I ran my own blog from November 2006 till October 2014. All posts are still online, but I don't have time to update it anymore. Please note that all images and media files have been removed when the backup was moved to a new host in early 2016. Enjoy!

The Computer Mouse - patented 37 years ago on November 17, 1970, by Douglas C. Engelbart

17. november 2007

Many people think the computer mouse was invented during the 1980's as it then became popular with the Apple Macintosh, the Amiga and Atari home computers, and later the PC. But it had been invented much earlier by Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart during the 1960's.

But Engelbart invented more than just his "X-Y positioning device", he was also a a pioneer of human-computer interaction whose team developed hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs - so if you're just reading this on my website running your MacOS X or Windows Vista computer, keep in mind that most concepts you're experiencing right now were originally developed about 35 to 40 years ago by people like Douglas C. Engelbart.


He started working on pointing devices in 1963, his computer mouse was first shown to the public in 1968, although there was no GUI yet and thus most people didn't find it that interesting as a concept. On November 17, 1970, Engelbart was granted Patent US3541541 for his pointing device.

During the 1970's Xerox continued the development of the mouse and related GUI concepts at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). The first commercially available mouse came with the Xerox Star computer system in 1981, but it flopped. Apple licensed the mouse concept and introduced the GUI based Lisa and Macintosh computers in 1983 respectively 1984, which finally marked the beginning of the computer mouse's success story.