Curiosities about the keyboard and mouse that we use daily with our PC
Why do we use the QWERTY layout on the keyboard? Who Invented the Mouse? Is There Something Called Mouse Rabies Syndrome?
Every day we sit in front of the computer and use the keyboard and mouse. Thanks to our habit of using them, we take them for granted most of the time, we do not wonder how they were invented, who made it, why the mouse has its characteristic shape, or why the keys are arranged using the QWERTY system. . They are quite curious things, and if you are interested in knowing about it, keep reading.
About the mouse
- The first prototype of the mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart together with one of his team’s engineers, Bill English. This was in the 60s, and they decided to call it mouse (mouse, in Spanish) because it looked like the animal, thanks to the shape it had and the wire that resembled the tail of mice.
- Douglas Engelbart never got a penny for inventing something that we continue to use almost 60 years later. The patent was from the Stanford Research Institute.
- One of the first computers to use a mouse was the Xerox Alto, designed with an interface that could be operated using this peripheral. Unfortunately, this computer was never a commercial product, but it did serve to influence Apple and other companies for decades to come.
- By 1982 mice were already sold for US $ 415. With inflation, that mouse would cost more than $ 1,000 today.
- Microsoft has not sold hardware since its inception. It was in 1983 that the branch of the company was founded when they created the first mouse compatible with MS-DOS.
- If there were no mice, there would be no Mouse Rabies Syndrome, a condition that we have all felt at times when a website is very slow, or when the computer freezes, or anything else that makes us feel angry and we decide to hit the mouse against the table several times to vent. There really is a name for everything.
- John C. Dvorak, a famous columnist in the world of technology and computing, who has been writing about these topics since the 1980s, was a detractor of mice and wrote that there was no evidence that people would want to use this type of device. This person also said that the iPhone and iPad would not be a success.
- The dictionary of the Spanish language accepts that one of the meanings of the word “mouse” is a computer device.
About the keyboard
- The first keyboards appeared around 1870 and were used to simultaneously type and transmit information about the investment market.
- Between 1940 and 1960, keyboards began to be integrated into personal computers, and it was the primary peripheral until 1984 when the mouse became popular. Also, at this time operating systems only used text input to be handled, so the mouse was not necessary.
- Today, the most used layout in keyboards is the QWERTY. This was created to take best advantage of the limitations of typewriters that existed in the early 1970s. The first prototypes for the keyboard layout were in alphabetical order, but this caused people to type heavily. quickly, which made the mechanical parts of the typewriter keyboard stick together. So QWERTY was invented to make people type slower.
- Although QWERTY is still used in many countries around the world as the rule for keyboards, this key layout requires 50% more hand movement than with other methods such as the Dvorak, and up to 80% more than with Colemak.
- The space key is one of the most interesting: it is the largest, and also the most used. In fact, the space bar is used 18% of all times the keyboard is used. This means that if you press 1000 keys, 180 times you will be pressing the space bar.