Mouse Anniversary?

I heard a brief segment on the radio this morning noting that today marks the 40th anniversary of the computer mouse. It is… kind of. The mouse had its first public demonstration on this date in 1968 at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. Of course the development of the mouse began several years earlier as noted by numerous sources such as the Inventors of the Modern Computer and the Wikipedia article on “Mouse (computing)“. Take a look at some photos and drawings of the the very first mouse; it was quite a boxy little guy. YouTube has clips of the entire demonstration given by Doug Engelbart that day including a segment focused specifically on the “pointing device”; it’s a fascinating glimpse into computing history. The San Francisco Chronicle has a nice write-up marking the event. I remember the first time I saw a mouse in the Fall of 1983 in the dim, cold, raised-floor data entry room at Xerox University Microfilms in Ann Arbor. Mice didn’t become available as retail accessories until 1985 but Logitech International alone claims they had shipped over one billion mice by the end of 2004.

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