The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men
P. Atkinson, 'The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men: the role of the computer mouse in the history of computing'
Design Issues 23(3): 2007: 16-46
The computer mouse was invented in the early 1960s but only became popular with the Apple Macintosh in 1984. So why did it take so long to become a mass-produced item? This article explores the history of the mouse, its development through work at Xerox and Apple, and its later acceptance by the personal computer industry. It is argued that this wholesale acceptance cannot be totally explained purely by the 'ease of use' provided by the computer mouse, and that there were other, less obvious but highly significant socio-political factors at play.