Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 232 Replies Latest reply: Mar 10, 2015 9:27 AM by levi97 Go to original post Branched to a new discussion.
  • William Kucharski Level 6 Level 6 (14,890 points)
    Well there you go, when the third party app is finished, you'll have a solution.

    For most of us, Apple's default works very, very well.

    None of us here know why Apple does or doesn't do anything, but you can always suggest they offer the ability to customize mouse acceleration curves here:

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/macosx.html
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,990 points)
    You are mistaken if you think Snow Leopard offers fewer acceleration options than previous versions of OS X in Apple's Mouse system preference. The options have not changed from OS version to OS version. What has changed is the API "zany" is trying to use with his "Mouse Curve App" preference pane to hack the acceleration curves built into the system. This is what from zany's perspective "got worse each time." That is no surprise since API's frequently change in new OS versions & programmers must use only documented calls into the API to maintain stable operation. Hackers sometimes ignore this requirement & take shortcuts to shorten development time, using undocumented calls into the provided API's or neglecting to set up prerequisites for the documented ones. Some of the comments suggest that zany might be doing this but I have no idea if this is true or not.

    There are in fact multiple acceleration curves already built into the system, quite similar to the curves shown in the Mouse Curve App preference pane. Each higher setting of the tracking speed slider in Apple's Mouse system preference selects a progressively steeper acceleration curve. Zany's app seems designed to offer customizations of these curves, for instance by increasing acceleration rates at middle tracking speeds without changing rates for the slowest & highest tracking speeds.

    I don't know if this is what you are looking for or not. Apple's curves are smooth, very similar in shape (but not necessarily steepness) to the 4 lowest ones shown in zany's preference pane. The blue one is not, offering much higher acceleration at lower middle tracking speeds. Something like this may improve responsiveness in some games; however, since many Windows games ignore or modify that OS's built in curves, it may be difficult or impossible to duplicate the Windows "feel" unless the Mac version does something similar. IOW, this is not just an issue of what the OS provides but also how the app uses it. Even with this preference pane you may still be at the mercy of what the developer of the game or other app provides in the Mac version.

    BTW, the petition mentioned on zany's page is intended only to get Apple to provide a simple option in the OS to turn off acceleration completely. That has generated about 650 supporters. Demand for customizable OS level mouse acceleration curves is much more fragmented & spotty, most often simple requests to 'make it act like Windows' among gamers that have recently switched to the Mac. To put that in perspective even by outdated estimates there are at least 17 million Mac users, the vast majority of which find the built-in curves so natural that they don't even think about modifying them.

    Unless that changes, & after a quarter of a century or so it hasn't, you will have to depend on third party developers for the kind of customization you seek.
  • Spudspank Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Iomis1,

    I understand your frustration. I too get nauseated trying to work on a MAC for extended periods of time. The mouse movement is not natural in OS X. I found an article that explains the exact issue with Apples acceleration curve being way too steep compared to Windows which feels natural. The author even said that they changed the movement algorithm when the introduced OS X and it was working fine with previous versions of OS.

    http://db.tidbits.com/article/8893

    Unfortunately there isn't a fix (maybe a third party mouse program). Regretfully I had to purchase an Imac to find out about it.
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,205 points)
    I honestly don't know what the fuss is about. I've used Macs for 26 years now, and the mouse has always felt natural. I've heard claims that there was some difference between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, but not that I ever noticed... and I was using both concurrently for a while. I've also heard claims - frequently - that there's a big difference between Macs and Windows machines. I've never noticed any such thing. I've never had the slightest problem, or noticed any major differences, navigating with any pointing device on any version of the Mac OS or Windows. (Well, any pointing device except those stupid little mid-keyboard joystick-nubbins some PC users swear by.) I have always needed to be able to have pixel-by-pixel precision at times and have always preferred the largest screens I could afford, and neither has ever given me trouble. So I have to wonder what exactly people are doing that they have so much difficulty with this.

    That said, you were polite where lomis was not, so here's a pointer for you:

    http://triq.net/mac/mouse-acceleration-preference-pane-mac-os-x

    I have no experience with it, but it looks like it'll do what you want.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,990 points)
    Thomas A Reed wrote:
    I've used Macs for 26 years now, and the mouse has always felt natural. I've heard claims that there was some difference between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, but not that I ever noticed... and I was using both concurrently for a while.


