Inventor of the computer mouse dies at 88



  • Reply 21 of 27
    It really is an insult that he is remembered as "the inventor of the mouse". His and his teams work was much, much more important than just mere pointing device.

    They tested several pointing devices in the 60's (including a knee operated one, that actually worked very well), only to settle on the mouse as a practical solution for the time being.

    The overwhelming greatness of his work lies in the software they made, the functionality, how well considered it was and not least the synergy and coherence of its different parts.
    In most ways conceptually and in a surprising amount of practical instances vastly superior to anything that has been done since.
    For a simple example, look at the mother of all demos which ran on a SDS 940. A machine roughly comparable to the Mac 128 from 1984, with up to 16 simultaneous users. The demo shows *instant* reaction to the users input. Something we are left wanting today with 22 turns of Moore's law.
    Goes to show that you can have split second reaction any time you want. You just have to see the importance of it, make it a priority and be a good enough programmer.

    Just as Newton shouldn't be remembered as the guy who's head was hit by a falling apple, Engelbart should't be remembered as the inventor of the mouse.
  • Reply 22 of 27
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    andrewb123 wrote: »
    I don't think anyone here is foolish enough to consider either the iPhone or the iPad as inventions. They are skillful, elegant packaging and implementation of existing technologies.

    Some people are certainly foolish enough to think that invention doesn't allow for the use of existing components. For example a car is an invention regardless of the separate inventions used to build one. It's understandable that people who prefer to use Android or Blackberry or whatever else have a hard time accepting that Apple invented the particular design of the device they use in much the same way Windows users back in the day had a hard time accepting that most of the design was similarly copied from Apple but had no problem with it being attributable to Xerox. In other words, it's an invention so long as Apple wasn't the inventor. Android fans have no problem suggesting that Palm invented the smartphone but the idea that Apple invented their version of the smartphone just cuts a little too deep. People prefer to acknowledge inventors as long as they aren't in direct competition to whatever product they're using.

    Not every unique implementation of a product can be considered an invention so you'd have to assess the level of change from prior implementations to current ones and while some people have conveniently volatile memories when Apple is concerned, we have photography and the internet now and there's no escaping the facts surrounding the change Apple caused. If people take the route of dismissing every unique implementation of a product, eventually they just end up with components that don't in any way resemble the devices they are used in.

    Almost nobody is responsible for the entire design of things as complex as computers but if anyone thinks that Android is a direct and inevitable progression from what Palm did then they'd have to explain away the fact it took years for Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile to become competitive to what Apple did. If what Apple did was so trivial and just a repackaging of parts, why did it take so long and why do they look and behave so similar?
    richl wrote:
    And to think that the mouse was just one small part of a larger demo. Incredible.

    Pretty cool demo (love the one-handed keyboard):


    Thankfully computers eventually used nicer typography - can't recall who it was that introduced nice typography into personal computers, probably just some company that repackaged things and started the desktop publishing revolution.
  • Reply 23 of 27
    For clarification,

    The DE-9 connector mentioned in the article, should have been listed as a DB-9 connector.

    I knew Doug, I had a Xerox Star that I received from a friend at UC Berkeley in the early 9-0's. I tried forever to get it up and running, but it had a password on it and no system software discs or tapes. So I did not want to erase it. I went so far as having a friend at Adobe talk to John Warnock if he remembered what the Wizard Mode password was on the Xerox Star. No Luck. An interesting thing about the mouse that came with the Star is it got Hot!!!

    Always wondered if that was normal. Still don't know.

  • Reply 24 of 27
    minicaptminicapt Posts: 219member

    Perhaps one day, someone will re-discover DATAR.



  • Reply 25 of 27
    SchnouganSchnougan Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    IBM invented a mouse (hand gun with a wire) in the mid 1950s to use with NORAD's FSQ-7 SAGE computer. That is the first mouse.
  • Reply 26 of 27
    TIGRISTIGRIS Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
  • Reply 27 of 27
    TIGRISTIGRIS Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    s.metcalf said:
    No one ever said the Apple invented to mouse or it was their idea...
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