MX900 on OS X

I could not be happier, I finally got my MX900 bluetooth mouse working correctly on Mac OS X. To clarify, it always worked but I had 5 buttons that were just there for decoration, and I really missed the back and forward buttons. The magic application that made my day? Gamepad Companion. I tried a couple of others, including the awful Logitech software, and nothing even came close to working. For future reference here are the button assignments on the mouse as shown in the interface:

  1. Left button
  2. Right button
  3. Wheel button (press down on wheel)
  4. Side back arrow button
  5. Side front arrow button
  6. Switch window button (below wheel)
  7. Up scroll (above wheel)
  8. Down scroll (below wheel)

The only thing that would make it perfect is if I could make the wheel button a double-click.

38 replies on “MX900 on OS X”

  1. I’ve almost bought an MX900 for my 12″ PB loads of times but evidence of a Mac symbol and of it working with someone else online (Were) none-existant. Cheers.

    One question, do you have to use that ugly cradle for connection as well as charging?

  2. No my Powerbook has built in Bluetooth. I don’t think the cradle thing works with Macs, so you can use it just for a charger (which I do) or use it to bluetooth-enable any PCs you have lying around.

  3. Hi Matt

    Glad you got this working – whats it like to hold?

    I have big hands so i need something big. I currently have a Microsoft Wireless Optical Explorer thingy but its getting a bit old and seems to drag.

    I like the array of extra buttons, that should help speed up surfing.

    i spend a lot of hours in front of my computer, so a comfortable mouse is a must!

    Thanks

  4. It’s pretty hefty, but your best bet is to get your hands on one in a store. My hands are normal sized (I think) so I can’t really speak for it either way.

  5. I am impressed. I have been using the MX900 since it was released, and while it is wonderful as a mouse, I have never bothered to play with all various buttons. Maybe this will inspire me…

  6. Very cool, Matt. The MX900 was the first accessory I got for my 15″ pbook. I love it. Haven’t gotten into using the extra buttons, though. I think I might have assigned one for an Expose feature but I usually just use the keyboard.

    I picked up an Apple Wireless Keyboard (bluetooth) and Belkin iCurve the other day and it makes for a real nice “desktop like” setup while I’m at home. God bless bluetooth!

  7. Matt, let me know if you find a way to turn it OFF when you aren’t using it (without taking out the batteries) — I have mine in my bag a lot during the day traveling between classes and whatnot and it stays on the entire time because it’s sliding around. I don’t understand what would be so difficult about putting an on/off switch on these things. Outside of that it’s a great mouse and MUCH BETTER than the MS bluetooth mouse I had previously — both the tracking and physical feel of it are so much better.

  8. Justin, if you put a bit of tape over the laser beam it thinks it is sitting on a desk not moving and turns itself off after a while. (Unless buttons are pushed.) However I found the battery life good enough (at least a couple of days per charge) that I don’t worry about this too much and just toss it in my bag most of the time.

  9. Yah, I’ve actually used that method before, but the caveat is that you’re required to carry around a piece of tape.  πŸ˜› I too have found the battery life sufficient for a couple of days use, even with it constantly being on, but I still think there should be a way to turn it off.

  10. A friend of mine has a mouse riddled with buttons, and frankly it annoys me. Whenever I don’t want to “go back”, it does.

    Of course, that’s just a bad design, but honestly, I think 3 buttons and a scrollable wheel (perhaps tiltable?) is more than enough.

    Then again, I’m a Windows user, and using a nice app called “StrokeIt” (yes, that’s the name) adds mouse gestures to Windows (not only browsers). I’ve used them for a couple of months now, and can’t live without it anymore. It makes navigating not only the web but the computer so much faster.

    The gestures can be customized, but most of them work like this: hold right mouse button, and drag a gesture. Diagonally down left minimizes, down then left invokes “new window”, down then right closes a window, left goes back, right goes forward, and hold right then scroll cycles through open windows. Priceless.

  11. Pingback: Jacken's Weblog
  12. I just received my MacMice Bluetooth mouse. The tracking is very smooth and responsive and I am happy with the speed at which the cursor moves. I have had the same problem as Jacken in that I’m a lefty and no one seems to be willing to step up and mac (AT LEAST) a symmetric BT Mouse. It’s very frustrating.

    Now to the real issue I’m having with my new MacMice BT. I STARTED EXPERIENCING ALMOST IMMEDIATE PAIN IN MY WRIST, FOREARM (and now moving to my elbow and shoulder) WITHIN MINUTES OF USING IT.

    At first I though my hand just needs to get used to the new form factor, as I’ve been using a trusty (symmetric) Logitech optical for six years. But now the pain is so intense that I cannot use it at all. Rethinking the issue, I believe it is the form factor that is causing this problem. The shape/ergonomics of the MacMice (same as the Apple Mice) just doesn’t give my hand and fingers the support they need. I have large hands (I’m 6’3″), maybe that’s the problem? HAS ANYONE ELSE EXPERIENCED PAIN when switching from traditional form actor to the Apple/MacMice form?

