do it, but then again, the software on this one is so trimmed down compared to the iPhone that I'm a little scared...

Edit: you can now edit calendar and contents in version 1.1.2.

Now of course, what I should really do is get an iPhone... Especially at the new $399 price! Yeah... if only they were available in Europe... (fingers crossed for Apple Expo Paris this September).

Camera: Actually, now the iPhone is just $100 more than the iPod, does it really make sense not to have a camera built into the high-end iPod? ... well, that would make it a killer blogger tool for sure. And again, the iPhone is *not* available everywhere, not even in certain regions of the US where there is no AT&T coverage...