New mouse!

Stopped into Future Shop the other day to buy a boring, entry-level
optical mouse, since I’m sick of all the ball-cleaning (HLAGHALHGL)
and want to join the 20th century with a wheelmouse. For some reason
no-one including the salesperson could understand, the
MS Intellimouse Explorer Optical
was marked down to $30 (regular $70), so I picked one up. Wow,
neato! Extra buttons and everything. (The sale, if you’re interested,
lasts until Sept. 18.)

I had to get the extra thumb buttons working though (as X buttons 6
and 7 — 4 and 5 are scroll-up and scroll-down). I found IMWheel, which sits between
applications and the X server’s mouse driver and intercepts anything
that is not X, Y, or buttons 1-3. You can configure it to pass buttons
4-5 through in all or some applications, to make the scrollwheel work
normally, but you can also customize any button 4-7 with control, alt,
shift or a combination of modifiers (or none) to send an arbitrary set
of keystrokes. I now have a scrollwheel-driven mutt, and thumb
buttons to switch channels in xchat, and control-scrollwheel tab
navigation in Mozilla, and workspace-switching buttons in Fluxbox,
and so on.

If you have a scrollmouse, even if you don’t have extra buttons, you
should check IMWheel out. Of course, you quickly encounter the
Custom Keybinding Problem:

     <coraline> mendel: amazingly inconsistent interfaces, with
                 per-application behaviours?  golly, it sounds like you're 
                 working under X windows!

I think I will go back and buy another Intellimouse for work. Really
comfy in the hands too. I avoid Microsoft’s software when possible, but
they really do a decent job on hardware.

Also: My sweetie cooks for me. I have it so good.