posted on Jul, 4 2013 @ 05:57 AM
I didn't even know this until I heard it on a random news-entertainment item on the tv. Surprised it's not been mentioned more to be honest, but
then, in a day and age when the mouse is now basically obsolete, I'm not surprised.
I remember the days before mice. Seeing someone with one, elicited a sense of wonder - this guy has a mouse? Imagine that!
Frome 1 button wired with a ball, to 2 buttons, to 3 buttons and optical, to 624 buttons and remote controlled with lasers and wifi and you can cook
your pizza with it...
They changed how computers were used to be sure.
And this guy invented it in 1963 - but it was years before they would even be really considered.
I dunno, this just takes me back. And the guy lived just long enough, to the age of 88, to see his invention become obsolete... Touchscreens.. bah
He had devised the palm-sized, wheel-based instrument in 1963 as a way to move a computer-screen cursor by means other than arrows on a keyboard.
Other alternatives being weighed at the time were a light-pen pointed at the screen, a tracking ball and a joystick.
"I remember how my head went back to a device called a planimeter," another wheel-based device used by engineers to measure irregular geometric
areas, he recalled in a 1987 oral-history interview with Stanford University Libraries.
His colleague William English, SRI's chief engineer, led the tinkering and testing of the cursor controller, which was carved from wood and used two
perpendicular wheels rather than the roller ball included in subsequent incarnations. English built the first prototype in 1964.
A part of history dies today. And it barely registers at all..
(I did search so pick your nose)