Thursday, August 16, 2007

Review: Steermouse - Driver for your mouse

How I found Steermouse
As promised a while ago when I was searching for alternatives to the Logitech Control Center Software, here is the review for Steermouse. The search for USB mouse drivers began because of the problems I had with the LCC and my newly bought VX Revolution mouse.

What is Steermouse?
Steermouse is a driver software for various mice that do not come with Mac drivers. You can however use this software also if you are a proud owner of a Mighty Mouse and want to enhance the functions of your mouse. For a list of recommended mice by Steermouse please visit their homepage.

Now let’s talk about what Steermouse can do:

  • it can assign various functions to a mouse key (shortcuts, different click options like double-click, command-click, open function (you can open a file or an application by one click) and a switch application command (command-tab like)).
  • an interesting function called “cursor movement”; you can have the cursor move to a specific location (f.ex. “OK” button of a dialog box) by one click.
  • adjustment of scroll speed and acceleration
  • settings for cursor speed and more importantly cursor acceleration

Steermouse, my VX Revolution and me
As you can see the list of what Steermouse can do is very long. The list above isn’t even complete but a short outline of what you can do. In my case the aspects that I like about Steermouse is firstly the possibility to assign any keyboard shortcut I want to my mouse. I use this often. Secondly, I like the fact that you can set up different profiles for each application you use. This means that in Finder a specific button might be a double-click, in Word however it might be the “paste” button. But what I like even more is that now I can finally adjust the cursor acceleration easily. However, a function I could not get used to was the cursor movement function. This may vary from person to person though.
Regarding stability and conflicts: the software is super stable-no problems concerning that. There weren’t any conflicts caused by Steermouse hardware-wise like failure of other USB devices and I have quite a few I threw at it.

The bottom line
The price tag of 20$ may seem high at first BUT it really is worth the money if you have a mouse that is not supported natively by Mac (f.ex. Logitech Mediaplay) or if you are a mouse user who wants maximum control over what your mouse does. Concerning the first point: I have tried Steermouse with my old Mediaplay I had and I was able to configure all the buttons. On my search to solve the problem with the LCC software I encountered many other Logitech mice owners with similar problems. I recommend using Steermouse if you are a Logitech mouse owner because the LCC software is just too buggy and Mac support by Logitech just isn’t as good as the Windows support. By the way the Steermouse team’s support is excellent. And as a last note: I do not have any trouble with kernel panics anymore;-)


IMPORTANT: There is another interesting announcement tomorrow concerning Steermouse-so if you are curious just drop by-you won’t regret it.


nauset said...

As a new MAC user I am still looking for the perfect mouse. Maybe steermouse is the answer.

I want a BT mouse (NO DONGLE!) that is portable with my laptop, but also want to program a back and forward button on it for browsing. Will Steermouse do that for all mice? I am looking at a couple of specific ones, but the info about programming is conflicting.

MB-switcher said...

hi I'm not sure if steermouse supports bluetooth mice...I'm afraid it only supports usb mice but u might dl the trial and just try it out. Another generic driver that might be of interest to you is USB overdrive....that one might support bluetooth mice but I'm not a 100% sure on that.

Dave said...

steermouse does support bluetooth mice.

it's awesome. i'm a windows user and the tracking speed of the mouse under MacOS has been driving me nuts.

by setting the tracking to zero and the sensitivity to reasonably high in steermouse, you can get very close to the same feel as a mouse under windows. it has literally saved me from wanting to throw the mouse across the room.

Anonymous said...

ok, if you used windows for a long time maybe you assume you can't learn to use non-linear mouse tracking. But you should give your brain a chance before just reverting to windows linear tracking

I use 3 24" monitors side by side. I'm glad I'm not an old windows user. I can make fine selections by moving the mouse slowly, or go 5760 pixels from the left edge of the leftmost monitor to the right edge of the rightmost monitor by moving my mouse less than 1.5"

All my brain has to be able to do is use one hand speed for one context and a faster speed for the other. I trust that even if I'd spent time a lot of time using windows at any point in my past (though I admit I shudder to contemplate it) that my brain still would have been able to learn to do this.

I have a colleague who needs to use 3 systems currently at work and he has three keyboards and mice because if he uses synergy he finds it TAKES TOO LONG to move the mouse across all three monitors. Because he's using linear tracking of course. A windows dude. That's a lot of keyboards and mice for one desk.

I admit, habits do tend to take precedence. One of the first things I do when I do have to spend time on windows is get some non-linear mouse tracking happening. I mean really. Who wants to spend huge portions of their life scrubbing their mouse just to get across an HD monitor or two?

Jimmy said...

The problem comes when you're using Windows at work and OSX at home.

I've used Windows for 10/11 years and OSX for the last year, and I must tell you that I have never gotten used to OSX Acceleration Curve.

A month ago I started at a new job where I use Windows I must say I'm in heaven it's so comfortable. I get home and I find it really uncomfortable and unproductive to work in my Mac. I work in design and web and it's really a pain to have to deal with OSX mouse movement. It really steals my will to work.

I find it a lack of respect from Apple to expect their costumers must get used to their products, mainly the mouse, which I must say is the No. 1 object you use in your computer.
They should at least have an option to turn mouse acceleration completely off. Taking into account it's a $ 1500 computer.

Iphonesia said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)