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The journey of the (computer) mouse

by savannah
First mouse ever
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The mouse changed the world of computing. Prior to the mouse, everyone had to remember an incredible amount of code to complete any function on a computer. Once the mouse was born you could simply point and click. 

The mouse was invented in the 1960s by Douglas Engelbart. While it seems like such an obvious tool now it never occurred to so many people. The idea of the mouse and how it changed the world of computers is a useful exercise to consider the innovations of tomorrow. When every computer user was typing different codes into a PC they likely thought the only innovations possible were to make shorter codes or to make writing them easier. When someone came along with a point and click system it changed the world. Who knows what the point and click revolution will be of tomorrow but most of us will never see it coming.

The first mouse was actually wooden. It was pretty unsuccessful, not because of any splinters but because it took people time to come to terms with how to take advantage of it. When Apple released the Lisa computer in 1983 that changed. This mouse was smaller, plastic, and easier to use. 

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Today we still use the concept of the mouse but it has changed dramatically. While most laptops rely on touchpads and most smartphones rely on a touchscreen, these are still largely based on the idea of pointing and clicking.

Perhaps in the future computers will be fitted with an artificial intelligence screen that can understand where we are looking and what we want to do. AI could bridge the gap between computers and telekinesis. This may sound far fetched but as AI continues to develop it will predict a lot of our behavior before it happens. That thought is a little bit scary but incredibly exciting too. Imagine if we look back in thirty years’ time and are shocked that people had to bother pointing and clicking. Time will tell.

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