Thursday, July 4, 2013

Inventor Engelbart: The computer mouse is not a discontinued model - Spiegel Online

The computer wakes up with a strong hum, buzzes drive in a plastic baggy disc from which the PC gets its operating system. A few minutes later it appears in the top left corner of the dark screen instead of the blinking “_” a green luminous, welcoming “A:> _”


in 1986, my IBM PC – CPU clock speed: 4.77 MHz – is ready to work. Time to change the floppy disk and enter “dir” in order to read the directory. The endings. “Com”, “. Exe” or “bat.” Signal-in programs can be called up. You only have to see the list, and then type.

The early adopters of the digital world revel in nostalgic feelings when they think of such scenes. This is mainly because that one negative in retrospect, so much repressed: In truth, the work on the computer at that time was a laborious secret science, which remained closed to most people. It was slow and cumbersome and altogether unsensual. Has changed only the mouse. It became the interface between human sensory experience and digital space. She left us with the hand reach into the digital – and that could soon everyone


The inventor of the little pointing and control device was Douglas Engelbart of the 2nd Passed away in July 2013. 1963 was 50 years ago. More than two decades passed, was to his development at all relevant.

Only when Apple and IBM released the first graphical user interfaces for personal computers beginning of the eighties, the mouse to control device of choice was. The first unnatural movement on the horizontal of the mouse pad, which was followed by a “cursor” in the vertical of the monitor, went and after a few million years, billions of people in flesh and blood.

simply construct the mouse may be, its role in the implementation of the computer as a mass medium can not be overestimated. The computer the command line was a device experts. The computer was controlled with mice for everyone. Many raged in leisure and work it out so extensively that physical injuries were the result. The mouse opened the way to Digitalien, but they also gave us arms mouse and an accumulation of tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.


the time the mouse over?

Meanwhile, they keep many

for a discontinued model. The Tablet PC has heralded a triumph of the touch screen. Instead of the mouse to bustle around, and it lubricates tappst today with your finger around on the screen directly. This is even easier and more direct and even quite feasible for chimpanzees – but it is also (and not just because of the grease smears on the glass!) Is a crude method


a farewell to the mouse so it’s too early. Also for our interfaces to the computer is an old designer theorem: Form follows function. The type and shape of the interface depends on what we want to use them.

In this regard, the touch screen is disabled for far more things than was the mouse already. It is no accident that you can not operate calligraphy with finger paints. Also, the mouse was already at the latest at their limits when it was delicate. If we, for example, on the screen not only call functions, but wanted to manipulate virtual objects free: Have you ever tried using your mouse to sign something


worked as little as drawing or Free Graphic Editing. Was for such functions and is the graphics tablet with stylus control far more appropriate. In many old games, however, the joystick was so superior as now, the game controller, with some current one needs to be the mouse, and to this day swear by numerous IT-savvy people on the speed of shortcut and command line when it comes to the operation of the PC’s. Different users need different interfaces to just use the computer, whatever that looks back. And most need more – at least in professional life – the mouse


So we can assume that Doug Engelbart has left an invention whose time will not run as fast. It just depends on who uses a PC as for what purpose: The mouse has made a career out of the niche into the mainstream, now it’s back into the niche – but of a size associated. For the Mouse will remain for the foreseeable future, the control device of choice for many applications – the most accurate virtual extension of our hand into the Digital


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