Tank Mouse (Hardware)

The tank mouse is a wireless mouse, meant to look like the mouse the Amiga had. There was a Kickstarter for it, but I can’t give money to Kickstarter any more, after all the times I have been burned. The amount hasn’t been much, but I get obsessed with being cheated. So I waited to see if this would actually be produced.

It was! It is!

It does not come with an instruction manual and it runs on batteries. I am ok with it running on batteries because it means they never considered having the power plug come out of the bottom of it as Apple does with the “Magic Mouse” (which is still the all-time worst “form over function” garbage design decision in anything, probably the worst single design decision in the whole of humanity).

It supports a Bluetooth connection in theory, and it also has a USB dongle if you want to go wireless. There are two versions you can buy – if you buy the more expensive version, you also get a plug for your Amiga (or other retro computer) and you can use this wireless Tank Mouse that way.

I did not know where the wireless dongle was. I went to put two AAA batteries in it, so I opened the door…. and there it was. It was something, as a decision, but who cares, I found it. I couldn’t get my Macbook for work to see it in Bluetooth mode, but it seems perfectly happy to work with the non-Bluetooth USB connector, so I am doing that.

I like how it feels. The buttons feel sturdy and responsive when I press them. It does seem really light, just in terms of mass, but I am ok with that, and a better reviewer would have a scale to compare the weight to the original Amiga version. But the Amiga version can’t be this light, it just caaaain’t. But that’s fine.

The Tank Mouse has a scroll section too! It’s right down on the top of the mouse itself. There is no visual way of “knowing” this – you just move your finger up and down the top of the thing, and you will scroll. It’s not 100% smooth just yet. We’ll see. The Gameball I was using, reviewed earlier, was a bit frustrating in that respect at first as well, so I am ok here giving this some time.

But yeah, I like it. I think I can get work done with it. I did find myself having to pick it off the wooden pad I “made” for it, and place it back in the middle. I don’t know how you people live like this and it means I will go back to a trackball for work eventually. Someday.

There is the matter of how it looks. I like how it looks. It looks…. odd, doesn’t it? BIT ODD INNIT? I do not like how many modern mice look. They are eyesores. I have a theory I am working on for designs like mice and trackballs and other computer hardware. What we used to see a lot in superhero films would be the discarding of the stories that, in the comic world, became famous. Well, that was dumb because if a story set in a comic survived well enough to become famous in 40 years it was probably good. Someone getting the go-ahead to make a “Fantastic Four” script from scratch and reinventing anything had an uphill battle and they lost those battles because all of those movies are terrible. I feel the same way about mice. I don’t think I will use this as a daily driver – I need to fix my CST Trackball – but they cared as much about design in the 1980s as we do now. The tank mouse has a good design for me: it fits my hand well and the buttons are satisfying. I like it well enough and I love it as a successful Kickstarter event.

You can get your own tank mouse over here at Sordan.ie.

Comments? Join us on the forum.

Ice Cream Jonsey