Camel mouse

If you ever wondered what a computer mouse designed by committee might look like, wonder no longer, for the people at OpenOffice seem to have done just that. Behold: the 18 button OpenOffice Mouse.

It would appear that in designing this mouse two key factors have been completely ignored:

  1. Users also have a keyboard
  2. Users also have a screen

Some choice quotes from the press release...

"You can do far more with this mouse than most people are likely to realize at first," said mouse designer Theodore Beale.

Like put it in the bin?

You can launch applications from the desktop

No fucking way? Really? You mean just like I can do with my normal mouse, but now I have to remember which button to press?

in your browser you can fire up a specific Internet site with one button, then close it with a double-click on the same button

Why? Just, why?

In Writer and Calc, you can have your most powerful and complicated macros on one row of buttons and simple functions like Bold, Undo, and Format Cell on another

This is easily the most baffling aspect of all, the fact that you're supposedly using these magic buttons in a word processing application where you're likely to spend 99% of your time with both hands on the keyboard. The time it takes to hit a two key shortcut to bold some text on the keyboard is surely orders of magnitude faster than the time it takes to move one hand from the keyboard to the mouse, remember which buttons do what in the application you're currently using, hit the correct button and move your hand back to the keyboard.

I can only surmise that this thing is designed for people who type with one hand but are incapable of pressing two keys at the same time. People with only one finger? It's a pretty niche market.

I'll leave you with this John Scully description of Steve Jobs' design principle: "Not what you can add, but what you can remove."

This mouse is why enterprise doesn't take open-source seriously.