Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




TECH SPACE
SciTechTalk: Mourning the computer mouse?
by Jim Algar
Washington DC (UPI) May 13, 2012


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The death of the computer mouse is imminent, we're told, soon to be shown the door by touch screens, track pads, gesture recognition systems and whatever new technology shows up no later than next Tuesday.

I know the mouse is on its way out because I'm reading a Web article -- which I'm navigating with my mouse -- that says so in no uncertain terms.

Oh. Wait. Just noticed the date -- 2008.

And the humble mouse, more than 40 years old, is still here. Hmm.

The mouse has had its ups and down, for sure, since it was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963 by Douglas Engelbart, who named it because the cord exiting from its rear to connect to the computer looked like a rodent's tail.

The technology inside the computer mouse that interacts with the surface over which it moves has gone through changes; wheels, balls, optics, lasers, even gyroscopes, but its purpose has remained more or less unchanged: moving a cursor around the screen, in combination with some number of button to accomplish other actions.

Point-and-click. Drag-and-drop. It's even gone into the language.

Not that companies haven't tried to find a "new" mouse design, with sometime risible results.

Remember Apple's "hockey puck" mouse that came with the first iMac computer? The one that was absolutely, completely round?

Attractive in an Apple sort of way, except that when you put your hand on it without looking -- because you were looking at the computer screen -- there was no way to tell if you had the X and Y axis properly aligned to vertical and horizontal, with the result that you'd move the mouse one way and the on-screen cursor would go off in some other direction, as likely as not.

Oh, and for years Apple insisted that a proper mouse should have a button -- but just one.

So while PC users where getting really, really good with an extra button on the right -- cut, copy, paste, and other handy functions -- Apple users needed two hands. Control-click. Option-click. Some key-click.

But "more is better" could get fairly ridiculous, too, as exemplified by some mouse designs aimed at hardcore gamers, which grew buttons like so many bumps on a frog until you wished you had more than the standard allotment of five fingers per hand. A dedicated button to toggle between single-shot and automatic fire, anyone?

But back to the original premise, that the mouse is on the way out?

As long as such things are a matter of preference -- and when it comes to computers, almost everything is -- the mouse is likely to be around a long time for those who started computing with one.

Oh, I know, people using laptops with track pads -- younger users, especially -- seem to have no problem zipping their cursor across the screen to land exactly between the two on-screen characters that are really in need of a hyphen between them.

But I can't manage it without at least three tries. And I can't be alone, judging by the number of small "laptop" mice with retractable cords I see in use at my local Starbucks.

So the death of the simple, utilitarian mouse may arrive someday, but if I were you, I'd hold off on arranging for the wreath for just yet.

.


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
Amazon conjures rights to borrow Harry Potter; Samsung buys streaming AV service
San Francisco (AFP) May 10, 2012
Amazon said Thursday it has signed a deal for the electronic books rights to all seven Harry Potter titles English, French, Italian, German and Spanish for its Kindle lending library. The deal allows subscribers of the Amazon Prime service, which requires an annual subscription, to borrow the electronic versions of best-selling JK Rowling books. Amazon said it inked the exclusive license ... read more


TECH SPACE
Perigee "Super Moon" On May 5-6

India's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 to wait

European Google Lunar X Prize Teams Call For Science Payloads

Russia to Send Manned Mission to Moon by 2030

TECH SPACE
Opportunity Rolling Again After Fifth Mars Winter

Mojave Desert Tests Prepare for NASA Mars Roving

Mars Opportunity Rover Is A Go For More Travel

WSU air-quality researcher to lead field studies in support of NASA Mars mission

TECH SPACE
ATK Announces Complete Liberty System to Provide Commercial Crew Access

NASA Conducts Tests on Orion Service Module

Boeing Completes Full Landing Test of Crew Space Transportation Spacecraft

How will the US biotechnology industry benefit from new patent laws?

TECH SPACE
Long March-2F rocket delivered to launch center

China's Lunar Docking

Shenzhou-9 may take female astronaut to space

China to launch 100 satellites during 2011-15

TECH SPACE
Middle School Students Send Commands to the International Space Station

Dancing Droplets Rock Out On Space Station

Space Station's Robotic Crew Member Designed to Look, Move and Work Like a Human

Expedition 30 Lands in Kazakhstan

TECH SPACE
EchoStar XVII comes to French Guiana for a dual-payload Arianespace flight in June with Ariane

SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace Join Forces to Offer Crewed Missions to Private Space Stations

A Soyuz takes shape in French Guiana for the next dual Galileo satellite launch

SpaceX boss admits sleep elusive before ISS launch

TECH SPACE
Free-floating planets in the Milky Way outnumber stars by factors of thousands

Unseen planet revealed by its gravity

Ultra-cool companion helps reveal giant planets

NASA's Spitzer Sees the Light of Alien 'Super Earth'

TECH SPACE
VPT Adds 15 Amp Point of Load DC-DC Converter to Space Family of Power Conversion Products

SciTechTalk: Mourning the computer mouse?

TDRS-4 Mission Complete; Spacecraft Retired From Active Service

Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne Propulsion Orbits Critical Communications Satellite for US Military




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement