A CDE Definition
The primary pointing device on a desktop computer. Laptops have the equivalent function in a built-in trackpad, although many users prefer the handheld mouse.
Decades ago, it was called a "mouse" because the cord resembled a mouse's tail, and wired mice plug into the USB or PS/2 port. Today, most mice are cordless, using Bluetooth (if in the computer) or by plugging the transceiver that comes with the mouse into the USB port. See USB and PS/2 port.
Although CAD and drawing programs, as well as every graphical interface, are designed to be used with a pointing device, many key commands in the OS and business applications are also available.
Relative Vs. Absolute
Mouse movement is relative. For example, a mouse could be moved along your arm or across your stomach, and the screen cursor would move from its existing location the same angle and distance. In contrast, the mouse-like object on a graphics tablet, which is correctly called a "tablet cursor" or "puck," is often not relative. It contacts the tablet with absolute reference, which means if you place the stylus on the upper left part of the tablet, the screen cursor appears on the upper left side of the screen. See pointing device, scroll mouse, mechanical mouse, optical mouse, Magic Mouse and mickey.
Mice Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
It is now well known that hours of clicking can strain the wrist (see carpal tunnel syndrome).
First Public Mouse Demonstration
One Size Does Not Fit All
A Variety of Critters
Before/After Your Search Term
|Motorola 68K||mouse dongle|
|Motorola Blur||mouse elbow|
|Motorola X phone||mouse emulator|
|Mount Rainier||mouse pad|
|Mount Ranier||mouse pointer|
|Mountain Lion||mouse port|
Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.