.) is apointing device that functions by detectingtwo-dimensionalmotion relative to its supporting surface.Physically, a mouse consists of an object held under one of the user's hands, with one or more buttons. It sometimes features other elements, such as "wheels", which allow theuser to perform various system-dependent operations, or extra buttons or features can addmore control or dimensional input. The mouse's motion typically translates into themotion of a pointer on adisplay, which allows for fine control of aGraphical User
originated at theStanford Research Institute, derives from theresemblance of early models (which had a cord attached to the rear part of the device,suggesting the idea of a tail) to the commonmouse.The first marketed integrated mouse – shipped as a part of a computer and intended for personal computer navigation – came with theXerox 8010 Star Information Systemin1981. However, the mouse remained relatively obscure until the appearance of theAppleMacintosh; in 1984 PC columnistJohn C. Dvorak ironically commented on the release of
this new computer with a mouse: “There is no evidence that people want to use thesethings.”A mouse now comes with most computers and many other varieties can be boughtseparately.
Etymology and plural
The first known publication of the term "
" as a pointing device is in Bill English's1965 publication "Computer-Aided Display Control".The
(third edition) and the fourth edition of
as correct plural forms for
. Some authors of technicaldocuments may prefer either
or the more generic
. The plural
as a "headless noun."Two manuals of style in the computer industry – Sun Technical Publication's
Read Me First: A Style Guide for the Computer Industry
Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications
from Microsoft Press – recommend that technical writers use theterm
instead of the alternatives.