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History of the computer mouse

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Computer mouseThe mouse has been around for over thirty years. Over the years it has had many rivals, from the track ball to the nipple to the flat touch pad. Will the mouse ever disappear from computing?

Below is a transcript of the audio file.

Host: A mouse helps you to engage with a computer screen, I am surprised it has been around for 30 years Jonar.

Jonar Nader: Yes, well it was shown 30 years ago at a computer conference, it was then just a box the size of a cigarette packet, and they said “what does that do?” and he said “well it will help us interact with the computer” and then over the years it had many rivals, it had the thing called the track ball, then we had the thing called the light pen and then we had the thing called the tablet which looked like a table that you could plot things with and you know people in the graphics industry and architects and CAD CAM experts were using the tablet and then we now have in notepads the thing called the nipple, which is a tiny little thing imbedded in the key board and you can move it around, and the touch pad, which is a flat glass panel, but despite all that, the mouse is still the most sold and manufactured product, about 90 000 000 are made each year in China and Mexico and there is a whole new industry around them, like mouse pads and you have got rude shaped mice, and mouse shaped mice, and car shaped mice and so forth, so they become a fashion accessory.

Host: Now it has been said to me that left handed people have some trouble with the mouse.

Jonar Nader: Yes, well now there are left handed mice would you believe that you can contour to your hand. There is a problem in health risks, tenanting virus and RSI and there are special health concerns associated physically with the mouse so that is why you will find them of different shapes and sizes and that is why over the years they have contoured them to the hand, it not deffinatel doesn’t work for a left hander, but you can buy them.

Host: 30 years it took us to include left handed people in computer usage, bizarre isn’t it.

Jonar Nader: They are thinking that in the future they won’t use the mouse at all, you can just use you eyes, they will have a laser coming at you from the screen and it can see your eye movement and see where your eye is going, so you can have eyeball controlled computers so we will see if that will take over.

Host: Yes, nothing will amaze me anymore.

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