Talk:Computer mouse

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Former featured article candidate Computer mouse is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
November 2, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted
February 7, 2005 Featured article candidate Not promoted
February 6, 2007 Peer review Reviewed
Current status: Former featured article candidate
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LG second camera not featured ; Lots of Microsoft photos[edit]

The article could (should?) include the LG XM-900, which replaced the scroll whell with a second optical sensor.

Most of the photos depict Microsoft products. The article should NOT give so much room for a particular brand. Worse, sometimes the photos are almost pointless (mouse with a mousepad!). Please, replace photos with images hiding the manufacturer name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:37, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Apple's New Gesture Mouse[edit]

You have the standard mouse layout, you have the various technologies of mice, yet I didn't see at all any mention of the new Apple gesture mouse. While it isn't world famous, I believe that it should get a mention somewhere, perhaps under Operation? I can't figure out a better place for it. Timex1 (talk) 15:23, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Microsoft's and Logitech's recent Mouse Releases[edit]

Shouldn't this be included *somewhere* in this article? Because there are now mice that would work on virtually any surfaces including glass and mirrored surfaces. I'm not going to add any content to this article as of right now but I would like to hear what your take is with these two technologies: Bluetrack and Darkfield. I don't know where this will fit in the article, so those of you who edit this article are on your own. I can provide pictures via MediaWiki if you guys insist. (talk) 12:55, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Is this the "Glass laser mouse" one section mentions. IMO it does not seem all that significant that a mouse can track on glass but it does not hurt to mention it.--Anss123 (talk) 10:06, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

1990s mouse[edit]

The 1990s mouse pictured is a Microsoft Intellimouse, introduced in 1996. Here is a photo just like it in a 1996 magazine; it's not a "21st century" design as one editor just speculated based on the 2005 photo date. Dicklyon (talk) 07:14, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Ah ok, thanks for picking that up. The article previously described the mouse as "contemporary"; my edit was in response to an IP who doubted that was correct ([1]). Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 10:48, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm still confused – I see that it's a microsoft mouse based on the file info, but I don't see how you can know when it was made. It's clearly a different mouse to the one in the ref, based on the scroll wheel and the lack of the microsoft logo. Surely it would be safest just to remove any mention of the date? Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 13:47, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
True, it's not identical, as it probably went through some minor manufacturing changes. The uploader of the photo states that it's a Microsoft mouse, and the stying is close enough to be recognizably the same item or a very close copy. I'd be OK going back to 1990s instead of a specific year, unless you can show that that styling came later. I see no reason here to prefer "safest" over informative. Dicklyon (talk) 17:28, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
The mouse in the picture is a "Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse 1.0", and it is the same model of mouse that I have. It came out circa 2002, and it is very different from the Microsoft Intellimouse 1.0 in the reference. InternetMeme (talk) 13:09, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks InternetMeme. Dicklyon, it's not that I prefer safest over informative, it's that I prefer no information over information that's likely to be incorrect. It's clear that we can't be sure exactly when the pictured mouse was released, so I've removed the date claim entirely ([2]). Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 14:27, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Invert Mouse - again[edit]

i have always played with inverted Y axis coz it was the natural way for me from the 1st time. so aircraft handling has nothing or little to do with it. its about your head: tilt your head forward and u r looking down, tilt your head back, and u r lookin upwards. IMHO its a bit dumb to call the right way 'inverted' and to call the inverted way 'normal' but marketing dictates.

Thank you! I am so tired of this "inverted" expression. Of course the term is, in fact, what is inverted. You're absolutely right! It's dumb to call the right way "inverted". TiriPon (talk) 22:06, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

i tried to change to non-inverted before (when i met a game without the option to invert Y axis) but i get dizzy and feel like i am gonna throw up in a minute if i am trying to play that way.

1 more: there were discussions on splitting this article. i suggest someone should 'outsource' the 'inverted mouse' part into its own article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:49, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

More details required[edit]

how does lasers works in mouse.what are the components required in making a laser these components are arrenged in it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:13, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

how does laser senses the things like finger... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:23, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Dragging an object with the right mouse button[edit]

Some programs allow you to drag objects by pointing to the object, holding the right mouse button down, and moving the mouse device. I proposed the correct term for this procedure is not the more common "drag" (meaning dragging the object with the left mouse button), but "drag with the right mouse button." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Comparison of mouse technologies[edit]

I would like to see in this article or in another article with a link in this one of a comparison of mouse technologies (ball, optical, laser and bluetrack) - precision, surfaces where it works, etc. Can anyone gather this information?