    I’m also currently testing the MX900 which I borrowed from a friend. The tracking seems too slow for me and I have the max speed set in prefs. But the real problem is that no matter how much I’d like it to work for me — it’s just not designed for a lefty.

    Well, I guess I’m reverting back to my nearly ancient $20 Logitech Corded Optical mouse.

    Don’t hate me cause I’m lefty!

  13. Were you able to disable the default scrolling behavior of the scroll buttons? When I set the ScrollDownButton to F10 (to activate Expose) using either the Expose preference panel or GamePad Companion, I still get a scroll down event if the mouse is over a scrollable window.

    For example, I set the ScrollDownButton to F10 (Application Expose). I click ScrollDownButton over one of my Safari windows. It scrolls down a tiny bit before Expose activates. I get annoyed :-).

    On another note, I believe that USB Overdrive will only work for this mouse if you use the USB cradle that comes with the mouse as your Bluetooth hub.

  14. Hey Matt,

    I’m trying to get the very same thing to work with my new Powerbook, but I can’t seem to figure out how to define the buttons. I can set the thumb buttons to e.g. Scroll Up, but “Go Back” or “Go Forward” isn’t viewable anywhere. You’ll have to excuse me if this is a stupid question. I’m new to OS X and Mac πŸ™‚

    Thanks in advance.

  15. what key combinations did you use for back/forward and middle button? i’m trying to get back & forward to work in my browser, as well as middle click for tabs, but it’s not working.

    however, if i map up and down to the side buttons, it works fine. anyone have a similar issue with 2.2?

  16. I’m very happy with my MX900, I use it with the internal BT in my iMac G5 and installed the GamePad Companion after reading about it here. Works great.
    I have one problem though… Every morning when I wake my Mac up from sleep mode it has lost contact with the MX900 – the keyboard works fine, so I have to use it to access the System Preferences/Mouse config/Bluetooth settings and pair the mouse again with my iMac. Every morning – It’s driving me crazy. Has anyone else experienced this problem? What to do?

  17. I’m using the MX900 with Gamepad Companion and it’s a great mouse. I do wish it had an on/off switch, and I’m planning to open it up sometime to see if I can put one in myself.

    My 15″ Al PB will wake from sleep if I move the mouse. I don’t have to pair it again unless I press the ‘connect’ button on the bottom of the mouse.

    However, Gamepad Companion seems to lose track of the mouse after sleep. I have to go into System Preferences and stop, then start Gamepad Companion to regain the functionality in the assigned buttons again. This also happens when I put the mouse in the charging cradle. The computer loses the connection with the mouse, then regains it after I take the mouse off the charger. The mouse works, except for the button assignments. Gamepad Companion must be stopped and restarted.

    I wrote an Applescript that stops and restarts Gamepad Companion to make this step less painful. Then I noticed that whenever Gamepad Companion loses the mouse, it begins to write this line to console.log repeatedly:

    Could not get HID event via getNextEvent. #-536870183 (0xe00002d9)

    It writes the line continuously until Gamepad Companion is turned off. When I put the mouse on the charger overnight, or traveled with the computer and left the mouse behind, console.log would start growing like kudzu. I finally noticed I had about 5 gigabytes worth of log files and traced it to Gamepad Companion.

    I’m still pondering this one, and am wondering if anyone else has seen this with Gamepad Companion.

  18. Matt, many thanks for your web page. However, I keep reading as you stated above that “if you have built in Bluetooth, the cradle thing doesn’t work with Macs, so you can use it just for a charger (which I do) or use it to bluetooth-enable any PCs you have lying around.”

    Unless I am missing something, my G5 dual processor unit with built-in BT seems to be the opposite: in other words, the Mac has recognized the Logitech adaptor/charger as a BT device and is allowing the LT device to control the mouse. In fact, when I unplug the charger/adaptor, the LT mouse doesn’t work at all and the Mac won’t recognixe the LT mouse at all.

    See my post at Julian’s Blog.

    Also, on mine the ACadaptor plugs into the USB key so there’s no way to charge only without plugging into the computer.

    Maybe I’m a noob and there’s something major I’ve overlooked.

    Thanks again though your page is very informative.

    – Alex

  19. About Gamepad Companion.

    I have the same error too! It ain’t cool. I now know what the hell is going on. I did not know until your post.

    I have no solution to offer though. I’m sorry.

    I think we should complain to these guys at daveca@mac.com

    Cheers.
    PM

  20. Hello, I would just like to say that I recently purchased this mouse for my PB 15 inch, and I simply love it.

    I was looking for a unique solution that provided a wireless mouse that I could use with both my PC and mac, this BT option seemed to fit naturally, and it does! I do have to unpair from my PC to get it to pair with the mac, but that is a quick 10 second process of hitting the connect button on the bottom of the mouse to disrupt the connection, and then my PC realizes this issue and askes me if I would like to disconnect, I simply say .. “yeah”

    I am using a combination of “Game Pad Companion” and Expose to get the most out of this mouse’s buttons. I figure I will just give my layout for example to those who are still researching.

    buttons of note:
    – forward and backward are programmed in Game Pad to do just that with the “mulitiple key” option
    – up and down scroll buttons i set for agressive “single key input” by setting the up and down buttons, then clicking the “rapid fire” option
    – wheel (pushed as button) is programmed in Expose to reveal desktop
    – application change button is programmed it in Expose to seperate all application windows

    overall, I am very satisfied with this mouse! I have not had many problems with yet (I have only had two days of testing) – but so far, this is the perfect solution to the problem I had.

