Technology has come a long way



  • I'm normally a supporter of Microsoft. But this is just... silly.

     Not the mouse or the form factor (Haven't tried it, can't judge it fairly). This part:

    1 AA alkaline battery required (included).




                            <div class="detail">
                              <p>Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center 2.0</p>
                            </div>
                          </div>
                          <div class="requirement">
                            
                            <div class="detail">
                              <p>Computer enabled with Bluetooth®</p><b>
                            </b></div><b>
                          </b></div><b>
                          </b><div class="requirement">
                            
                            <div class="detail">
                              <p><b>Broadband required. Added charges may apply.</b></p>
                            </div>
                          </div><b>
                          
                            </b><p><b><sup> </sup>You must accept License Terms for software download</b></p>
                            <p><sup> </sup>
    						To add 4-way scrolling, download <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/downloads/mouse-keyboard-center" mce_href="http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/downloads/mouse-keyboard-center">Mouse and Keyboard Center</a> software.</blockquote>It's a damn mouse. Why do I need an internet connection, and why do I need to accept terms and conditions?<br></p><p>&nbsp;</p>


  •  I didn't see this before, but the software to run it is 150mb. It doesn't say wheather this is the "Mouse and Keyboard Center" software or not, but for Mac it's only 30mb (Which is still WTF-ish.)

    Microsoft, the home of the cheap $10 mouse that works fine...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Adanine said:

    It's a damn mouse. Why do I need an internet connection

    Not a new concept.



  • @Adanine said:

     I didn't see this before, but the software to run it is 150mb. It doesn't say wheather this is the "Mouse and Keyboard Center" software or not, but for Mac it's only 30mb (Which is still WTF-ish.)

    Microsoft, the home of the cheap $10 mouse that works fine...

    Wow... how much code do you need to fill 150MB? And just for a mouse?

    About the T&C maybe they don't want to be liable about someone getting hurt when your frustration over Win8 makes you throw your mouse in rage.



  • I haven't used it, but I can't say the shape makes me want to go out and try one … it looks uncomfortable to work with for any length of time.

    Oh, minor bonus WTF: look at the bottom right of the Overview tab: Windows 8, Windows 7, OS X, Android and Bluetooth logos. Now go to the Support tab and select the operating system you want to use it with.



  • Let's not forget, the people who are making you install extra software because some features are not supported by the operating system are the same people who make the operating system in the first place.



  • @ubersoldat said:

    Wow... how much code do you need to fill 150MB?

    Well, I'd say a million lines isn't enough. So that's a very detailed mouse driver. I'm going to invest in RAM manufacturers.



  • @spamcourt said:

    Let's not forget, the people who are making you install extra software because some features are not supported by the operating system are the same people who make the operating system in the first place.
     

    Somehow I doubt the Windows team developed the mouse software. Hell, I bet most of the Windows team haven't even heard of the mouse in question.

    This is always the problem with companies as large as Microsoft - the various sections always fail to communicate with each other properly.



  • Technology sure has come a long way. And then it's just kept right on going, straight over the fucking edge.

    Every now and then, Microsoft lucks onto something good. Then a little later they succumb to a pathetic kind of internal fashion-victim cringe and just throw it all away. I think they first did it with the Windows 95 UI design, though you'll get any amount of argument about that.

    It is universally agreed among people who know their hardware, though, that the original Microsoft X800989-128 basic optical mouse - the grey and white one pictured in error here in place of the P58-00001 that superseded it - was the One True Mouse, and should have been left on the market indefinitely instead of being phased out in favour of Apple-wannabe shitcakes like these.

    The only way to improve on the OTM would have been to make the tracking optics less likely to lose their shit on regularly patterned surfaces like cloth mouse pads or fake woodgrain desktops or four-color gravure magazine photos. If their new blue LED tracker is as good as they say, they should release it in an X800989 shell. I'd buy a hundred of the fuckers.



  • @spamcourt said:

    Let's not forget, the people who are making you install extra software because some features are not supported by the operating system are the same people who make the operating system in the first place.


    Uh.. When the operating system includes by default software that is only useful with a certain piece of hardware, and otherwise would just make the OS bigger for everyone else, we call that bloat.

