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Twenty years ago, Microsoft changed our mice

Twenty years ago, in April 1999, Microsoft released its online peripheral IntelliMouse update. His predecessors did not look very different; Still in the middle he had some buttons and scroll wheels; but eventually it was the introduction of the technology that would end the cleaning of the mouse.

At that time I was in the third year of the international, and my digital multimedia program gave me plenty of hours in Photoshop 5.5, with the welcome giveaway for students. My classes did not depend on textbooks, software for image editing and high frequency, yet a desktop (16 MB RAM baby!) That is currently powerful has left a lot of money.

The Wacom table was not stylish at the budget, but it was still aimed at professionals with budgets that were luxurious. I was attached to the mouse and, at the same time, there was an archaic metal ball covered with rubber, moving my movements to the cursor on the screen.

If you mix with two decades of pixels, you need to remember what I'm talking about. My mouse worked well, but it was a problem when the ball got dirty and my cursor was played irregularly. He frustrated me a lot. Sometimes I've been able to clear the mouse in 15 minutes. Although it was rubbing at the table, cleaning everything and replacing my mouse, there were a few days.

The subtle mouse movements necessary for the precise work of Photoshop were not recorded, and I often repeatedly touch the mouse at my desk.

All this was modified on April 14, 1999 in Las Vegas in COMDEX, a fair that would now be CES current. On that day, Microsoft announced IntelliMouse Explorer: the mouse switched the mouse with a LED roller and a digital camera, which followed the mouse movement with precision.

I do not remember the first time I heard about IntelliMouse Explorer. It was reported that there was no problem Popular Science At that time – but a few months later, when I was released, I was one of those I bought. In Canada, in more than $ 75 and $ 100, the periphery was very expensive, especially if it was a mouse, but at that moment I would sell a kidney to get one of them.

Microsoft first introduced the optical mouse tracking device. Methods Two inventors that existed since 1980 have defined two approaches to tracking mouse movements by imaging. In 1981, Xerox STAR was commercially available technology, costing less than $ 16,500 – equivalent to more than $ 45,000 today – but it was an exclusive business machine.

A few decades later, companies like Sun Microsystems included laser mice on their servers and in the same expensive labor markets, but incorporated the sensors to their use. The average consumer would not want to go through these obstacles.

Based on technology developed by Hewlett-Packard, the price of the IntelliMouse Explorer was still very affordable. In addition, the mouse was completely closed under the mouse, although avoiding the least grain dirt, as well as the improvements made by the predecessors, did not reflect much on almost any surface.

I remember going back to my house and for the first time activating the Explorer, asking to ask who was enough of the device PS2 USB adapter box was used to use PS2. There were some gaps in device installations, but when I fixed Windows 98 problems, I opened Photoshop and I had the easiest experience with the mouse. Problem solved.

In addition to the optical sensors that changed the game, IntelliMouse Explorer also included the necessary programmable buttons, but at first it seemed to me not necessary, but soon became an indispensable navigational web site, allowing quick browsing between sites. (Flaps were not yet invented).

Microsoft's competitors did not long run to launch their optical mouse. Apple started the next year and in 2004, Logitech also joined. Additional buttons have become the standard of industry, and companies have started the competition to attract the most demanding computer gamers that have created more specific optical monitoring technology.

I can count with my fingers when a technology has changed my life for a long time – they often complicate things (right, iPhone?). But 20 years later, IntelliMouse Explorer all changed and did not give a problem.

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