OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
16 January 2002
Robert Basler is the president of Aurora Systems, Inc. and a dedicated OS/2 user since he tired of rebooting Windows 3.1 twenty times a day.

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OS/2 Netlabs.  Open source software for OS/2.

Logitech Cordless Mouseman & AMouse 2.0 Beta

Just a couple months ago I reviewed the Logitech Wheel Mouse Optical. Well what should show up this Christmas morning, but a shining blue Logitech Cordless Mouseman Optical. It was time for another mouse upgrade.


Installation was just a matter of putting the batteries into the mouse and plugging the antenna/base into the computer. It comes with a USB to PS/2 adaptor, so I plugged it into the PS/2 connector and away I went.

The mouse comes with an installation booklet, a comfort guidelines booklet, as well as batteries for the mouse and a software installation CD for Windows and Mac OS. When I installed the drivers in Windows the software bundle was over 20 MEGABYTES. For a mouse driver. Yikes. Fortunately you can slim it down to just the driver at 12M.

New Mouse Drivers

Unfortunately, with the standard OS/2 scrolling mouse driver, the scroll wheel on this mouse doesn't work. This led me to the AMouse 2.0 beta drivers from Klaus Breining.

Installation of the AMouse drivers is easy with the bundled installer. Watch out if you're using a non-standard mouse driver though. My first reboot I had two mouse drivers in CONFIG.SYS which resulted in a trap screen. I removed the old driver line and moved the AMouse driver from the bottom of CONFIG.SYS up to where the other mouse driver had been and rebooted, and everything was good afterwards.


Unlike my other optical mouse, I found I had some problems with tracking with this new mouse. It turns out that my "Star Trek The Next Generation Mouse Pad" (it was a gift) was to blame. It had a red planet on it that the mouse doesn't like. According to the documentation, red or mirrored surfaces don't work well. When I was using it the mouse pointer would instantly leap across the screen from time to time. Now that I've tried a new mousepad, that problem has gone away. Apparently Logitech recognizes this problem and has some sort of "mouse brakes" built in to their drivers, as the mouse does not have this problem under Windows.

The Cordless MouseMan has a very nice feel including an indentation for your thumb I haven't found on other mice, but losing the cord is undoubtedly its best advantage. No more pulling the mouse off the desk to get the cord freed so that your mouse will move easily again. One minus is that I find the mouse a bit heavy and if you use your mouse constantly you may find this extra weight a strain. I'd recommend a slippery mousepad for graphics pros. For regular mouse users, the weight of the mouse shouldn't be a problem.

If you do presentations, the mouse seems to be good for about 15 feet line-of-sight. That's too far away to read what's on the screen, but would be adequate for moving presentation slides forward and back.

Great Driver Features

One thing I really like about AMouse is the ability to adjust the scrolling speed of the scroll button. I've adjusted it up to 5 lines per tick so that scrolling web pages is much less work. Also, AMouse works in the IBM Web Browser where the standard scrolling mouse driver doesn't. It also offers horizontal scrolling as an alternative to vertical, you can even set a mouse button to switch the scrolling from horizontal to vertical and back.

I'm looking forward to a future version of the AMouse driver that supports the MouseMan's fourth button. Support for mice with 4 and 5 buttons is partially complete, they appear in the menus so support in the driver can't be far behind. I'm planning to use the mouse's fourth button to pop up the task list. Handy.

One issue with these drivers is that they are not SMP-safe. Since I run an SMP system this is a concern, however in the time I have been using the drivers I haven't run into any problems.


The Cordless MouseMan is a big improvement over wired mice. Once you've tasted the freedom of a wireless mouse, you'll find it hard to go back. Kind of like trying to use an older computer after you've just tried a newer, faster one. While I'm a little disappointed with the weight of the mouse, it certainly performs its tasks well enough for everyday use. Battery life on a pair of double-A's is said to be at least two months.

I've been quite impressed both with the AMouse 2.0 beta drivers and with Klaus Breining's responsive replies to my emailed questions. If you have one of the supported mice, AMouse 2 beta is a big improvement over the standard mouse drivers. It was also very nice to see the Wipeout screensaver start working again. Wipeout is not compatible with the IBM Scroll Mouse drivers - if you move the mouse the screensaver stays on.

Logitech Cordless Mouseman Optical USB & PS/2 Model M-RM63
Manufacturer: Logitech
Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac. Works fine in OS/2.
Website: www.logitech.com
Price: U.S. $69.95

AMouse 2.0 Beta
Manufacturer: noller&breining software
Website: http://home.t-online.de/home/klaus.breining/
Price: free

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