OpenOfficeMouse: more options for the keyboard-impaired

By Sterling “Chip” Camden
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Holy rodents on steroids, Batman!  A mouse with 18 buttons?  How could you possibly know which one you’re pressing without looking at it?  Someone will have to invent home-row mousing!

Warmouse announced the OpenOfficeMouse yesterday (November 6), a mouse specifically designed for use in conjunction with OpenOffice, but also handy for any mouse-centric applications like AutoDesk AutoCAD, the GIMP, or World of Warcraft.  This mouse comes pre-loaded with profiles for the OpenOffice applications based on 662 million datapoints of usage tracking data from OpenOffice 3.1.

Just reading through the features makes me dizzy:

  • 18 programmable mouse buttons with double-click functionality

For a total of 36 different single-key operations, I presume.  Sounds more like a keyboard to me.

  • Three different button modes: Key, Keypress, and Macro

I guess that means sending a “key down”, a “key down/up” sequence, or a series of mouse operations, but I’m not clear on that.

  • Analog Xbox 360-style joystick with optional 4, 8, and 16-key command modes

In case the mouse wasn’t enough, it has a joystick, too!

  • Clickable scroll wheel

Uh, I would have been a little surprised if they’d left that out.

  • 512k of flash memory

What about those folks who’ll need 640K?

  • 63 on-mouse application profiles with hardware, software, and autoswitching capability

Never mind trying to remember 18 buttons – try remembering 63 different profiles for what they do!

  • 1024-character macro support.

Send a KB at the click of a button.

  • Open source support software for creating, managing, and customizing application profiles

This is starting to sound even more complicated.  At least it’s open source.

  • Import and export of custom profiles in XML format

So you can have the same profiles in each of your eighteen mice?

  • Optional audio notification of profile switching with customizable wave files

“Now assuming identity SpreadsheetÜbermaus.”

  • PDF export of profile button assignments

PDF?  Really?  I guess that’s so you can print it out to paste on the wall so you can remember how to save so much time with all these button assignments.

  • Adjustable resolution from 400 to 1,600 CPI

For when you need your mouse to be able to detect your heartbeat through your fingertips.

  • Default profiles for Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, and Draw based on actual usage statistics compiled for OpenOffice.org 3.1
  • 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.

This isn’t a mouse, it’s the Rat King.

Okay, I know I’m biased.  I’m not a big fan of mice in general – I find the keyboard to be a much more precise and expressive device for all but the most graphically-oriented tasks.  What say you, readers of the GUI persuasion?  Would you rush out and buy this mouse?  At least it isn’t terribly expensive – retail $74.99 USD.

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14 Responses to OpenOfficeMouse: more options for the keyboard-impaired

  1. If only this mouse was made by Logitech with a gaming inspired approach, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

  2. That’s way too many mouse buttons for me. I used to have a mouse that had two additional buttons on the side that I programmed to be for copy and paste, and that was just enough extra buttons for me. But 18 buttons? It would just feel too weird under my hand, personally. But for those who multi-task enough with OpenOffice I guess it’s worth it.

  3. If only this mouse was made by Logitech with a gaming inspired approach, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

  4. That's way too many mouse buttons for me. I used to have a mouse that had two additional buttons on the side that I programmed to be for copy and paste, and that was just enough extra buttons for me. But 18 buttons? It would just feel too weird under my hand, personally. But for those who multi-task enough with OpenOffice I guess it's worth it.

  5. This’d be awesome for Photoshop/video editing.

    You could have each button be a single tool, totally saves time clicking back and forth on the panel thing or using the keyboard for switching.

    Apart from that, though? Fuck it.

  6. This'd be awesome for Photoshop/video editing.

    You could have each button be a single tool, totally saves time clicking back and forth on the panel thing or using the keyboard for switching.

    Apart from that, though? Fuck it.

  7. As a StumpWM, Emacs, Conkeror and CLI user, I know about avoiding the mouse.
    Right now I have a touchpad attached to the middle of my Kinesis Contour Classic for stubbourn websites and programs, and a mouse around here somewhere for playing DooM.

