What if the mouse was not invented?

Spartrekus

Aspiring Daemon

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Hello,

What if the mouse was not invented?
Likely all applications would required a keyboard and a basic terminal, which would impact on habits and usage.

The mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1964 and consisted of a wooden shell, circuit board and two metal wheels that came into contact with the surface it was being used on.
What about then usage, information, data, ... programming efficiency ?

Let's imagine.
Likely Apple would not be exist today, likely Windows would be sort of DOS,...

Have fun with creative imagination...

Refs:
 

forquare

Well-Known Member

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I wonder if touchscreen would have been more prevalent earlier?

IIRC Xerox PARC had some touch screen tabs/slabs/boards in the 1980’s/1990’s.
 

ralphbsz

Daemon

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I think a more sane question is: What if Doug Engelbart hadn't invented the mouse in 1964?

Then he would have invented it in 1965, or in 1973, or a random other graphics person would have invented it at Xerox PARC.

Or then computers would have used more trackballs. Note that trackballs (in particular the high-end expensive military grade ones) were quite common in high-end graphics in the 70s and 80s; back then the mouse was (from a hardware point of view) mostly a low-end device, used by computer scientists (i.e., amateurs and hackers in the view of "real" engineers) on "workstations" (i.e., toy computers), and even worse on toy computers. The big users of trackballs were the military (radar, missile targeting), and "real" (meaning expensive) computer graphics on mainframes and minicomputers (like PDP-xx) mostly used trackballs.

Or, as forquare said, computers would have used more touchscreens. Those also existed starting in the 1970s; I remember seeing very early models at CERN and DESY used in accelerator control.
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

Aspiring Daemon

Reaction score: 125
Messages: 720

I think a more sane question is: What if Doug Engelbart hadn't invented the mouse in 1964?

Then he would have invented it in 1965, or in 1973, or a random other graphics person would have invented it at Xerox PARC.

Or then computers would have used more trackballs. Note that trackballs (in particular the high-end expensive military grade ones) were quite common in high-end graphics in the 70s and 80s; back then the mouse was (from a hardware point of view) mostly a low-end device, used by computer scientists (i.e., amateurs and hackers in the view of "real" engineers) on "workstations" (i.e., toy computers), and even worse on toy computers. The big users of trackballs were the military (radar, missile targeting), and "real" (meaning expensive) computer graphics on mainframes and minicomputers (like PDP-xx) mostly used trackballs.

Or, as forquare said, computers would have used more touchscreens. Those also existed starting in the 1970s; I remember seeing very early models at CERN and DESY used in accelerator control.
Who needs a mouse really for office usage ?

2D... starts to date. We can today print in 3D.
Actually a gesture with 3D usage would be likely for graphics (psp, illustrator,... ) ideal.

4D is surely not possible ;)
 

cynwulf

Member

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We would all be using the (practically unusable) blue "stalk" thing, often found nestled among the keys of aging thinkpads...
 

ralphbsz

Daemon

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The Plan 9 group was headed by Rob Pike, who had previously worked on X windows and other graphics applications. He started his career by using a mouse. Matter-of-fact, he was the infamous father of one of the first software patents, the Bell Labs "XOR for storing window content" patent, which was based on his graphics work. Those of us who were there when that patent first showed up remember the outrage, and how it was fought. So if there had been no mouse, there probably wouldn't have been a career for Rob Pike, and no Plan 9.
 
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