Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In Praise Of The Mighty Mouse

When the first computer mouse was invented at Xerox PARC it was, perhaps the single most important input device since the keyboard was conceived.

Now, more and more devices are asking us to input via a swoosh of the hand or even by detecting the movements of our wrists or bodies.

But the one thing that annoys me more than anything about the iPad is that my fat fingers can't accurately select a letter to correct in text. There are no cursor keys, so it renders the iPad as a useless input device for anything other than very short lengths of text. Nothing would improve an iPad more than the addition of a mouse for when you want to use it productively (as opposed to consumptively).

Now, the guys who stole the original mouse idea are going down the same road. After three days of trying to live with Windows 8 on a PC, I've come to the conclusion that the folks at Redmond have gone seriously backwards. Now, I haven't tried Win 8 on a tablet, but it needs to work as well on a PC and it doesn't. Swishing and swiping is a different paradigm and is great for a device that you browse or occasionally interact with (e.g. changing a page or a TV channel), but not for the tool that you use to do your work for ten hours a day.