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The R5 (Rant, Rave, Rant, Rant, Rave) Blog

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Logitech's Slap In Our Faces (How to get SetPoint/Mouseware to run in Windows Server 2003)

Logitech mice are the best you can find so far. Sure, they may be made by slave labor in China, use increasingly cheap materials and, to top it all off, overpriced (I really should have bought LOGI a long time ago... ;-), but their designs are indeed ergonomic.

In particular, I think they've reached the pinnacle of design with the mouse that came with the old Logitech Cordless Optical Desktop (great ergonomic design paired with el cheapo keyboard action)...

There's really not much to improve upon on it. I love the way the fourth button on the left hand side is conveniently placed where your thumb rests and you can use that to double-click. In fact, in the more recent MX series designs, you get a fifth button, but both it and the fourth buttons are placed a bit higher up...

and this is a mistake because double-clicking gets somewhat harder. So like I said, it's hard to improve upon what was a perfect design earlier.

But slave labor, high prices and cheap materials aside, there is one thing about Logitech mice that really gets my goat and that is... the ^!@#$!@#% driver software or, to be precise, its size.

I recently bought an MX518 (the 'gaming' version of Logitech's MX510) and needed to install the drivers to get the fourth and fifth mouse button to do double-click. I went to the Logitech site to get the latest drivers for it and what I found made my blood boil. The old Mouseware has always had a tendency to be a bloaty POS (but otherwise an excellent of piece of software). Their newest "SetPoint", though, just completely outclasses Mouseware in the shitty bloat department... 32 megabytes for a lousy mouse driver!!!! When your mouse driver software is larger than many DBMS distributions, something is seriously, seriously wrong. Why is it so large you ask? Well, one reason could be that besides the software itself, you get a lot of 'extras' that have nothing to do with mouse functionality - such as some lame 'logitech desktop messenger' application that claims to offer support but is, in all likelihood, nothing but a very thinly disguised attempt to send ads / marketing to the end-user.

You might try to correct me and say that Logitech is just trying to be pro-active in terms of support, but is that really the case?? In the 3 years since Windows Server 2003 was introduced... with all the junk, crap, and bloat Logitech has found time to add to their drivers with each new revision... with their fancy move from Mouseware to SetPoint and all, they have yet to officially provide support for Windows Server 2003 !! Which brings us to the non-rant portion of this blog entry... how to get around this annoyance.

This blog entry shows us the way. With the Setpoint 2.3 that came with my MX518, I also applied the 'Run in Windows XP Compatibility mode' trick to the setup.exe corresponding to Setpoint and I was able to get it to install under Server 2003 with nary a problem. Logitech makes all sorts of dire warnings about Mouseware/Setpoint crashing Server 2003 and requiring a complete reinstall of Server 2003, but so far these seem to be idle threats... I guess their support does not even understand their own product.

Logitech... please get your act together. You are not offering 'good support'... rather, you are making fools out of your customers. You are trying too hard and not doing enough at the same time.