18 January 2011

No ordinary battery looks like it

I bought a iMac recently and I love it.

Interestingly though, the batteries that came with the portable mouse have already started to die and I keep getting warnings on my screen telling me to change or recharge them as soon as possible. Diligently, I took the pair of wasting AAs out of the mouse and located two fresh ones from the drawer.

They didn't work.

I took two more out. And they didn't work either. I tried further combinations of the ten or so AA batteries in my drawer, all of which I knew to be at full pelt, and the mouse wouldn't have them. So I put the original batteries back in and they worked, albeit the warnings about their diminishing power returned.

A quick scan at some Apple forums suggest that this is not uncommon.

So, does this mean that the mouse for Apple has been designed only to use not just a specific size of battery, but a specific brand too? That sounds like a tie-in, and not a great one if, as these seem to be, the brand happens to be one that you don't recognise from the battery displays you see behind every shop counter and beside every supermarket conveyor belt.

These work, and are in the mouse at the moment:-

These, despite being very similar (and far more familiar, to me at least), do not:-

The difference is in the word 'advanced'. And another brand of AAs called ActivEnergy don't work either. The forums claim even good old Duracells fail to work too.

I just thought battery size was all you needed to get right. I'm clearly wrong.

Anyway, a mate suggested I buy these for future use, and I have duly ordered some. They'll at least work in the various remote controls about the house if they're not good enough for an iMac mouse.


Mark X said...

I fear it's a sign that I'm officially Getting Too Old For This Shit, but I've never really seen the point of wireless mice and keyboards. "Hey, my wireless mouse still works at a distance of fifteen feet away from the keyboard!" What are you, an eagle? Mr Tickle? Using a football stadium jumbotron for your monitor?

Mind you, I may just be bitter because the one time I owned a wireless mouse, the batteries decided to run out right at the point I'd been handed pocket aces in an online poker match, preventing me from making any kind of bet, meaning instead of winning the hand and storming to the top of the leaderboard, I was busy timing out whilst swearing loudly at a piece of plastic.

Valentine Suicide said...

Is it the Magic Mouse with the trackpad glass surface. I've never had any problems with mine. I had Duracells in it for a while but switched to Sony Cycleenergy rechargeables a few months back.

Are you sure the batteries don't work. I know the MM can occasionally be a little temperamental when you switch it on, can sometimes not sync with the Mac, but you can tell whether it's got power by the green light underneath.

Lee Slator said...

The issue with a product only working with a specific brand of battery aswell as size isn't only reserved for your iMac.

A work colleague purchased his son a toy for christmas from Toys R Us a couple of years ago (think it was a radio controlled car but I might be mistaken). As you can imagine, he couldn't get the toy working on Christmas Day with the various known good batteries he had in the house. When he tried to return the product to Toys R Us after christmas, they told him to try a particular brand (oddly Philips) as a number of people had found that they worked in it. Lo and behold, they did. It just so happened that Toys 'R' Us had this particular brand of battery in stock and no doubt at a 'premium' price!

Matthew Rudd said...

VS, I tried all the AA batteries in my home and the only ones that worked were the dying batteries the mouse came with. The little green light activated for those; the rest of the time the iMac was searching, in vain, for a mouse.

The new rechargeable USB batteries arrived this morning. They work a treat.