Father of the mouse dies

| Technology

Father of the mouse dies

We all have at least one in out life; we probably use it everyday and doubtless take it very much for granted, but who first invented it? I’m talking about the humble mouse.

The mouse became widely available in the early 1980’s, yet it was actually invented some 20 years earlier. In 1963 the computer scientist Douglas Engelbart (who died last week aged 88) developed the mouse at the Stanford Research Institute.

It is important not to underestimate the influence that the mouse has had on computing. It could be argued that it was the mouse that enabled the personal computer and the home computer to explode into the mainstream. Before, a user could only control a computer by inputting complicated code into their machine. The mouse however made it easy for anyone to control a computer with simple ‘point and click’ operation.

Yet despite there now being well over a billion mice on the planet, Engelbart made no money from his invention as it cam out of patent before being widely manufactured by companies such as Apple.

Nevertheless Douglas Engelbart was seen as a visionary and Silicon Valley celebrity. In the late 1960’s he predicted many of the elements of computing that we now take for granted including multiple windows, shared-screen teleconferencing and hypertext.

Philip Burrows, Marketing Consultant

Luke Stanley