Document From 1982 Blows The Lid Off Tilt In Mouse Cursor

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Do you know why mouse cursors on our computer screens are tilted towards the left? Did Douglas Engelbart – the guy who invented mouse – just wanted it that way? Nope, that's not it. There must be some proper logic or reasoning behind it, and it turns out, there is.

Do you know why mouse cursors on our computer screens are tilted towards the left? Did Douglas Engelbart – the guy who invented the mouse – just wanted it that way? Nope, that's not it. There must be some proper logic or reasoning behind it, and it turns out, there is.

Apparently, a 30-year-old document has revealed that Engelbart actually wanted cursors to be vertical or straight, which makes sense. However, Xerox Parc's software that turned Engelbart's concept into its current form had a few limitations. When kept vertical, the cursor seemed too small for easy human viewing, which means they either had to increase the size or rotate it a bit to make it more prominent. And they opted to go with the second option, which is why our mouse cursors look the way they do.

The reference of the decades-old document was given by a computer historian named Bart Gijssens in an open discussion on Stack Exchange, where he wrote: "When the XEROX PARC machine was built, the cursor changed into a tilted arrow. It was found that, given the low resolution of the screens in those days, drawing a straight line and a line in the 45 degrees angle was easier to do and more recognizable than the straight cursor."

To prove his point, he showed Engelbart's original concept drawing too, which is posted down below:

 

The thing to note here is that they tilted it towards the left – and not the other way around – so as to favor the right-handers. The natural lefties got left out here too.

Carbonated.TV
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