Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 132 / AUGUST 1991 / PAGE 49

Microsoft Serial-PS/2 Mouse. (evaluation)
by Clifton Karnes

Microsoft revolutionized the mouse world when it introduced its third-generation Dove-bar mouse in 1987. In addition to a new streamlined shape and Ivory-soap color, the Microsoft mouse boasted two revolutionary first: Its two buttons were different sizes (the left button, which is the workhorse button, was larger than the right), and the ball, traditionally placed under the palm of the hand, was moved forward, nearer the buttons.

The Serial-PS/2 mouse reviewed here has everything that revolutionary mouse had plus two important extras: higher resolution and a ballistic driver.

While the original Dove-bar mouse had a resolution of 200 dpi, the newest Microsoft mouse boats a resolution of 400 dpi. The higher resolution means that it takes less mouse movement to spirit the cursor across the screen. In short, the mouse is faster.

The ballistic driver makes mouse movement more efficient by trying to second-guess your intentions. It assumes that if you're moving the mouse quickly, you want to cover a lot of screen territory fast, and it thinks that if you're moving slowly, you must be doing careful positioning.

The driver works by detecting increases in mouse speed and moving the cursor faster than normal when a speed threshold is crossed. The Microsoft driver uses 16 thresholds, so it is constantly adjusting to the speed you move the mouse.

As an example, when you move the Serial-PS/2 mouse quickly, it crosses a normal 80-column text screen with less than 1 inch of mouse movement. If you move the mouse slowly, the same cross-screen journey takes more than 3 1/2 inches. The higher resolution combined with the ballistic driver gives the mouse an unmatched silky-smooth feel.

A note on connections: This mouse comes with a 9-pin, a 25-pin, and PS/2 port connectors. You can plug it into almost anything but a wall socket.

For me, the Microsoft mouse is close to perfection. Its shape and balance are ideal, its high resolution easily laps the competition, and its ballistic drivers are the fastest and most surefooted in the industry.