Use a wireless mouse as a remote control

Jun 26, '06 07:30:05AM

Contributed by: regulus

I've seen a bunch of hints about using Apple's Remote Control to control your Mac with other applications, or a cell phone as a remote, or ATI's Remote Wonder, etc. So I thought I'd share how I remotely control my Mac. I have a wireless Bluetooth mouse, specifically the Logitech MX900. It has eight buttons, and I use USB Overdrive to control the programming of the buttons, since Logitech doesn't support the Mac with this mouse. Note: I'm not suggesting you buy this mouse, because it was difficult to get it to operate properly with OS X. I had to program it first on a PC before it would work right in OS X, and before USB Overdrive would recognize it.

With USB Overdrive, I can set up the buttons for any specific application. With the mouse being Bluetooth, it also works across my entire house. This hint isn't specifically for this mouse though, as any wireless mouse would work the same, although maybe not as far.

Here's one way I use it, with Front Row. Front Row can be controlled from the keyboard using the arrow keys and others. As such, it's trivial to program USB Overdrive to operate Front Row by matching the mouse buttons to the Front Row keyboard keys. I have my Mac connected to a TV as a second monitor, so I just active Front Row on my mac, then carry the mouse into the living room, and it operates flawlessly. The right and left mouse buttons cycle through the selections, the scroll wheel moves up and down the menus, the middle muse button makes my selection, etc...

I wanted to share this because everyone has a mouse, so everyone has a "remote," too. Sometimes there's no need to buy extra equipment to do something. You can download and try USB Overdrive for free, and if you like it, the cost is small.

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Mac OS X Hints