April 27, 1981 – The First Personal Computer Mouse
Do you remember these? We had to screw the connector on with those little tiny screws (drove me nuts). When you slid it over your mousepad it felt like pushing a car in a snowdrift. Accuracy? Not! Half the time I couldn’t find the pointer. Technology has come a long way huh?
1981: The first integrated mouse intended for use with a personal computer makes its appearance with the Xerox Star workstation.
The name “mouse” derived from the device’s rounded shape and tail-like cord extending from it, suggesting the diminutive rodent.
The first mouse, an experimental pointing device, was invented in 1964 by Douglas Englebart, who was then working at the Stanford Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. Other methods of direction were being tried at the time — a head-mounted device, for example — before Englebart’s hand-operated mouse won out.
Englebart’s original design underwent a number of changes before emerging as part of the Star workstation, a commercial system which was notable for a few other firsts as well: the graphical user interface, and the use of folders, file servers and e-mail.