The Mouse That Roared

In talking with RAYZ effects artist Drew Perttula we noticed an interesting mouse setup. “For my window manager I'm using FVWM. It supports gestures using libstroke. I can launch Mozilla to or or be logged in to any of the machines I have accounts on, with a flick of the wrist.” Gestures aren't handwriting recognition, but rather crude scribbles, sort of like Palm's Graffiti. When two connected line segments of a particular relative length and orientation are drawn on the desktop using the mouse it launches a command.

Besides gestures, Perttula uses extra mouse buttons:

My mouse has seven buttons. I have them mapped in sort of a funny way that helps me do the frequent Maya left-middle chord drag motion. Because holding down the wheel is a pain, I've remapped the middle button to be the one on the far-right side. Pushing the mouse wheel is now button seven and sends the window to back. The far-left button is set to window drag.
Perttula had to hack FVWM to handle seven buttons, two more than is supported by X. He says he was warned not to use more than five buttons, but it works for him. His mouse is a $10 “Fry's special” Dexxa Optical, and his X startup script contains:
xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 7 3 6 2 4 5"

Perttula's 7-button FVWM hack in libs/defaults.h:

#define NUMBER_OF_MOUSE_BUTTONS        7

Another nifty mousing feature Perttula showed us is using Shift plus the mouse wheel to scroll the Mozilla browser window font sizes on the fly, a recently added Mozilla feature.