Apple is a strange company. It has come up with some rather lovely designs during its history. The Apple Magic Mouse 2 isn’t one of them. It’s a mish-mash of superb usability and horrible ergonomics combined with very decent battery life. I’ve been using them pretty much ever since I’ve had a Macintosh.

The Space Grey version of the Apple Magic Mouse 2 is very shiny!

I have been tempted by other Bluetooth mice before, and indeed earlier this year I bought a couple of Logitech MX Master 2S wireless mice. They’re ergonomic, chunky and feel great in the hand. My only complaint has been the scroll wheel has always felt either too loose in quiet mode, or when the ratchet mode is on, too noisy. Whereas the Apple Magic Mouse 2 has a surface area which acts like a touchpad which makes scrolling pretty much flawless. Plus the Apple mouse can scroll sideways much more easily.

The Logitech MX Master 2S – which can be used when charging

The MX Master 2S can also be charged whilst it’s being used, whereas with the Apple mouse you’ll need to turn it upside down in order to plug in the Lightning cable – thus it’s incapacitated whilst it is charging. This is made up, however, by a much better battery in the Magic Mouse. The Logitech MX Master 2S only seems to last 2 days before the battery runs out whereas the Magic Mouse lasts several weeks. Well, I’d say that my home MX Master 2S only lasts a couple of days – my work MX Master 2S does tend to last a couple of weeks, and both tend to get the same kind of use.

But I’ve had to go back to using a Magic Mouse 2 again because Apple do NOT make it easy if you ever need to reset your Mac’s PRAM, or go into recovery mode with non-standard Apple kit. The following image demonstrates:

Cables, dongles and non-Apple kit – oh my!

I wanted to reset my work 2018 Mac Mini’s PRAM as the USB-C (acting as a DisplayPort cable) to HDMI connected monitors tend to play Russian Roulette every time I switch the Mac on. Sometimes the Mac remembers the right order, and other days it doesn’t. Or sometimes the Mac doesn’t send the signal to the right monitor, necessitating cable fiddling. A PRAM reset might fix that, I thought.

First of all, the Magic Keyboard 2 wasn’t able to get the bloody Mac into PRAM reset mode wirelessly – not without physically attaching the keyboard to the machine via a Lightning to USB-A cable (thankfully the Mac Mini has two USB-A ports). That seemed to work. Then I needed to go into recovery mode to sort out something, but the MX Master 2S mouse wouldn’t work. As you can see above, the Mac’s firmware wanted me to connect an Apple wireless mouse. Any Bluetooth mouse that’s Bluetooth capable (and not an Apple mouse) and has been paired with the Mac beforehand will not work in recovery mode. I had to hook up the MX Master via a micro-USB cable to USB-A to get anything done.

So it’s a mix of battery life, being able to scroll properly on a Magic Mouse 2, and being able to move the mouse pointer effortlessly in Mac’s firmware/recovery mode that’s brought me back to the Magic Mouse.

Yesterday (24th January) was the 35th birthday of the Apple Macintosh. It was a revolutionary machine which has certainly changed the way we look at computers.

A 2018 Macintosh in laptop form – the MacBook Pro

What a WIMP!

Back in 1984, personal computers were great big lumbering beasts that didn’t have much in the way of a GUI – it was practically all text based. The Macintosh changed all that and gave the user a WIMP environment (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer) and presented a virtual desktop on which the user can manipulate files and programs.

It took Microsoft a good year before Windows 1.0 was released for PCs. It didn’t have the same refined look and feel as the Macintosh operating system, and even to this day, MacOS still feels like it is a far better thought out OS than Windows will ever be.

Big Mac and Chips to go!

Now there are many iterations of the Mac today. Laptops and desktops of various shapes and sizes. And as the Mac line has progressed, it’s one of the few brands that has evolved throughout its life to change its whole architecture whilst retaining the same familiar user interface. From processors made byMotorola to IBM, then to Intel, and soon.. Apple itself?

I remember having an iBook G4 (PowerPC) before transitioning to one of the first x86 Mac laptop lines. The transition was actually quite smooth, and certainly, Apple had been thinking about this for a long time. Given how powerful and successful their own silicon has been in the iPhone and iPad products, I have no doubts in my mind that Apple will move the Mac to their own design of ARM processors, providing the same or better performance than Intel.

The future of the Mac line continues to look bright. Here’s to another 35 years!