The Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer

Update -- 30. August, 2000 Update again. The previous problem was a hardware issue. They sent me a new mouse (within a week, instead of the month they warned me of), and after a couple weeks of using it, it's fine. Many of the original Intellimouse Explorers had flaky hardware. If you've got one that's acting up, call Microsoft and get a new one.

Update -- 10. August, 2000

Well. It's time for an update. The mouse sucks. It cuts out (its lights go dim and it quits moving the cursor) a few times a day now. I've called Microsoft Tech Support and after waiting three or four days for a callback, they finally did call me back.

Here's what we discovered along the way:

Those are just the software issues. There's a hardware problem, too. Apparently enough of a one that Microsoft was giving out replacement mice to just about everyone who called in. Until people started abusing the system, and now you have to talk to the human on the other end of the phone for a half-hour before they'll agree to send you a new mouse.

Oh, and Microsoft is back-ordered on the mice. It'll be sometime in September when my new mouse gets shipped to me.

Note that I have the original (silver with dark grey buttons) version. People claim the new version of the mouse is better, but since mine didn't start to flake out until after 6 months of use, I don't know what they're basing that on.

Macintouch on Intellimouse has more information. If you search for Yossie in the text, you'll get to the start of the ones that seem relevant to my situation.

24 Jan, 2000

Dang! A Microsoft product that fully doesn't suck! Not even one little bit so far.

Buy one. This is a superior pointing device, and you'll like it. It doesn't come in iMac colors (just grey and red), but it's a nice contrast.

On the other hand, getting one may be a trick. They're flying off the shelves, and even ordering direct from Microsoft (as of 24 January, 2000) means waiting at least two weeks to get one.

The longer version:
This is a nice pointing device. It has none of the quirks of previous optical mice such as needing a special mouse-pad, or having problems if you align it funny. It just works. It even works fine mousing on my leg. Since it's optical, it's not going to gunk up and start tracking funny, and since there are fewer moving parts than other mice, it should hopefully last longer on that front, too.

The software installer is wonderful. First it tells you exactly what it's going to install, then it installs it, and then it tells you you'll need to reboot in order to get at all the features, but it doesn't force you to restart right now. This is how installers are supposed to work. The only complaint I can find with the software is that the icon for the CD looks like a big mouse-pointer, so it took me a second or two to find it on my desktop.

The only other thing I can even complain about is that by default, it's a little slow. What I mean is that it doesn't give me as much mouse movement on-screen for the same amount of physical movement. This is probably something that'll be solved when I actually have the software running, and it's a minor nit, since I'm no longer constrained to a mouse-pad.

Oh, and it's big. That's perfect for my hands, but it might be a little small for petite types.

Did I mention that I really like this product? I do.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:08:43.