Feeds

Txt-speak is a sign of humanity 4 U

But don't ask your dentist for oral sex, OK?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

No txt please, we're brutish

I appreciate what's going on here because I feel exactly the same way about the computer mouse. Yet the idea that you would want to point at things on an upright computer screen using a clump of plastic containing a rubber marble lying flat on a desk and attached by a cable that gets in the way of your keyboard is surely the product of a deranged mind. Surely there has to be a better invention?

Mouse man

Magic mouse, man. Or, magic, mouse man

Indeed, I've tried them all: trackballs, joysticks, 3D gloves, things on wheels, things that are wheels... remember the ridiculous Logitech NuLOOQ, anyone? I am also a long-time user of stylus tablets and I'm a fan of modern multitouch trackpads and touchscreens.

However, I keep finding myself returning to the humble mouse. No, that's not true, there's nothing humble about it. I return to a very specific one: Apple's Magic Mouse.

OK, so it's expensive, doesn't support three- or four-finger gestures and only works properly in the wrong operating system. All I can say is that whenever I'm on deadline and need to get a job done quickly, the graphics tablet gets pushed to one side and the trackpad gets dropped into a drawer while I reach for the mouse.

Logitech NuLOOQ input device

WTF?!?!?

Naturally, replacing the ball with so-called laser tracking, allowing multi-directional scrolling and going wireless helped a great deal, but there remains something inexplicably intuitive about using a mouse. I suspect it has something to do with the way you can keep the cursor very still in one spot, but El Reg will spike my column if I take up valuable screen pixels to postulate further.

Deranged mind? Crazy name, crazy guy, perhaps, but give old Douggie Engelbart his due. Computers aside, he understood people. And as demonstrated by the persistent use of mice and txt-speak in a world that needs neither, people adapt quickly to the weird while rejecting the logical.

I wouldn't have it any other way. ®

Alistair DabbsAlistair Dabbs is a freelance technology tart, juggling IT journalism, editorial training and digital publishing. Almost 12 years ago, he wrote a book about Interface Design, but it fell out of date roughly ten seconds after it was published. The book is currently soaring at number 4,235,883 in Amazon's ranking of Bestsellers.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
Amazon hopes FIRE STICK will light up its video service
We do streaming video? It seems we do...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.