Over some time in the computer industry
, I have noticed a trend
dealing with the percieved complexity of any given computer system
This theory, which I call the 'Mouse Button Evolutionary Theory', is this:
Any computer system's complexity will be percieved to increase in direct proportion to the number of buttons on its mouse
To illustrate this example, here are some scenarios:
- 0-1 Mouse buttons: Here we are in Macintosh territory. Where older Macs used to have at least one button, the current versions
ZERO!. As such, Macs are percieved to be the simplest machines to use.
- 2 Mouse buttons: Standard PC. While these are currently considered 'Easy enough' to use, it is commonly thought that these
are most certainly "Much harder to use than my mac at home". Microsoft Windows requires two mouse buttons.
- 3 Mouse buttons: Again, standard PC. However, one must note that the third, or middle mouse button is essentially unusable under
Windows. 3 mouse buttons is the ideal number for PC's running X Windows (also note that 3 buttons can be emulated in X). Sun Workstations
also have 3-buttonned mice. People who use 3-buttonned mice find themselves fixing other peoples computer problems more
often than 2-buttonners.
- Mice with 4 or more buttons:This is a ploy by the mice companies to attempt to give the user a feeling of power. Usually
only truly useful in gaming, or for the uber-lazy; polybuttoned mice are the equivalent of driving a lowered, nitrous fueled Honda Civic.
- Space Balls / CAD Mice: These are specialized mice, used with CAD programs such as CATIA. Without fail, anyone seen actually
using one of thise correctly will immediately become a desirable mate for any nearby geek, male or female.
In order to further prove this hypothesis, I will continue on my personal quest of adding superfluous mice buttons to unsuspecting
user's mice while they are away from their desk.
To date, this has caused certain confusion on the part of the user, and they appear to be intimidated by the addition of new mice
buttons to their pointing device.
Additionally, I have found that removing mice buttons from user's mice has generally caused feelings of anger, anxiety, and