    There was one big difference, but it had nothing to do with mouse curves or any change in the OS like the article states. As I'm sure you know, old Macs supported ADB (the Apple Desktop Bus), an older alternative to USB for pointer & other low speed interface devices. One of the nifty things about ADB that was sacrificed in the transition to the cheaper USB interface was that ADB was implemented almost entirely in dedicated hardware rather than mostly in software drivers like USB.

    A consequence of this was that even if the system crashed or became sluggish because of a high CPU load, pointer movement was unaffected. You may remember times with those old Macs when this was obvious: the system might completely lock up & become unresponsive, yet the pointer still moved normally as long as the hardware was unaffected. Because most Macs capable of running OS X dropped support for ADB, sometimes users mistook pointer sluggishness of USB devices actually caused by the software load on the system for a change in the acceleration curves in the newer (& far more resource-hungry) OS.

    ADB was expensive to implement compared to USB, not hot-swappable, & had other drawbacks, but in this regard it was a far superior interface for pointing devices.
  • azpc Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Thomas,

    Thanks for the posted link!

    As a long time computer user (_Commodore 128_, _Amiga 500_, _Windows 3 - 7_, _27 inch iMac_) I think I will have to agree with those who have real frustrations with mice in OS X.

    I have found the Magic Mouse difficult to use on my 27 inch iMac. *_The slow speed seems about 50% to 100% too slow_*. I am always having to pick up the mouse and recenter it because *_I am unable to move the full vertical range of the screen with wrist movement only_*.

    Personally, I wish Apple would offer:

    - *A slider to adjust the mouse speed independent of the acceleration*.

    - *A slide to adjust acceleration rate*.

    Each slider would come with *a hash mark identifying the standard OS X settings*.

    This way everyone would be satisfied.
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,205 points)
    Personally, I wish Apple would offer:


    Then go tell them at the [Apple feedback page|http://www.apple.com/feedback>. As for pestering the rest of us with yet another complaint about this non-issue... please folks, can't we just let this thread die? Nothing more remains to be said that hasn't been said already.
  • Aaaaaack! Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    This may be a non-issue for you, but for many of us it is a huge annoyance and we're looking for a solution.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,990 points)
    azpc wrote:
    Personally, I wish Apple would offer:

    - *A slider to adjust the mouse speed independent of the acceleration*.


    I hear this request from time to time but I don't know what it is supposed to mean. Pointer movement depends on two things: how far the mouse is moved & how fast it is moved. Acceleration refers to the mouse's sensitivity to how fast it is moved. Thus, the only way to make mouse speed independent of acceleration is if acceleration is zero.
  • Aaaaaack! Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Not quite. You can go on taking derivatives indefinitely. Velocity is the derivative of Position, Acceleration is the derivative of Velocity, what is sometimes referred to as Jerk is the derivative of Acceleration. The Jerk of the mouse corresponds to the shape of the Acceleration Curve.

    There seems to be a Threshold of distance moved below which the Acceleration Curve has no effect, but that's just an on/off switch, so we'll leave that out of the discussion.

    I can't really draw graphs here, but this should illustrate:

    Imagine you've got two Acceleration Curves to choose from. We'll just take a couple of points from each curve.

    Curve 1:
    If the mouse is moved at 1mm/sec, the pointer on the screen moves at 2mm/sec. (Factor of 2)
    If the mouse is moved at 10mm/sec, the pointer on the screen moves at 50mm/sec. (Factor of 5)

    Curve 2:
    If the mouse is moved at 1mm/sec, the pointer on the screen moves at 5mm/sec. (Factor of 5)
    If the mouse is moved at 10mm/sec, the pointer on the screen moves at 200mm/sec. (Factor of 20)

    The Curves may not be straight lines (we're going to need more derivatives to describe them), but you can see that generally Curve 2 is "Steeper" than Curve 1. The "Steepness" of the Mouse Acceleration Curve is what the Acceleration Slider would adjust.
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,990 points)
    Since I graduated from college with a major in physics & a minor in math, I do understand what you are saying. However, it is still not possible to adjust "mouse speed" (pointer sensitivity, which Apple calls "Tracking Speed") independently of acceleration unless acceleration is zero. Any non-zero value makes pointer sensitivity dependent on mouse velocity, as your examples show.

