Apple re-invents the mouse,
then shuns it!

Blog 022 - 10 August 2012


For years I have thought that Xerox invented the mouse. Today I thought I best check, and I was amazed to learn that it was Douglas Engelbart, at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International), who invented the first mouse prototype in 1963. It most certainly was not Steve Jobs, and by the same token, Apple. Jobs and Apple do deserve some credit, because they did in effect re-invent the mouse in the 1970's. I guess I can be forgiven for my mistake, as this Cult of Mac report, also attributes the discovery of the mouse to XEROX.

So much for the histiry. Since then, we have all been using mouses (plural of computer mouse), to the extent that some users suffered from RSI (Repetitive Stress Injuries). Of course, if the truth were to be told, most of us still do not really know how to fully exploit the functionality that the computer mouse offers. It is only recently that I used the mouse's ability to pop up commentary relating to a photographs appearing on a web page. The popup with the relevant text appeared, when the mouse pointer was caused to hovere over a photograph. This can be seen in my PICPMB Cycle Tours' pages.

Currently I am implementing (if my vanity has anything to do with it, that would be, "launching") my Handy Hints Series. The launch (:-) features good ideas I got from my sons-in-law, both of whom have iPads and enjoy using technology. The home page for this series, features relevant photographs, rather than text, that pop up when the mouse pointer hovers over links in the text, that represent references to relevant figures.

But guess what, "mouse hover" does not work on the iPad, nor on an iPhone. I gather it also does not work on an Android tablet. So odds are it probably won't work on any device that uses fingers and gestures. So I guess it is back to the drawing board.But not before I admit that it is probably unfair to lay the "shuns the mouse" bit on Apple, as the iPad user interface is significantly different from that of laptops and desktops.

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