"I'll bet you can't tell I've never done this before."
At a tattoo parlour
SOFTWARE REVIEW: "MOUSE TRICKS II"
by Richard Karsmakers
A variety of mouse speeders are available, both commercially and
in the Public Domain, both separately or as part of some other,
bigger Thing. FaST Club, however, probably have in their
collection of commercial software the most versatile mouse tool
available literally anywhere, and it's Jonathan Lawrence's "Mouse
Well, apart from speeding the mouse, what can it do?
If "Mouse Tricks" would only be able to speed up mouse
movements, nobody would be too likely to use it. "Maccel" is for
free and "Warp 9" has a fairly flexible mouse speeder built in.
However, "Mouse Tricks" goes far beyond that. It supports the use
of a PC serial mouse for example (so you will no longer have a
reason to not swipe one of those PC mice at your school's
computer department), and also allows you to configure mouse
behaviour according to the environment it's in (for example in a
specific program - up to 40 of these "sets" can be stored). It
can even restrict the amount of memory that will be grabbed by a
memo-hogging program. Apart from speeding up mouse movements, it
can also slow them down (handy for artwork).
Apart from "Mouse Tricks" itself, the disk contains an accessory
"Read Text" utility (displays text, find, mark, block print,
save, among other things), a "Big ST" program (for virtual
screens with smooth scrolling on STE and slightly less smooth
scrolling on ST; not Falcon-compatible) and a "Mouse Tricks
Tutor" program (which will display help texts on buttons in
"Mouse Tricks" when [ALTERNATE] is pressed and the "Read Text"
accessory is installed).
"Mouse Tricks" itself comes in various incarnations, each using
a different amount of memory. In order of descending memory
consumption, these are "Mouse Tricks Tutor" (mentioned above,
takes up 72 Kb), the full version (69 Kb), a version with the
text display removed (52 Kb), a version with limited dialog
adjustments but with text displayer (50 Kb), a version with
limited dialog adjustments and no text displayer (34 Kb) and the
stand-alone "Read Text" accessory (24 Kb).
Mouse speed is controlled by three functions: Speed,
acceleration and limit. 'Speed' selects the mouse step size,
'acceleration' determines the magnification of mouse movement
(the faster you move the mouse, the faster the point moves, not
affecting slow movements) and 'limit' specifies a possible
acceleration limit. Beyond these three functions, the actual
"tricks" start, such as there are...
...wrap, allowing the mouse to warp across screen edges.
...menu, allowing you to specify whether pull-down menus should
be pull-down menus (like default "Geneva", Apple Mac and Amiga)
or drop-down (Atari default).
...cursor, causing the program to simulate cursor movements in
the appropriate direction when an edge of the screen is hit by
the mouse pionter.
...invert, for people who want to use the mouse "tail down"
(apparently this is how some people want to play flight
...remind, a function that helps GEM a bit when it is confused
about the mouse state (happens a lot; like when you click "down"
on a window slider and it thinks you've pressed it twice or
...MedXtra, for in ST medium res, when X-axis movement should be
...screen, this allows for the screen blanker (no show in Falcon
colour modes, though) to be configured and screen parameters
(such as 50/60 Hz on ST and colours) to be set.
The right mouse button isn't used by many programs (and there
are even options in "Mouse Tricks" to cater for the programs that
do) so that's why a host of special effects can be assigned to
this button, such as...
...shift, which pretends that a selectable combination of [LEFT
SHIFT], [RIGHT SHIFT], [ALTERNATE] and [CONTROL] is pressed.
...dbl, to simulate a left mouse button double-click (for people
who are old or otherwise unable to double-click efficiently).
...keypress, to simulate a key press with optional added mouse
click or pressing [SHIFT].
...hyperspace, to quickly cause the mouse to jump to one of 15
pre-defined (or user-definable) locations.
I already said it's the most extensive program of its kind. I
don't think anyone will want to dispute that. There's only one
disadvantage and for me it's a major one but it might not be for
you: It doesn't work with "Geneva" (nor with "MultiTOS" either).
I guess it's impossible to make it work with those due to the
extreme closeness of the program with what's going on inside GEM
and the like.
Maybe the Codeheads will want to build in some of the "Mouse
Tricks" things in the "Warp 9" control panel (most notably the
"remind" and "cursor" options).
o A wide variety of options included. There not much left to
wish for. Well...I for one can't think of anything.
o Up to 40 environments (such as "desktop" or "CALAMUS.PRG")
can be defined to which a total set of definitions can be
assigned, including different mouse speed and behaviour in
o Extensive manual (>100 Kb), tutorial versions for absolute
geeks and reviewers <grin>. The manual even includes a
o No compatibility with "MultiTOS" or "Geneva".
I suggest you contact FaST Club about acquiring this program if
you're interested. They'll also be able to tell you what it
costs, which is something of which I'm afraid I don't have a clue
at the moment. The address is:
7 Musters Road
Nottingham NG2 7PP
Thanks a lot to Paul Glover for sending the review copy!
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.