    In this case, I suspect that most of the bytes involved are not .exes and .dlls, but videos and graphics for the documentation.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @flabdablet said:

    It is universally agreed among people who know their hardware, though, that the original Microsoft X800989-128 basic optical mouse - the grey and white one pictured in error here in place of the P58-00001 that superseded it - was the One True Mouse, and should have been left on the market indefinitely instead of being phased out in favour of Apple-wannabe shitcakes like these.

    I have the black version of the X800989. It is worn to a shiny finish, the rubber pads and stickers on the bottom are long gone, and the plastic on the bottom of the mouse is worn smooth and has a hole where it actually wore all the way through. I love it. I will use it until it no longer functions.

     It still works perfectly. I also ninja-swapped the Logitech POS I had at work for the boss' Microsoft mouse. I don't think he noticed - the heathen.



  • @spamcourt said:

    Let's not forget, the company who are making you
    install extra software because some features are not supported by the
    operating system are the same company who make the operating system in
    the first place.

    @RaceProUK said:

    Somehow I doubt the Windows team developed the mouse software.
     

    That.

    But I'll go with MS for this one - it doesn't make sense trying to overfill your OS with drivers for every possible bit of H/W out there so that everything is natively supported. Their "search for a driver online" process means that drivers available after the OS release date can still be supported.

    But 150MB of S/W to support features of a mouse....? Really gotta ask how much of that is necessary.

     



  • @Cassidy said:

    150MB of S/W to support features of a mouse....? Really gotta ask how much of that is necessary.

    Technology has come a long way. That mouse runs a full installation of Windows 8 RT internally. Lift it up a tiny bit and you will see a small, blurry image of the Metro start screen projected onto your mouse pad.



  •  All wrong. That MS mouse is way too light. The one true mouse is quite obviously this logitech one.



  • @Cassidy said:

    But I'll go with MS for this one - it doesn't make sense trying to overfill your OS with drivers for every possible bit of H/W out there so that everything is natively supported. Their "search for a driver online" process means that drivers available after the OS release date can still be supported.

    I'm going to bring Linux into this a minute, but not to start a flamewar . . .

    I plug a new USB drive into my laptop running Ubuntu and it "just works"; Windows says it is installing drivers.  I plug a USB mouse into my laptop and it "just works".  I plug a serial-to-USB dongle into my desktop running Windows 7 and it needs to install a driver, but plugging it into my laptop it "just works".

    I've not done any serial programming in a looooooong time . . . last time I looked at serial hardware programming was back in the late 80's/early 90's when I was running a BBS.  For those people who do have experience with USB programming, my observation is that there is a core set of functions/base protocol for communicating with all of these devices --  or each device type has a base protocol that is relatively easy to implement and use between different devices.  So what is Windows doing that requires additional drivers, presumably just to be able to provide base functionality for a device?



  • @nonpartisan said:

    I plug a new USB drive into my laptop running Ubuntu and it "just works"; Windows says it is installing drivers.  I plug a USB mouse into my laptop and it "just works".  I plug a serial-to-USB dongle into my desktop running Windows 7 and it needs to install a driver, but plugging it into my laptop it "just works".
     

    Under Linux, "just works" means it will translate your physical input into OS-recognised data.

    Under Windows[1], "installing drivers" also includes several vendor-created addon packages that are:

    • intended to provide enhanced settings
    • possibly not critical to core functionality
    • probably going to be completely ignored
    • will cause system slowdown/instability at a later date when an updater breaks one of these components

    [1] this is usually not a Windows thing - I blame HP, Fuji, Kodak et al for trying to spunk their glitz over my OS.



  • @barfoo said:

    Uh.. When the operating system includes by default software that is only useful with a certain piece of hardware, and otherwise would just make the OS bigger for everyone else, we call that bloat.

    So every mouse manufacturer has to develop their own proprietary solution to use "advanced" features (like programmable buttons). Is this definitely the best way?

    What does that mouse even have that Windows doesn't already support by default anyways? I know it can do horizontal scrolling, and every version of windows has been touted as "touch-compatible" since forever, so surely it should handle a little touchpad fine?



  • @ubersoldat said:

    Wow... how much code do you need to fill 150MB? And just for a mouse?

