Cruise Control Buttons Stop Working in Firefox

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angry-computer-user What in the name of all that is holy is going on here?!?

Sometimes I just can’t help but wonder what is it that makes computers so difficult?

Today, I noticed that my Cruise Down and Cruise Up buttons on my Logitech mouse stopped working in Firefox. The odd thing is that they continued to work fine in Chrome, IE, Word, and so on. But, for whatever reason, my Logitech Cruise Mouse buttons broke in Firefox.

Since there was recently an upgrade to Firefox, I figured there was some sort of glitch. My first guess was that someone’s accessibility settings or compatibility settings were messed up. Accessibility settings allow people with disabilities or impairments to tweak how a program behaves. For example, you can’t really expect someone with one arm to hold the shift key while clicking the mouse button. I’ve never really understood why this comes pre-installed on Windows and so many other systems when the percentage of users that need that functionality has to be pretty small. I’m guessing it is political.

So, I checked through all the Windows 7 Accessibility Settings, which have been nicely renamed to Ease of Use Settings. I wonder how many people see that heading and thing, "Gee, I’d like for my computer to be easier to use. I’ll go ahead and turn on the easier mode."

Anyway, it seems that none of those settings were on. Just to be sure I checked and unchecked all the boxes to get everything manually reset. Still, my cruise control scroll buttons wouldn’t work in Firefox.

Next up, an Internet search reveals that several Logitech products suffer from horrible glitches in their software implementations. Unfortunately, the cruise up and cruise down features are one of these trouble areas. However, none of the specific models mentioned matched up with my Logitech Wireless 3200 Laser Keyboard Mouse combo. Nonetheless, I read through several of the threads to find nothing that worked.

I had forgotten just how bad Logitech’s SetPoint software was, because I have been using UberObtions on my computer for a while now, and it actually does what SetPoint should do! Unfortunately, it turns out that while UberOptions fixes SetPoint glitches and allows any key to be mapped to any function setting, it doesn’t really do anything other than expose all the hidden options in the Logitech software. In other words, if it’s broke at the Logitech level, it’s broke in UberOptions too.

What kept bugging me was that the Cruise Control mouse buttons worked fine in all the other software. So, I dug into the about:config settings in Firefox. It seemed the cause of Firefox problem with cruise up and cruise down features would be in the settings related to mousewheel. Another troubleshooting article suggested using the mousewheel about:config settings to fix some other mouse button problems in Firefox. However, that didn’t work either.

Although I like Google Chrome, I’m not ready to give up my array of Firefox plugins that make it do exactly what I need it to do. My NoScript Whitelist alone would take forever to reconfigure on Chrome.

About the time I was ready to give up, I was 5 or 6 pages deep in the search results on Google for my tenth try at crafting a search that would return useful results instead of gamers that have trouble with WoW and Logitech mouse reviews, I stumbled upon a programmer forum where a user asked a question about a glitch in Firefox when something called wmode was set to transparent.

Sometime in the past few days, I had changed the wallpaper on my Windows 7 PC and used the Personalize feature to tweak some colors as well. I also turned off the transparency of the title bar, because it reminds me of a shower door, not a cool user interface design.

It was a long shot, but I was tired, and getting ready to just flat out give up fixing Cruise Control in Firefox on my Logitech wireless mouse. So, I right clicked the desktop, chose personalize, window color, and rechecked the box that says Enable Transparency. And, you can about guess what happened based on the first line of this post.

Yes, folks, Disabling Transparency breaks Cruise Control Mouse Buttons in Firefox if you are using a Logitech Wireless Mouse and the SetPoint software. Can you freaking believe it?

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