I love it when software companies put out hardware, especially when it’s designed to take full advantage of their applications’ capabilities. The Open Office crew, who pioneered the free MS Office alternative, apparently gave the thumbs up to the OOMouse, an erstwhile regular peripheral that’s supposed to make using the software easier. Big emphasis on “supposedly.”
With 18 buttons (all of which can be double-clicked), a clickable scroll wheel and an analog joystick (with up to 16-key command modes) added to the usual mouse controls, it’s designed to eliminate having to dig through menus in order to perform various software functions. Of course, with 18 small buttons having three modes each, arching to click on the right one doesn’t sound all that much simpler.
Other features of the OOMouse include 512KB of flash memory, the ability to save up to 63 profiles directly on the peripheral and full customization capabilities. Since manufacturer WarMouse has rightly anticipated you’re bound to be confused, they added an embedded feature that lets you print button assignments to a PDF file. It comes with 19 other default profiles aside from Open Office, including a variety of games and other popular applications.
If you’re the kind of person who can memorize key assignments on cue, this peripheral might prove a useful addition to your workspace. As for me, I think I’ll stick with digging through menus and assigning the occasional keyboard shortcuts – that many buttons is about what it takes to make my head explode.
Want to confuse an already struggling computer user? Give them the OOMouse and tell them it’s mandatory to use it. It will be hitting store shelves beginning February for $74.99.