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News Alert: The Mouse Turns 40!

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized

News Alert: The Mouse Turns 40!

Here’s a quick and fun one for you!

I know I’m a little behind on getting this news to you, but I figured you’d still want to know, so here you go! The computer mouse celebrated its 40th anniversary on December 8, 2008. It was in 1968 that computer visionary Douglas Engelbart showed off his new invention to an audience of 1,000 at a technology conference in California. They witnessed the very first public demonstration of a personal computer.

Engelbart’s revolutionary “pointing device” was made of wood and had two wheels built onto the bottom. It was originally designed to highlight text on a written document. Engelbart wowed onlookers by demonstrating how text could be selected, copied and pasted. Engelbart also said he always wondered why the term “mouse” never changed into a more technical word after it became a commercial success.

Today, computer mice are found everywhere. The only real changes to the mouse technology in the past four decades have been the transition to laser mice, the right click button and the scroll wheel. It looks like mice are here to stay, despite new innovations, such as the touch screen.

Experts say the mouse is still difficult to beat in terms of ease of use and functionality. On the mouse’s 40th birthday, computer device maker Logitech announced they had produced their one billionth mouse. The Swiss company churns out nearly eight million mice a month as well. It’s hard to believe, but Douglas Engelbart has never received a penny for his world changing invention. His patent ran out before computer companies started mass producing mice. Pretty interesting, isn’t it? Happy Birthday, mouse!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

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