Posted by: Brad | December 10, 2008

Computer Mouse turns 40

Happy Birthday, mouse! That useful little hand-movey-better-than-using-keyboard-arrows-ey thing is celebrating its 40th birthday today, and it has served us well.

Back in 1968, Douglas Engelbart demonstrated the first mouse, which was a large wooden box with wheels. That developed into the ball mouse, then the optical mouse we have today. In recent years, the mouse lost its tail, giving it new independence in a brave new world.

The development of the ‘cat’ input device put the mouse in danger of extinction, but it survived when the cat was taken off the market. It has adapted new features, including 3-dimensional functionality, weight tuning, and blinding lasers.

It’s the only mouse we’ll let into our houses, and we’re OK with holding it. And it’s the only mouse that’s taken over the world (except for those bubonic plague-carrying mice). Yay!



  1. When I was a little kid, my dad announced one day that he was the proud new owner of a mouse in his office. Imagine my disappointment when, on Take Your Daughter to Work Day, I discovered not a cute little rodent, but a stupid hunk of plastic attached to a wire leading to the computer. Bummer.

  2. Simply something I could not live without!
    Don’t know why but it’s completely weird for me to think at people using a mouse 40 years ago. Probably I consider it something quiet modern, although thinking about it, I’m using it since I bought my first pc more or less 15 years ago. Anyway I’d really love to see how the first one was!

  3. Funny post! It’s the only mouse I like. Lol!
    Funny how it all started.

  4. megan, they have mouse covers for the mouse that look like a mouse (rodent).

  5. @megan: That probably fooled a LOT of people back then πŸ™‚

    @mirthis: It does seem quite young. I guess like any technology that’s been around for a while (cars, lamps, etc.), they have evolved a lot over time, and as such, the modern mouse is a very different beast (hehehe) than those 40 years ago.

    @Betty: It doesn’t bite, so I like it πŸ˜‰

    @Lyndell: Really? That would be disturbingly funny…

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