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The X-Y Position Indicator for Displays – a.k.a The Mouse

 

When the first pointing device was invented in the early 60’s by Douglas Engelbart and Bill English (they were part of the Stanford Research Institute), it was called the X-Y Position Indicator for Display Systems (referring of course, to the X & Y axes).

It was first used with the Xerox Alto computer and demonstrated in 1968 by Engelbart in what is called the ‘Mother of all demos’ (check it out on YouTube). In 1968, Engelbart showed off word processing, graphics, windows, file linking and control using a ‘mouse’ – all these things made their way into modern computers.

Engelbart was also responsible for the name mouse, coined simply because the cable sticking out the end of the device reminded him of a rodent’s tail.

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