512upload (talk) 14:58, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Article self-contradiction[edit]

The introduction says that the Xerox 8010 Information System had the first integrated mouse

but later in the article it said that Telefunken had the first mouse, and xerox had the second

I'm going to keep the article consistent with itself, and remove/change the intro to say reflect the fact that Telefunken was first. If this is wrong, feel free to correct me; I'm not a mouse expert Megacellist (talk) 13:45, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

The Telefunken thing is pretty poorly worded, it sounds like... like a German writing in English. It could be rewritten, better. In fact, for such a ubiquitous topic, the article is poorly written in general, featuring such gems as "This scheme is sometimes called "quadrature encoding" or some similar term by technical people." (talk) 05:51, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Nothing much about wheels[edit]

I was specifically looking for info about horizontal wheels. I remember mice in the past with true horizontal wheels. But now days all documentation appears to insinuate horizontal scrolling is always via "tilt" functionality. Which is quite different from a wheel. That said the Win32 API looks like a wheel. Are horizontal wheels extinct? If not programmers should be able to distinguish between a "tilt" and wheel proper (for now it seems that's not an option -- for Microsoft Windows anyway)

Either way, there's virtually nothing about wheels to be seen (unless I missed something) and what there is seems to assume the reader is keyed in -- (talk) 07:02, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

CC licensed photos of the Hawley X063X Mouse Mark II[edit]

I have taken photos of two examples of the Hawley X063X Mouse Mark II and released them under a CC-BY-SA license in case anyone is interested in adding them to this article. They can be found here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:58, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

New Mouse Picture!!![edit]

Come on everyone...that mouse looks and is so old. There are so many new ones out, they dont even have to look futuristic like some of these new ones coming out, How about the Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

History of Mouse[edit] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:56, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. That source, which states the first mouse with a ball was designed in 1972, certainly contradicts the text you've been removing, which states a mouse with a ball already existed in 1968. Does anyone know whether the removed text correctly represents the German source it cites? Or of any reason to believe one source over the other? Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 14:08, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
"Contradicts" may be too strong an interpretation. The writer of that article just didn't know about the earlier ball mouse at Telefunken. Dicklyon (talk) 16:41, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
More Douglas C. History of Mouse (movies and more) on this Page: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:36, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Doug is a friend of mine, and the history of his mouse is well known. Not many sources have been aware of the Telefunken mouse that was independently developed about the same time, however. That is not a reason to remove the material that seems to be reasonably sourced. Dicklyon (talk) 03:52, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok, but "The trackball was invented by Tom Cranston, Fred Longstaff and Kenyon Taylor working on the Royal Canadian Navy's DATAR project in 1952. It used a standard Canadian five-pin bowling ball." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:14, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

This might be of interest: The Demo That Changed the World by the Smithsonian Channel. Asteriks (talk) 11:04, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Mouse glides/feet/anti-friction pads[edit]

I quickly read through the article about "Mouse" but couldn't find anything about those small things underneath the mouse (usually four of them): anti-friction pads, glides, feet or whatever it's called. Maybe someone could add a few words about this? Perhaps someone more educated in the world of mice? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vedlikeh0ld (talkcontribs) 16:31, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

On my hp two-button wheel mouse, there are two pads. Kdammers (talk) 02:44, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

1986 Apple mice photo[edit]

I think this is a poor picture. The text under it refers to two versions, presumably colors. With my eyes (I am not color blind) and on my screen (typical MS vintage about 2009), I don't see any difference between the two. (talk) 08:13, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

I think you are color blind. Dicklyon (talk) 16:37, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Concur with Dicklyon. The photo vividly illustrates Apple's shift away from beige towards white plastic. It's either your eyesight or you need a better monitor. --Coolcaesar (talk) 10:17, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
There are distinct colors for the mice. I do not know why you don't see a difference. It could be your monitor, but a 2009 system should be running with 24-bit color. Some people who can discern colors are still color blind but may not know it; a small red-green color blindness is common; there's an Ishihara test. My father, after his cataract surgery, remarked that everything had an unnoticed yellow tinge; whites were now much brighter to him. There could be many reasons, but the picture does show distinct colors. Glrx (talk) 15:55, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Connectivity and communication protocols[edit]

In the section Connectivity and communication protocols, there is absolutely no mention whatsoever of the fact that the Amiga uses an Atari standard 9-pin joystick connector for mice/mouses, but with different pins meaning different things. Should I add this to the article? JIP | Talk 19:49, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

As there have been no comments about this, I gone ahead and have added the information. JIP | Talk 21:40, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

"Mouse speed"[edit]

The section titled "Mouse speed" actually deals with pointing transfer functions and contains a few erroneous statements.

The text says "the higher the CPI, the faster the cursor moves with mouse movement", for example. Although I agree this is what happens with current systems, the reason for this is that these systems poorly implement the concept of transfer function.

