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[[File:|thumb|Many mice have two buttons and a scroll wheel.]] A computer mouse is used to tell a computer what to do, including moving the cursor and choosing things on the screen.[1]

It got its name because the wire coming out of the end of the first computer mice reminded people of the tail of a real mouse. Many mice today are wireless and use batteries.



When Silicon Valley was being reclaimed in California, Douglas Engelbart, a researcher of Stanford institute, wanted to find a way to make using computers easier. In those days, using a computer was very hard because they were large machines. Everything had to be typed in by hand, and there was no way to alter things if you made a mistake.

After studying and designing for a long time, Engelbart succeeded in inventing an input device which he named 'XY index'.

At first, it needed two hands to use, but it was changed so that only one hand was needed to use it. This is the mouse that we use today.

The mouse was used with Macintosh[2] of Apple Inc. when it came out in 1984. Microsoft Windows also used the mouse when it came out, so over time computer mice became used with many computers.


On most computers, the user can move the mouse to move the cursor in the same direction.[3] If there is something on the screen that the user wants to choose, he can move the cursor over it and "click" the mouse button. The right mouse button is used to open menus that are different depending on where the cursor is. The other mouse buttons can do different things, depending on the software. A mouse can have 1 to 6 buttons to click, but most mice have two or three. Most mice also have a "scroll wheel" -- a small wheel found between the two main mouse buttons. The user can move the wheel up or down to "scroll" through things like a website or folder, which means to move it up or down on the screen, or he or she can click the wheel down like another button.


  1. Mouse at free on-line dictionary of computing
  2. How computer mice work: "... the mouse hit the scene - attached to the Mac..."

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Up to date as of December 25, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Mouse, which are similar to those in the above article.

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