MagicMouse -- Shareware from Slixter

(And you thought I was only capable of UselessWare, huh? Ha!)

Platinum Paint has keyboard mouse control -- it lets you use the arrow keys to steer the mouse pointer around. It also has a "straightedge" feature -- hold down the shift key, and all your lines will be straight.

Well, DreamGrafix is a great paint program, but one of the features I sorely missed was the precision of keyboard control. No longer -- now ANY desktop program can have keyboard mouse control.

To use MagicMouse, put it into your */System/System.Setup folder and reboot the computer. (Or load it on the fly with IR, and launch a new desktop program.)

To turn on magic mousing, put the capslock key down. Then use these keys:

arrow keys : moves the mouse cursor around, one pixel at a time
open-apple : hold it down to move five pixels at a time
option : hold it down to move twenty pixels at a time
control : hold it down to zip around at eighty pixels at a time

Shift-Option-Delete : disable, re-enable MagicMouse (This was put in in case you were, say, typing something in ShadowWrite in ALL CAPS and you wanted to use the arrow keys. For normal puposes, simply releasing capslock will disable MagicMouse well enough.)

The mouse and mouse button work normally, and you can control the cursor with the keyboard while you hold down the mouse button.

This is fine for moving around, but what about a straightedge? Well, I can't put in the straightedge as well as Plat'num, but I can come close. If you want to draw, for example, a straight horizontal line in DreamGrafix, choose the line tool, go to your starting point, and hold down <shift> and press the left or right arrow key once. Then use the mouse to extend the line out as far as you want, and press <shift>-<spacebar>. If you had deviated from a straight horizontal line, the cursor would jump back up or down into the correct position. Basically, what <shift>-<arrow key> does is tell MagicMouse to remember the current horizontal or vertical coordinate (depending on which arrow key you pressed). <Shift>-<space> jumps the cursor to that coordinate, leaving the other coordinate the way it was. The best way to get the hang of it is to experiment. This single-coordinate memory can be very useful with other tools as well, such as the lasso or the pencil.

MagicMouse automatically disables itself in non-desktop environments.

As I finished writing MagicMouse, it suddenly occured to me that System Software 6.0.1 comes with Easy Access, which also provides keyboard mouse control. All my dreams of becoming rich off shareware bucks were shattered -- until I actually tried Easy Access out, and saw that it wouldn't help in these situations at all. True, you press a key, the mouse pointer moves... and then it revs up its motor and keeps moving, faster and faster. Button use is also a little convoluted. And, of course, there's no straightedge feature. MagicMouse's purpose was to give you more precision over the mouse pointer. Easy Access simply gives you... easy access.

I hope you enjoy using MagicMouse. I hope even more that you'll pay me for it. All I'm asking is a measly $5.00 shareware donation. I'm not going to b.s. about legal trial periods and stuff -- if you want to use it and not pay for it, no one's going to call the cops on you. But I hope that you'll recognize the time and effort I'm putting into supporting the IIgs. (And yes, I consider writing "Boinger" to be supporting the IIgs to the fullest -- please stop laughing.)

Send those bucks this-a-way:

Bret Victor
19253 Parkview Rd.
Castro Valley, CA 94546

Send those comments, bug reports, and general chit-chat this-a-way:


(c) 1995 Bret Victor

(rggh... shareware's no fun... I've gotta come up with some more UselessWare... Actually, for those who are interested, MagicMouse originated from a UselessWare product I just did called "NomadMouse". With NomadMouse installed, if you were sitting idle in the Finder for a while, the mouse pointer would eventually get bored, and start randomly wandering around the screen by itself. Don't look for this one to be uploaded any time soon.)