Mighty Mouse

Apple's marketing is so powerful... I first saw the Mighty Mouse yesterday and I went out and bought one today. Yeah, call me a Mac Fanboy, a lemming, or a card carrying member of the Apple Cult. But I have an excuse!

See, here's the deal. I've wanted a 3 button scrolling mouse for my Mac for 2 years. I bought a Kensington Studio Mouse about a year and a half ago, but it really sucked. It's little scroll area didn't work well for me and it just didn't look as cool as the rest of my Mac. In fact, the last part is the problem. None of the other mice that have been out looked as cool as my Mac. So, I stuck with the Apple Pro Mouse that came with my iMac.

But, seeing the Mighty Mouse made me realize I had to have one. It's just so cool. It's sleek. It's white. It matches my Mac. Plus, it gives me buttons.

After I got the mouse, it took no time to install. I unplugged the Pro from my keyboard and stuck in the Mighty. Boom. Working. Then I installed the Mighty Mouse software so I could program the buttons. This required a restart, but it's forgivable. Mouse drivers are a bit low level and you can't just restart the window manager (Aqua) on the Mac.

Once the Mighty Mouse software was installed, things got even better. By default the two top buttons are the primary click (as if you didn't have a left and a right), the middle is Dashboard, and the sides are Expose. I reprogrammed the top buttons to be left and right and left the others as is to see if I liked them. Two hours later, and I think I'm going to keep the middle and sides programmed to Dashboard and Expose.

I have to say, I've really been missing out by having a single button mouse on the Mac. Just having the ability to scroll makes it feel like you can do things faster. The cool thing is that I can scroll vertically AND horizontally. Love it.

Bottom line: This mouse ROARS!*

* Obscure reference to The Mouse That Roared. I played Professor Kokintz in the play in 7th grade. I've never seen the film, but it seems like a must-see Peter Sellers performance.


Lisp programming and RSI

There's an interesting thread on comp.lang.lisp about Repetitive Strain Injury and Lisp. It's not the RSI or Lisp's relationship to it that is interesting. People are posting lots of links and information about alternate keyboards and keyboard mappings. If you're like me and interested in that kind of thing, check it out.


Stuck in Windows? So am I. It's pretty boring. However, I just found a cool application that might make your life a little more entertaining. Check out SphereXP! It's a 3D window manager that runs on top of Windows XP. It's very cool, and it only takes a few minutes to get the hang of it.

I can't say much about it's stability or it's quirks because I've only been using it for 30 minutes. However, it sure makes switching from Visio to my browser entertaining! :-)

What's Happening

The last coding project I was on using Spring and some other cool technologies ended abruptly about a month ago. The project was cut due to funding (rather the client didn't secure it before starting). So, I've moved on to another project.

I'm currently working on a business process project. A "business process project" is where you go in to a business, map out their current process, and then make some recommendations for how they can improve. This is usually something that business analysts and Industrial Engineers are particularly suited for. I happen to be the latter.

I haven't really practiced Industrial Engineering in the last 10 years or so, but this is my third process project in the last year. I think the reason is that I just happened to be familiar with the client and I know my way around manufacturing.

I really prefer writing software. In fact, that's why I switched careers 10 years ago. When I was an engineer, I would go home at night and tinker with my computer. I would install Slackware on some old machines or perhaps sit down and hack out some VX*REXX toys. In other words, I engineered by day and hacked by night.

It's comin' back around again!
This is for the people of the sun!
It's comin' back around again! Uh!

-- "People of the Sun" by Rage Against The Machine

I'm back in that mode. I go do my flowcharts by day, but by night I'm tinkering with CLOS. I use my Dell Latitude D800 by day, but by night I'm a Mac hacker. I'm back to living a double life.

So, I'll continue to lead my double life until October when my current project wraps up. After that, hopefully it will be back to software and one life to live.