We all use personal computers and we all take them for granted in our everyday lives. It’s easy to forget that PCs have only been around for a couple of decades, and initially were nowhere near the powerhouses we have on our desks today.For example, did you know that the first “portable” computer weighed 25 kg (55 lb) and cost close to $20,000, that the first laser printer was big enough to fill up most of a room, or that you basically had to build the first Apple computer yourself?This article takes a look at the time when the computer equipment we now take for granted was invented and what it looked like back then.The first computer mouseThe first computer mouse was invented in 1963 by Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute. (He is also one of the inventors of hypertext.) The first mouse used two wheels positioned at a 90-degree angle to each other to keep track of the movement (see picture below). The ball mouse wasn’t invented until 1972, and the optical mouse was invented circa 1980 although it didn’t come to popular use until much later.Douglas Engelbart never received any royalties for his invention and his patent had run out by the time the mouse became commonplace in the era of home PCs.
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