The computer mouse is 40 years old – sort of, depending on whether you count the prototype or the first working model (there’s a picture of it at the end of this post). In our book Take Control: The Mac OS X Lexicon, Andy Baird and I mistakenly said:
“Because the mouse and the graphical user interface were conceived and incubated at Xerox PARC…”. As Miles from MacinTek (I’d use his full name, but not without his permission, which I didn’t ask for) pointed out to our publisher, the mouse was, in fact, conceived at the Stanford Research Institute. (I think it’s still fair to say it was incubated at Xerox PARC. Hmm… I suppose its birth was at Apple.)
Here are a few places to get some interesting tidbits about the mouse development:
- The blog entry Happy Birthday : The Computer Mouse is 40
- Recollections from Apple’s they-were-there-guys about how Apple took the mouse beyond what Steve Jobs likely saw during his PARC visit: Bruce Horn’s statement, Jef Raskin’s corrections, and Bruce’s reply to Jef’s comments.
- And, of course, right here, because here’s a picture of the first working mouse, described in the patent application as an “X-Y position indicator for a display system.” (Andy Baird found and polished the image for the aforementioned Mac Lexicon.)