Yesterday saw the announcement of, and incredulous reaction to, the OpenOffice.org mouse, specifically designed for users of that app.
Many people doubt it’s real, especially as the images of it are renderings, but along with the protestations on the blog, there is other circumstantial proof that, even if it doesn’t end up as a shipping product, there seems to be an actual prototype.
The press release talks about a launch at the OpenOffice conference. There was indeed a session about the mouse, and if you suspect that even the conference was faked, there are (a very few) pictures. Then there’s the discussion of the mouse on the OpenOffice.org mailing lists. Perhaps this is enough to convince the true sceptic, but for me, it’s enough: someone really wants to ship this.
The product itself leaves me with something of a sense of awe, even if most of that is at how misguided the project feels. This is a mouse so complex you can export the configuration as a PDF, that allows you to trigger 70-odd actions at once, and which allows you to set the DPI sampling level. Really, it’s so much the opposite of the Mac mouse philosophy¹ that it’s difficult to truly wrap my head around it. I can see why other people can’t believe it either.
¹ Full disclosure: my favourite mouse ever was the classic ADB Mouse II, the single-button teardrop design that shipped as standard with Macs throughout most of the 1990s.