The following paper explains both how things should work and how they actually work on Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X and with the Xorg server:

G. Casiez and N. Roussel. No more bricolage! Methods and tools to characterize, replicate and compare pointing transfer functions. In Proceedings of UIST'11, the 24th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pages 603-614, October 2011. ACM. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cargamax (talkcontribs) 15:35, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Current consensus is that non-free image of Engelbart mouse is legit use[edit]

The non-free image of the first computer mouse is used in this article in compliance with the fair use guidelines for non-free images. Although there is a free image of the same object, it doesn't provide the same information for which the current one is being used; so it's not a free equivalent with respect to criterion WP:NFCC#1 for "the same encyclopedic purpose" - to "illustrate the size and grappling position of the first created mouse prototype (from which the name "mouse" was derived), and the structure on which the wheels are mounted."

A consensus was developed to keep this non-free image for this article, and the free image everywhere else (see how the consensus was achieved here and here). Unless consensus changes through further discussion, this image should not be removed from this article. Diego (talk) 22:13, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

I concur with your analysis of the consensus. Disavian (talk) 02:56, 21 November 2012 (UTC)


Without wanting to call the entire Wikipedia citing structure into question, just how reliable a source should the internal, programmer-commented config settings file structure of an ancient and probably arbitrarily-chosen mouse driver be considered for sourcing the technical name of something? They might just have made it up as an easy thing to write for their own purposes. In this case, using "mickeys" in place of "individual mouse movement sensor reports"... which through what seems to be very loose interpretation by whoever wrote the wiki text based on it, has somehow mutated into "0.1mm" and some vague reference to it as "mouse speed" in terms of "pixel movements per physical mouse movement" (in other places that then refer back to this slightly confusing article). Especially with the difference in vertical and horizontal mickeys, which is a total fallacy - any normal mouse will give the same reporting resolution on both axes; MOUSE.SYS just defaulted to halving it's output counts (based on the mouse input and a software-based multiplication factor) for the vertical direction because, given the sheer age of the reference material, the usual standard at the time was for approximately 640 horizontal and 200 vertical pixels, but displayed in a frame originally designed for 320x200 (or 640x400), so each pixel's height was double that of its width.

Is there anything more solid, a better reference manual addressing mouse interfacing and hardware etc in general that describes mouse sensor counts in this way and defines them as a particular physical distance, rather than a particular (DOS? Unix? I _think_ it's the former) programmer's guide designed simply to tell you how to hook into the mouse driver and use it to control your programs?

I never heard of the term before today, when it was referenced on a quiz somewhere, investigation of which led me back here. Been using mouse-driven GUIs since about 1990, but never heard of anything other than DPI (or CPI or PPI or whatever, usually 200... 300... 600... rather than the multiples of 254 that "0.1mm" would imply) and software acceleration factors. (talk) 15:41, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

I had never heard of it either (I don't do Windows), but if you do a search for "Mickey Pixel Ratio" you'll find it all over, including a fair number of books and magazines. Dicklyon (talk) 23:31, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
I tried to make what it says about Mickeys more sensible, but I don't find any great definition in sources, so I'm not so sure I got it quite right. Is a Mickey really 1/200 inch? Or is it in general the step that the mouse reports as a count? Dicklyon (talk) 01:36, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't know, but my impression is a mickey is the arbitrary unit that the mouse reports as a count in the status packet. This page (apparently citing PC Magazine May 28 1991 v10 n10 p413) states the packet reports mickeys. This page suggests that the PS/2 mouse could be programmed to change its reported unit to accommodate more resolution or faster travel (changing mickey unit to avoid overflow rather than changing the mickey/pixel ratio). Glrx (talk) 01:58, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
I've been coding for Windows since 3.0 (i.e. late 1980s) and the "mickey" has been a unit of regular discourse amongst device driver writers since at least then. I've rarely used it myself, but when getting obscure stuff like custom trackballs or joystick controls to work, I've had to deal with it. As it's a somewhat hardware dependent unit, any decent layered OS will hide it away from application developers as far down the stack as possible. It's hard enough for GUI developers to work with pixels in a world of points and ems (if they're trying to make flexibly-sizable windows), let alone mickeys. Andy Dingley (talk) 02:04, 5 January 2013 (UTC)


In an obituary for inventor Douglas Engelbart, the NYT comments: "(When and under what circumstances the term “the mouse” arose is hard to pin down, but one hardware designer, Roger Bates, has contended that it happened under Mr. English’s watch. Mr. Bates was a college sophomore and Mr. English was his mentor at the time. Mr. Bates said the name was a logical extension of the term then used for the cursor on a screen: CAT. Mr. Bates did not remember what CAT stood for, but it seemed to all that the cursor was chasing their tailed desktop device.)" Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 09:51, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Mouse Inventor[edit]

Has anyone bothered to check out Professor Ralph Benjamin who invented the mouse in 1944. It was kept secret for years. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

