Yesterday the computer mouse – something we all have – officially turned 40. If you want to check out the history of the mouse, Gearlog has got you covered.
But for a PCMech article I’m going to throw in my personal experiences with Ye Olde Computer Mouse.
The Big Question: Is the plural form “mice” or “mouses”?
Answer: Mice. Never mouses. If you’re going to say mouses you might as well use “keyboardi” as the plural form of keyboard.
My first experience using a mouse…
…was on an Apple Macintosh SE/30. It was in high school; the mice were well-used and fairly crappy. I didn’t like them all that much.
The only good Mac in the school was an Apple IIci with a color monitor (ooh aah) and it had a good mouse.
The weirdest mouse I ever used…
…was a laser mouse that required a special reflective mousepad (which was too small) just to use it. It had three buttons on it and no manufacturer was listed on the backside, so I couldn’t get the software to make the middle button work.
And the mouse wasn’t really all that accurate.
The worst mice I ever used (part 1)…
…all had trackballs. Microsoft has always made the best mice as far as I’m concerned, but nobody was exempt from the inevitable “slam’n'roll” technique you had to do when the spring-loaded rollers holding the ball in place started to fail.
The worst mice I ever used (part 2)….
…were the “joystick” mouse on laptops – but I don’t call it that. It looks like an eraser tip, but those who have used them affectionately call it:
A mouse nipple.
Every single mouse nipple always had the same problem. Over time you would take your hands off the nipple and the pointer would slooowwwly drift off screen – all by itself.
Is the mouse nipple still in use?
Yep. They’re on Lenovo (the ThinkPad) laptops to this day.
I will say this: When they’re not drifting, they’re 10 times faster to use compared to a trackpad.
The best mouse I’ve ever used is…
Modern wired optical mice. All the problems with the mouse balls were killed in one fell swoop when these were introduced. And they last for years if you buy a decent one.
All mice-makers try to sway you into spending gobs of cash for “higher resolution” mice with fancy buttons (like, oh, I dunno – this one), but the fact of the matter is that 99% of us are happy with two buttons, a wheel that clicks and a shape that feels good in the hand.
Mouse balls: Bad.
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