This revolutionary computer controller was designed by Doug Engelbart and a team of researchers at Stanford Research Institute, California and its first incarnation was an unassuming hollow wooden block with wheels mounted underneath. (It was also filled with clever gadgety bits and bobs that I’m sure you can read about in detail somewhere; yes, there’s more here in The Guardian.)
On December 9th 1968 the little controller that one of the team had nicknamed ‘the mouse’ had its world premiere at a presentation Mr Engelbart was giving in San Francisco and it was quite a hit.
The mouse has changed quite dramatically over a fairly short period of time – and I’m sure there’s still room for improvement (mouse-manufacturers, please take note) – but I can safely say that I’m at a loss without my scrolling, gliding, clicking friend.
So, this December 9th, why not spare a thought for the mouse in your life and quietly wish it a happy 40th birthday. (But please don’t mention the trackpad!)