Just what is a computer mouse ? for many of us it’s simply a tool to control a computer by manipulating the computers cursor movement in parallel to the physical movement of the mouse.
Computer Mouse History
Who invented the computer mouse ?
The first prototype computer mouse is now over 40 years old, it was invented in 1964 by Douglas Engelbart, it was designed with a wooden shell, and had 2 metal wheels, unlike today the cable to the computer came from the back of the mouse, hence where the name mouse came from. Engelbart designed the computer mouse to change the way computer could be used, up until this point computer were considered to be very specialized equipment, used only by the like of scientists.
The First Computer Mouse Designed By Douglas Engelbart
what is a computer mouse article
The computer mouse has undergone a lot of changes over a relatively short period of time, we have seen literally all aspects of it changing from the following.
The early mice used a serial type connection, which at the time was a problem as the port was normally being used by devices such as printers so computer manufacturers started added multiple serial ports, usually they would come with a 2, the larger 25 pin type and the small 9 pin for the mouse.
The next incarnation of the mouse was the Mini DIN or PS/2 type connector, it now shared the same type of connecter as the keyboard, but each would only work in it’s own specific port, so manufacturers started to color code mouse and keyboard connectors to match the same on the computer, green for a mouse and purple for a keyboard.
Now we move onto the USB (universal serial bus) standard which is the most common type of connection around today, when the USB connectors were first introduced there was literally no devices or peripherals available for them (hard to believe now today) and it got the nick name useless serial bus.
The big advantage of USB computer mice is the ease in which a mouse can be installed, generally just plug in, wait a few minutes and it will be installed and ready to use.
Unlike the older PS2 and serial technologies a USB mouse can be plugged in and recognized while a computer is switched in.
Still with the USB standard, the next computer mouse replaced the mouse ball with a laser which suffers far less from dirt and grime as picked up on the older types, it also means it works more accurately when on an adequate surface.
And finally we went wireless, the original wireless mice used Infra red, the same type as a type or video remote control, but due to the unreliability of the signal this was soon replaced by Wireless technologies such as Bluetooth.
New generations of computer mice have expanded into all directions including shape or ergonomics, novelty, multiple buttons, plus lots more bells and whistles
So in a very short space of time, we’ve seen the invention of the computer mouse, the changes in interface, control systems, and removal of cables, but at the end of the day it still does the same thing as the original.