    However, when I saw this mouse I immediately thought “wow, that’d be really useful for games” then, as I thought more about it, realised it just might be the first mouse that’s just as useful as the keyboard for a great number of tasks.
    They mention the most obvious of them on their site, CAD, GIMP, though they left out Inkscape, which should be remedied.
    But in applications that are already scriptable, this is amazingly powerful.
    I use Wanderlust/Emacs as my mail reader, and if I’m in one window copying a segment of text for something, and decide to reply to an email I got earlier and use the keyboard exclusively it goes something like C-x o C-x o C-x o C-p C-p C-p a
    But if I assigned a button to click (select the window and set the cursor position) then `a’ it’s that quick.
    Does it take time to reach for the mouse, but a typo and I’m going ‘FUCK I _know_ it’s read-only’ or possibly something even more annoying. Imagine working with proced or dired in that same way. I’ve found dired pretty annoying in the past, but this might remedy it a bit. Still probably do more in the shell, but yeah.

    In Conkeror I could copy an image, DOM node, run a shell command on a url, and it would be simple as two clicks. Hinting is great, and works fine for many sites, but my youtube channel has about 500 DOM nodes, and there are any number of sites that are about 200 links whose text is all ‘Download’ or ‘Read More’.

    Audacity, Rosegarden, Ardour, kdenlive… not too much fun to use with just the keyboard, nor just the mouse, and combining them isn’t much better(especially since I can’t think of a single program that will assume you’re using a Kinesis).

    The mouse is a bad tool for most jobs I do, even this one, but most mice are bad tools for what I _have_ to use them for right now. This would be a _good_ tool for said tasks.
    Remember 18 buttons? I use Emacs. I can remember the keys on the keyboard, and god knows how many combinations thereof. 52 actions is nothing.
    63 profiles? Feh, those are automatically loaded when using the application. Emacs modes? No big deal, there.
    Joystick will be a better tool for rough scrolling than the stupid wheel.

  8. As a StumpWM, Emacs, Conkeror and CLI user, I know about avoiding the mouse.

    Right now I have a touchpad attached to the middle of my Kinesis Contour Classic for stubbourn websites and programs, and a mouse around here somewhere for playing DooM.

    However, when I saw this mouse I immediately thought "wow, that'd be really useful for games" then, as I thought more about it, realised it just might be the first mouse that's just as useful as the keyboard for a great number of tasks.

    They mention the most obvious of them on their site, CAD, GIMP, though they left out Inkscape, which should be remedied.

    But in applications that are already scriptable, this is amazingly powerful.

    I use Wanderlust/Emacs as my mail reader, and if I'm in one window copying a segment of text for something, and decide to reply to an email I got earlier and use the keyboard exclusively it goes something like C-x o C-x o C-x o C-p C-p C-p a

    But if I assigned a button to click (select the window and set the cursor position) then `a' it's that quick.

    Does it take time to reach for the mouse, but a typo and I'm going 'FUCK I _know_ it's read-only' or possibly something even more annoying. Imagine working with proced or dired in that same way. I've found dired pretty annoying in the past, but this might remedy it a bit. Still probably do more in the shell, but yeah.

    In Conkeror I could copy an image, DOM node, run a shell command on a url, and it would be simple as two clicks. Hinting is great, and works fine for many sites, but my youtube channel has about 500 DOM nodes, and there are any number of sites that are about 200 links whose text is all 'Download' or 'Read More'.

    Audacity, Rosegarden, Ardour, kdenlive… not too much fun to use with just the keyboard, nor just the mouse, and combining them isn't much better(especially since I can't think of a single program that will assume you're using a Kinesis).

    The mouse is a bad tool for most jobs I do, even this one, but most mice are bad tools for what I _have_ to use them for right now. This would be a _good_ tool for said tasks.

    Remember 18 buttons? I use Emacs. I can remember the keys on the keyboard, and god knows how many combinations thereof. 52 actions is nothing.

    63 profiles? Feh, those are automatically loaded when using the application. Emacs modes? No big deal, there.

    Joystick will be a better tool for rough scrolling than the stupid wheel.