    It's for every USB mouse, keyboard, and joystick they've ever released. Also, it's largely not code that's taking up the space, it's the images used in the Gestures training app if you have a Touch mouse. And the soundtrack.



  • By the way, the app is actually very nice and allows for macros and whatnots. I just had it install automatically when I plugged in my MS keyboard and I quite like it. It feels like it should be integrated with the OS though, not as a separate download, and should support any mouse and keyboard - though obviously they wouldn't do that as it's a "feature" of the MS mouse and keyboard brands.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @configurator said:

    By the way, the app is actually very nice and allows for macros and whatnots. I just had it install automatically when I plugged in my MS keyboard and I quite like it. It feels like it should be integrated with the OS though, not as a separate download, and should support any mouse and keyboard - though obviously they wouldn't do that as it's a "feature" of the MS mouse and keyboard brands.
     

     And obviously the EU would threaten them with another antitrust lawsuit if they shipped the drivers with Windows.



  • @nonpartisan said:

    I plug a new USB drive into my laptop running Ubuntu and it "just works"; Windows says it is installing drivers.

    Assuming the driver is 'USB Mass Storage', both systems are doing the same thing; it's just Windows tells you instead of hiding it.

     



  • I guess I'm just weird, as long as the thing downloads the driver reasonably quickly, installs it quickly, and becomes usable without reboot, I'm happy. I couldn't give half a shit about 150 MB if I tried.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    @nonpartisan said:

    I plug a new USB drive into my laptop running Ubuntu and it "just works"; Windows says it is installing drivers.

    Assuming the driver is 'USB Mass Storage', both systems are doing the same thing; it's just Windows tells you instead of hiding it.

    Guess I didn't make it clear . . .

    As in, it says something like "Windows needs to install drivers to use this new hardware.  Choose a source:" as opposed to the balloon window "Windows is installing drivers, it'll be ready momentarily".  Been a long time since I've had to use a different USB drive, so the drivers are already installed; I don't have a way to replicate the exact message right now.  The most recent experience I had was with the USB-to-Serial adapter, which surprised the hell out of me -- I figured that's a pretty damn simple device, all things considered, so why does it need device/brand-specific drivers?  Adapter has the brand name "Plugable" on it.  DB9 on one side with a blue housing, USB on the other, about 18" to 2' cable in the middle.

     



  • @nonpartisan said:

    The most recent experience I had was with the USB-to-Serial adapter, which surprised the hell out of me -- I figured that's a pretty damn simple device, all things considered, so why does it need device/brand-specific drivers?

    1. Because RS232 and USB are different protocols, so the driver is for the translation chip.

    2. Because, at best, 0.0001% of Windows users will ever need such a cable.

     



  • The reason Windows requires drivers vs Ubuntu (and OSX) is simple: popularity.

    Microsoft doesn't want to write more code then it has to, and it knows that Windows is a popular enough OS that hardware vendors will write their own drivers. Less code means less work they have to do writing, testing, and documenting an already-complex system.

    Apple knows most driver vendors won't develop for it's OS, so it licenses the relevant technologies (such as PCL, PostScript, and JetDirect for a network printer), implements it's own driver, and bakes it into the OS.

    Linux kernel devs do the same thing, although in their case, it's less licensing and more straight out reverse engineering. That's way a lot of hardware doesn't work well under Linux-based OSes. (Add to that the fact that a lot of distros are allergic to non-open-source software; Ubuntu is not one of them though, and will happily let you use a nVidia-provided driver through it's repositories.)

    Obviously USB is TRWTF here for requiring even the simplest devices to have a driver. If I was the Holy Roman Emperor of PCs, I'd have specialized interconnects for each class of device (eSATA for drives, an improved IEEE 1284 for printers, an improved PS/2 for mice and keyboards, etc) and novel devices can use a serial interconnect based on an improved RS-232.



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    and novel devices can use a serial interconnect based on an improved RS-232

    Such a serial bus sounds like a great idea, especially if it would be universal. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?!



  • @configurator said:

    @MiffTheFox said:
    and novel devices can use a serial interconnect based on an improved RS-232

    Such a serial bus sounds like a great idea, especially if it would be universal. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before?!

    Beats me. If only we could have USB-style hardware with RS-232-style software.



