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Amiga Forever and the Mighty Mouse on Windows



Q: Can I use Apple's Mighty Mouse in Amiga Forever on Windows?



A: Yes. There are, however, some limitations inherent to the design of the mouse, which is neither a true two-button mouse, nor is it completely accurate in determining whether the left or the right "button" is pressed.

1.5 Buttons

The Amiga is one of the few computers that was not only born with a mouse, but it had its operating system and applications constantly focused on making best use of two-button mice (the Amiga never had a one-button mouse, and three-button mice were rare). As a result of this, the Amiga and its software have more than 20 years of experience with two-button mice. Obviously, passionate Amiga users like the Amiga Forever Team could not resist the temptation to closely watch Apple's first steps in the two-button world.

Some of the very creative and intuitive uses that the Amiga and its applications made of its original two-button mouse, e.g. the simultaneous or combined use of both buttons (e.g. to select multiple menu items) are not supported by the "Mighty Mouse". A two-button mouse normally allows for a full two-button dimension of use, but it appears as if this mouse might have been designed with a more limited single-button dimension of applications in mind.

The device uses a single mechanical click trigger, combined with a sensor to interpret the left or right click intention of the user. Because the left and right click actions cannot be combined (you can click only once, then the whole mouse must be released) the device is, in practice, a hybrid between a one-button mouse and a two-button mouse. Also, the left vs. right detection did not always work correctly in our tests, and sometimes the result was that a right click was incorrectly processed as a left click, apparently based on how the hand and fingers were placed on the mouse.

Mighty Mouse Meets Amiga

Within the above-described limits, left and right button events are processed correctly by the Amiga operating system and applications. Squeezing the side pressure sensor results in a single side button event (e.g. Back action on folder or web browser). In the Workbench 3.X environment of Amiga Forever 2005 all of this is preconfigured and supported (e.g. buttons and wheel when displaying Workbench content, in AWeb, etc.)

The limitations within the Amiga environment, which are not specific to the Amiga emulation or operating system or to the Amiga Forever configuration, but which are intrinsic to the mouse, are:

  • Either the left or the right button can be clicked (e.g. Amiga Workbench select, Intuition menus), but not both at the same time (e.g. page drag action in Personal Write, or Magnify mode centering in Personal Paint)

  • It is not possible to press one button, and then the other button while the first one is still held down (e.g. standard Amiga menu multi-select, or to cancel the current selection, equivalent to pressing Escape with some applications)

  • The side sensors can be squeezed, resulting in a single type of action (e.g. Back), but there is no separate action for left and right side button

Installation on Windows

When connected to a Windows system, the Mighty Mouse is automatically recognized and supported as a regular wheel mouse. If this is not the case, verify whether the PS/2-compatible mouse driver is still being used, and remove that if necessary. The Mighty Mouse should use the standard HID USB mouse driver. Once the mouse is recognized by Windows, the Amiga emulation, the Amiga operating system, and the mouse-specific add-ons in Amiga Forever will automatically use the available features.

Mighty Mouse Speaks Amiga Contest

The Amiga Forever Team promises to offer a full copy of Amiga Forever 2005 Premium Edition (consisting of one CD and two DVD-9s) to the first developer who can convince the Mighty Mouse to say "This is Amiga speaking" through its built-in speaker. Mighty Hacker please contact us. (Void where against the law.)


Article Information
Article ID: 15-117
Platform: All
Products: Amiga Forever
Additional Keywords: rodent
Last Update: 2008-10-25
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