Here Kitty, Kitty! The Evolution Of The Mouse!


You know what I have not really thought about in a long time? My mouse – not my pet mouse, I’m talking about my computer mouse.  I find that this computer accessory is something we all seem to not think about unless it stops working, even though without this little marvel, playing on the computer would be a little more challenging. So, I have decided to “Say hello to my little friend!” The things I focused on in my research were – when was it invented, how has it evolved, and where do we think it will go. Let’s start at the very beginning.

The Evolution of the Mouse!

After researching this little guy I felt this is what technology is all about. Back in 1963, American Douglas Engelbart created the first modern mouse, the X-Y Position Indicator.

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Okay, maybe not the kind of mouse you are using now, but the design for a hand held mouse started here. It was made of wood and used two wheels to roll back and forth. The wheels of the mouse ran perpendicular to each other. Basically looks like the little cheese slicers if you ask me (just realized I made a mouse reference). This was the first computer mouse that could fit in the palm of your hand.

Now, as with all technology, there is always someone who wants to make it better. By 1968 we got the first rolling ball mouse called Telefunken Rollkugel which, as the name suggests, came from Germany.

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This is more like what you are familiar with. With this baby you no longer have the cheese slicers, now you have a roller ball. The only thing the company did not do was patent their design. Oops! Apparently, they considered the invention too small to apply for a patent – big mistake!

From here is where, in 1973, Xerox came out with the “Alto.” This system came with a 3 button mouse and was not a commercial product. It took almost 10 more years before Xerox modified their system, then calling it “Xerox 8010 Star Information System”, which was one of the first personal computers with a mouse to ship out to consumers. It would cost about $75,000 ($195,000 in today’s dollars) for a basic system, and $16,000 ($42,000 today) for each additional workstation … Ouch. Wait, I think I might have that stashed in my couch cushions.


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As the years went on people kept creating better and better mice, or is it mouses? Here is a fast forward list through the timeline of the mouse evolution:

  • 1983 Apple Lisa mouse (I liked Lisa)
  • 1995 Mouse Systems ProAgio (Scroll Mouse)
  • 1996 Microsoft IntelliMouse (I have every model)
  • 1998 Razer Boomslang (Gamer’s mouse)
  • 2009 Apple Magic Mouse (All about the magic)

So, as you can see, the mouse has come a long way through time. It is amazing how something so small can help us so much. Now what will be its future? Will we need this little marvel and will it still resemble what we are using now? My thought is that it will probably still be around in some way, it will just have a different form than what we are a accustomed too. Of course, with technology, the powers that be are more likely to dismiss this type of device – as is the case with motion interfaces and voice recognition trying to push the mouse out and be the next big thing for the future. Only time will tell if my little friend manages to survive the battle.

Throughout time the mouse has evolved from its wooden beginnings to way out devices such as these:

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I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the humble mouse.

Now it’s your turn – Do you think the mouse will survive?


 

About the Author

Jason Shuffield

Jason Shuffield began working with computers at an early age. As he gained experience he began helping others who had difficulties with technology and requested assistance. Over time it became obvious there was a local need for a technology expert with great people skills. As a result Jason started his computer repair company, CYIN, in 2011. With years of experience in web design, computer repair, tech support, computer training and social media management Jason loves to share his knowledge and educate people.

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