    One group of users do want zero acceleration; IOW, no change in sensitivity regardless of mouse velocity. Thus, the reference to removing mouse acceleration in the title of this topic. This is in fact how the crude, earliest versions of Windows mouse drivers behaved. The result was a mouse that either had to be moved very far to move the pointer all the way across the screen (low distance sensitivity) or very carefully to move the pointer small distances (high distance sensitivity). The solution (which was implemented from day one on the Mac) was to add the velocity sensitive component to the driver, which essentially all modern drivers include.

    Another group wants to be able to adjust velocity sensitivity independently of distance sensitivity. This sounds reasonable, but it isn't as straightforward as it seems. It should be obvious that it would make no sense to combine very low distance sensitivity with very high velocity sensitivity, or visa versa. The first would require impossibly steady rates of mouse movement to position the pointer precisely; the second would require impossibly small mouse movements to do so. Neither would be useable.

    So it makes more sense for the sensitivities to interact to some extent: as one goes up, so should the other, & visa versa. This rather elegantly eliminates unusable extreme settings & at the same time makes adjustment easier over the range of useable ones. The simplest, most user friendly way to implement this is with one basic tracking sensitivity control & another one that adjusts the scale factor between distance & velocity sensitivity. In effect, it allows users to adjust low mouse speed sensitivity & high mouse speed sensitivity separately without having to know anything about derivatives or jerk or acceleration curves. Since most don't, this is a reasonable approach.

    But take this a step further: it makes even more sense not to make the scale factor linear (resulting in the flat, straight line curves you mention). Users typically are not satisfied with flat curves; they are either too steep or too shallow over some part of the range.

    Apple's solution was to condense everything into one control that interactively adjusts everything: the distance & velocity sensitivity and the shape of the curve. At the lowest setting, velocity sensitivity is essentially zero; as the setting is increased, the velocity sensitivity increases, as does the distance one. But the shape of the curve also changes. The result, after a lot of testing involving a wide range of users of varying physical dexterity & computer experience, is a range of adjustment that most Mac users find both more than adequate & easy to set.

    Obviously enough, some users do not find this range adequate. There is no point in arguing about that. But some I suspect just want to be able to experiment with radical settings even if they aren't really very useable. A few seem to want the impossible, although they my not realize it: a response that is velocity independent, extremely precise, & still somehow covers large screen distances with short mouse strokes.

    All I can suggest for those that are not happy with Apple's implementation is to send the company feedback about it, explaining clearly what you want. Hopefully, the discussion about derivatives, interactivity, multiple curves, et al will help with that.
  • Aaaaaack! Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    R C-R - I think we're actually in agreement here.

    While I understand and appreciate the desire for simple controls, Apple has oversimplified in this case, as evidenced by the fact that I, and apparently others, are unable to find a setting with which we are comfortable.

    aubrey! said it well: "Please, Apple, provide us with the tools to modify these curves."
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,990 points)
    aubrey! said it well: "Please, Apple, provide us with the tools to modify these curves."


    Perhaps, but this is not the place to say it, since this is a user-to-user forum & we can't provide the tools. For suggestions to Apple, use http://www.apple.com/feedback/macosx.html.
  • Aaaaaack! Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Also done. But this thread was useful as some users posted references to third party developers who are working on solutions should Apple disregard our pleas.

    "Please, someone, provide us with the tools to modify these curves."
  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (15,990 points)
    Because there is little apparent demand for this (tens of millions of Mac in use & relatively few complaints about mouse behavior) it would be a good idea to contact those developers directly, letting them know you are interested in an alternate driver & what features you would like to see it offer. It really can make a big difference if developers know what users want.

    Alternately, you might check out some of the third party mouses & mouse-alternatives. Many have drivers that offer more control over pointer characteristics.
Previous 1 2 3 4 Next