According to thissource, the device he invented was more like a trackball than a mouse. Diego (talk) 14:52, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, according to the description clearly a trackball, not a mouse. The Telegraph article mentions 1946 as the patent year, whereas the WP article on Benjamin mentions (but is unsourced) that it was patented between 1947 and 1957. Quite a difference, if you ask me...
Nevertheless, given that the UK and Canada are both NATO members since 1949, I would only find it normal, that such ideas would spread around. The British and the Canadian trackball were even used for basically the same purpose...
What we'd need, however, is more independent and reliable sources (the patent or historic documents mentioning the device), not modern newspaper articles citing the potential inventors themselves.
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 16:07, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Therefore the way I've included, as a "claim" rather than fact. I find something dubious, though. Can an invention be patented, and then kept private? Isn't the purpose of patents to spread knowledge, and aren't they automatically published when granted? Diego (talk) 17:38, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
You are right for "normal" patents. However, secret patents exist. For obvious reasons, you won't find much about them. The exact conditions differ from country to country, sometimes a patent declared a secret will not be published until the status is withdrawn, sometimes it can be filed, but will not be granted until it can be made public. (This document reveals a bit about the secret patent situation in the UK today: [3]) In either case, a trackball-like device is no longer anything special, so any declaration as secret should have long been withdrawn more than 65 years after the fact... --Matthiaspaul (talk) 20:53, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
BTW, there's another name sometimes mentioned as an inventor of an early mouse-like device, Håkan Lans from Sweden. Apparently, what he invented was an early form of digitizer (graphic tablet-like), which was used as pointing device. However, I haven't seen any reliable sources discussing this so far, therefore I'm just mentioning this for further research. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 16:27, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Dirty mice[edit]

This might be too detailed to include in the article, but for actual mouse-users, it is a significant fact, so I'll mention it here and we can see if it's considered worthy of entry in the article. The rollers wheeled mice pick up small particles of dust/dirt/lint/paper that then gradually but not slowly build up as ribbons of "dirt on the rollers. This leads to poor functioning and finally malfunctioning or even nonfunctioning until some-one twists of the bottom donut ring and manually cleans the rollers. Kdammers (talk) 02:55, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Aren't wheel mice worthless as they collect dust and dirt, and can be ruined if you move the mouse too vigorously? In my school's breakfast club, the muses were really unresponsive unless you REALLY moved them. Anyone else? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Typo in reference[edit]

Ref. 5 links to Telegraph MediaGroup. Real article is titled Telegraph Media group.

Mouse speed section a mess[edit]

I'm removing the statement that one mickey is approximately 1/200th of an inch, since it's blatantly false and unsourced. Computer mice commonly have resolutions higher than 200 DPI; for instance, I have mine working at about 5000 DPI, so moving the mouse by 1/200th of an inch would make it report about 25 mickeys instead of one. Reinistalk 23:30, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

File:Mouse mechanism diagram.svg[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Mouse mechanism diagram.svg will be appearing as picture of the day on July 2, 2014. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2014-07-02. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:44, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Computer mouse diagram

A diagram of a mechanical mouse, showing how these pointing devices operate.

  1. Friction with the surface below the mouse turns the ball as the mouse is slid along.
  2. X and Y rollers grip the ball and transfer movement.
  3. The rollers turn optical encoding disks.
  4. Infrared LEDs shine through holes in the disks.
  5. Sensors count the light pulses to derive X and Y velocities. The computer interprets these readings and moves the mouse cursor correspondingly on the screen.

Diagram: Jeremykemp and Pbroks13
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

Is mouse an acronym ?[edit]

Manually-operated user-select equipment, see this page — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

No, mice were invented at XEROX Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and were named because they looked like mice, with a tail (cord), two eyes (buttons), and about that size -- (talk) 05:28, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Before the mouse was "invented" at XEROX, Telefunken did already sell them (the system was called RKS-100-86 (Rollkugelsystem) several months as part of a military 3D RADAR device that used a TR440 computer for graphical data processing. So what we can say for sure is that the name mouse was invented by XEROX. Schily (talk) 10:43, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
BTW: this article [4] nicely shows how the ball in the Telefunken mouse drives optical rotation angle sensors. Schily (talk) 10:49, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Requested move 4 November 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. The consensus is that the natural title is preferable. Jenks24 (talk) 13:41, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Mouse (computing)Computer mouseWP:NATURAL, seems more natural to call it a computer mouse than "Mouse (computing)". Prisencolin (talk) 13:41, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Order of text in the article[edit]

It seems to be a bit strange that the Telefunken Mouse is mentioned after the Engelbart Mouse even though the Telefunken Mouse was sold as a product months before the Engelbart Mouse was shown as a hand-crafted fretwork.

So let us reorder the two paragraphs in the article. Schily (talk) 14:02, 4 November 2015 (UTC)