Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Sing Happy Birthday or Say Goodbye to the Computer Mouse?

Exactly 40 years ago today, Douglas C. Engelbart showed the first ever computer mouse – made of wood. It took a while to make an impact. Apple was the first in developing a computer with a graphic user interface that made use of the mouse – and that wasn’t until 1983.

Today we take the mouse for granted. In fact when the mouse isn’t working, few of us know how to get the computer to do anything at all. I remember navigating a word processing software merely by using the keyboard short cuts. Cumbersome and confusing if you forgot the shortcuts but then I also had to work on a screen that was green and black.

But even as the computer mouse is celebrated its days could be numbered. Lots of companies are making man-computer interaction even more intuitive – touch screens, gesture servers, and a new generation of the mouse that fits between thumb and forefinger and is held like a pen. So maybe the mouse as we know it will soon be a thing of the past – just like the black and green screens are.

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