    Now if only the Laser mouse was Blue tooth

  21. I too have noticed the Console.Log file growing w/o bounds w/ “Could not get HID event Via getNextEvent. #-536870183 (0xe000029d)” They really have to fix that.

  22. Hey there,

    Just found this entry and really appreciate it. Ive been surfing and surfing for info on bluetooth mice because I just ordered a Mac-Mini. After reading and reading about how only some of the buttons work for this mouse (which seemed to be the best one I saw), I found your journal entry. It really helped me out in making my decision. Thanks for the help.

    Sincerely,
    Desmond

  23. Yes, the MouseBT from MacMice is very badly designed. It’s very hard to click. The right click on mine gets stuck all the time. Wrong choice.

    The Logitech MX 900 is a good choice if you accelerate the speed with MouseZoom: http://homepage.mac.com/bhines/mousezoom.html

    Multiply the speed by 5, and it’s fine.

    Take care all of you

  24. I’ve been trying to set mine up to work with gamepad companion, but when I try to assign keys to the thumb buttons, the computer just makes the keyboard error “thunk” sound. Is there a setting I’m missing somewhere?

  25. I just bought the MX900 on eBay (a steal price BTW) and am waiting for it to arrive. (My wife is going to hold it hostage until our anniversary since it is my present for the occasion.) One thing that I haven’t seen anyone mentioning is HID Wizard. I read about this on another message board, but I haven’t heard anyone’s experience in using it with the MX900. Anyone out there tried it or willing to try it out to see how well it helps (or doesn’t help) these problems?

    Godspeed,
    Jamie pH

  26. I just got an MX900 to replace my MX700 (just wanted Bluetooth). Unfortunately I just assumed it would work like the MX700 (wrong!). I downloaded GamePad Companion and it found the mouse just fine. I then tried to configure buttons 4 and 5. At first it would not register the commands at all. Finally it registered that I wanted ‘option+left arrow’ and ‘option+right arrow’ in the software. However, the mouse buttons still don’t operate that way. Does anyone have a suggestion?

    TIA!
    ken

  27. As it turns out, GamePad Companion works perfectly. Ages ago I had set mouse buttons for Expose actions which overrode GamePad. As soon as I reset those and used ‘command’ instead of ‘option’ everything was great! (Definately not one of my brighter moments!)

    Thanks!
    ken

  28. Hi,

    I was just wondering what you set your MX900’s button 8 to (down arrow just below scroll wheel).

    Mine by default runs switch programs, equivalent to APPLE+TAB on keyboard. The trouble is, I want it to be scroll down (like on windows!) and the opposite to the up arrow button 7 which, incidently, has no set-up problems!

    My problem is that no matter what I map button 8 to it reverts to APPLE+TAB switch programs!! It’s very frustrating!

    Can you suggest a solution/workaround?

    Many thanks

    Matt

  29. The big and only problem with the Mx-900 and Gamepad Companion is that there is no way to map a mouse button to a “Command-Click”. I use that all day and every day to open new windows in my browser.

    USB overdrive let’s you do that with USB devices and the Logitec Control Panel does too.

    C’mon Gamepad Companion, please support modifier keys with mouse clicks.

    Ciao,
    ml

  30. Hi, thanks a lot for this hint!
    (btw: this page is the first link if you ask google for “mx900 mac”)

    I had the mx700 many years with my desktop-pc and really got used to its numberous buttons. Now i got myself a macbook – and because i don’t wanted to carry the mouse-receiver with me, i bought a mx900 cheaply at ebay. With gamepad-companion everything worked fine at first try!

    Here is my configuration:
    1. Left button
    2. Right button
    3. Wheel button (press down on wheel) -> Command + v (COPY)
    4. Side back arrow button -> Command + left (BACK)
    5. Side front arrow button -> enter
    6. Switch window button (below wheel) -> F9 (EXPOSE)
    7. Up scroll (above wheel) -> delete
    8. Down scroll (below wheel) -> Command + C (COPY)

    Hints:
    To assign the key for Expose (F9) you have to change your key for Expose in the setting “Dashboard&Expose” to something else (doesnt matter what), then assign F9 in Gamepad Companion and finally set the Expose-key back to F9.

    … arghs, while writing this text, i noticed that when i press the wheel button (assigned as COPY), it copies, but _also_ starts the automatic scrolling in Firefox! Any hints how to avoid this?

  31. … got it:
    you just have to deactivate “activate automatic scrolling” in your Firefox’s preferences (Tab “Advanced”)

    … and of course, Command + v is PASTE and not copy πŸ™‚

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