Happy birthday mouse!

Sometime in the next few days the world will be celebrating the 40th birthday of Doug Englebart’s ubiquitous pointing device, so common to all computer users… the mouse!!

I’ve never been sure whether the plural of this kind of mouse is mice or mouses but it may not matter soon since there are claims that the mouse will soon be soon be losing its pre-eminent position as the pointing device of choice. In fact some claim its days are actually numbered and soon we’ll be doing without them entirely.

I for one haven’t used a ‘real’ mouse in years, preferring to use a trackball, but even these ‘stationary mice’ use the same principles as their mobile cousins, it’s just that I move the ball with my thumb.

The alternatives seem to be the ‘trackpad’ favoured by laptop and notebook users, ‘touch screens’ favoured by PDA’s and the like, and a new desktop model Microsoft is promoting where you wave your hand at the screen to tell it what you want done.

For my own part, I’ll be sticking with the trackball/mouse until some whizzkid produces a cursor placement device that follows my eye-movements and let’s me ‘think’ what I want done! 😀

Will the mouse last another 40 years?

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