Unmighty Mouse

I bought an Apple Mighty Mouse a year and half ago, one in a long series of pointing devices I’ve owned over the years.

Until recently I’d been completely happy with the mouse: it’s compact, fits nicely in my hand, and it’s “scroll nub” works well.

That is, until recently. For the last month I’ve been battling my Mighty Mouses’ scroll nub’s tendency to not want to scroll “down.” It would scroll up just fine, but some days it would just plain refuse to scroll down. Word on the street is that this is a simple matter of “gunk in the works” and so I followed the office Apple cleaning instructions. And, indeed, this worked for a while.

But the situation got progressively worse over the last couple of weeks, to the point where no amount of rolling and blowing and sucking could make my mouse happy.

On Friday, in desperation, I turned to the well-illustrated Mighty mouse gutting and cleaning page, and proceeded to tenderly rip my mouse apart.

Inside the works I did, indeed, find some gunk. Not loads and loads of gunk, but perhaps enough to explain the no-scrolling problem.

After a thorough cleaning, I put things back together.

And the mouse no longer worked.

Although I have aspirations to electronics nerd-dom, I can seldom pull it off very effectively (I recall an unfortunate incident in my Datsun 510 wherein green smoke filled the cabin after I attempted to self-install a cassette player). So obviously somewhere in my mouse gutting I took a wrong turn, lopped off an important nerve, and rendered the mouse dead.

Angry at Apple for selling me a seemingly uncleanable product, I exacted revenge by driving out to Staples and buying an Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 5000. It was easy to install, and I used it for the following 24 hours.

Unfortunately, in addition to lacking a snazzy pop-culture-referencing name, the 5000 felt like driving an Armoured Personnel Carrier to work: it didn’t fit in my hand, its scroll wheel felt like weightlifting compared to the scroll nub, it didn’t glide well across my desk, and the giant radio receiver it required took up valuable desk real estate. I had to stop using it after a day simply because my hand started to hurt and I couldn’t go on.

Having now forgiven Apple (or being sucked back inside the reality distortion field), I returned the Microsoft mouse to Staples and picked up the snazzy new Bluetooth version of the Mighty Mouse at Little Mac Shoppe for $30 more.

I paired it up with my MacBook and it worked right away. It felt like coming home: smooth scrolling, easy-glide action, comfortable in my hand.

I’ve no doubt that this mouse will gunk up after a while. And its wirelessness means that I may end up throwing it across the room in frustration when and if that happens. But in the meantime I’ve got my groove back.


Peter Wilkinson's picture
Peter Wilkinson on February 4, 2007 - 16:21 Permalink

Owning 2 of the Might Mouse I’ve suffered through the same gunk. The Apple instructions are exceedingly optimistic — never has that method clean any amount of gunk out. What I found has worked is a plain white piece of paper on a desk and very firmly rub the ball on that — very simple and has worked every time for me.

paul's picture
paul on February 4, 2007 - 17:42 Permalink

Did you try this?

Worked for me.

Daniel's picture
Daniel on February 5, 2007 - 15:58 Permalink

I bought such a wireless mighty mouse for my partner. Well, that was the intention. I just snatched it for myself and am using it ever since. It’sgreat. And one wonders while it took Apple that long to overthrow old principples…