  • @nonpartisan said:

    The most recent experience I had was with the USB-to-Serial adapter, which surprised the hell out of me -- I figured that's a pretty damn simple device, all things considered, so why does it need device/brand-specific drivers?

    I always wondered about this, too - USB to parallel adapters don't need a specific driver - there's a generic one in the OS.



  • @flabdablet said:

    It is universally agreed among people who know their hardware, though, that the original Microsoft X800989-128 basic optical mouse - the grey and white one pictured in error here in place of the P58-00001 that superseded it - was the One True Mouse, and should have been left on the market indefinitely instead of being phased out in favour of Apple-wannabe shitcakes like these.

    I've gotta give props to the Intellimouse Explorer (2.0). It's comfortable, accurate, perfectly weighted and balanced, and lasts a decently long time on AAs. I myself have used the same green and black "Matrix" version for about 7 years now.

    Not a gamer (it's attached to my work computer) so I don't know how well it performs in that regards.



  • @Master Chief said:

    I guess I'm just weird, as long as the thing downloads the driver reasonably quickly, installs it quickly, and becomes usable without reboot, I'm happy. I couldn't give half a shit about 150 MB if I tried.

    The main WTF there is that the MAC install only takes 30mb, which I'd also argue is too much for a mouse driver, but can be explained with snazzy visuals and (Apparently) background music.

    We're installing background music for our installers now? Keygen creators are gonna be maaaaaad.



  • @flabdablet said:

     

    It is universally agreed among people who know their hardware, though, that the original Microsoft X800989-128 basic optical mouse - the grey and white one pictured in error here in place of the P58-00001 that superseded it - was the One True Mouse, and should have been left on the market indefinitely instead of being phased out in favour of Apple-wannabe shitcakes like these.

    I'm willing to bet a discussion about what model mouse should be known as the "One True Mouse" will spark more of an argument then an OS war.

     



  • One true mouse? BAH!

    Trackball forever! Its the perfect compramise between joystick and mouse, and you don't have to worry about surface conditions either. 



  • @Adanine said:

    I'm willing to bet a discussion about what model mouse should be known as the "One True Mouse" will spark more of an argument then an OS war.

    Only among those who don't know their hardware.



  • Yeah it's obviously the RAT 5.



  • @ubersoldat said:

    @Adanine said:

     I didn't see this before, but the software to run it is 150mb. It doesn't say wheather this is the "Mouse and Keyboard Center" software or not, but for Mac it's only 30mb (Which is still WTF-ish.)

    Microsoft, the home of the cheap $10 mouse that works fine...

    Wow... how much code do you need to fill 150MB? And just for a mouse?

    About the T&C maybe they don't want to be liable about someone getting hurt when your frustration over Win8 makes you throw your mouse in rage.

     

    The driver only takes a few hundred kilobytes; it's the T&C that consumes the rest. Don't tell me you didn't read it?!?

     



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    If I was the Holy Roman Emperor of PCs, I'd have specialized interconnects for each class of device (eSATA for drives, an improved IEEE 1284 for printers, an improved PS/2 for mice and keyboards, etc) and novel devices can use a serial interconnect based on an improved RS-232.

    If you were the Holy Roman Emperor of PCs, connectivity would be much like it is in reality.

    (The Holy Roman Empire was a big fragmented mess in which the emperor didn't have the authority most Holy Roman emperors would have liked to have, and where the electors and local rulers held much of the real power.)



  • @Gurth said:

    If you were the Holy Roman Emperor of PCs, connectivity would be much like it is in reality.

    (The Holy Roman Empire was a big fragmented mess in which the emperor didn't have the authority most Holy Roman emperors would have liked to have, and where the electors and local rulers held much of the real power.)

    This is a variety of pedantic dickweed I have not seen before.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    This is a variety of pedantic dickweed I have not seen before.
     

    I just had the image of an herbalist making this comment after examining some new plant out in the wilderness...



  • @blakeyrat said:

    This is a variety of pedantic dickweed I have not seen before.


    Thank you! This is high praise indeed!



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    This is a variety of pedantic dickweed I have not seen before.
     

    I just had the image of an herbalist making this comment after examining some new plant out in the wilderness...

     

    No no.

    Sir David Attenborough.

    I should make a lolpic of it but instead I'm going to bed.

     


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