Monday, December 28, 2009

Banish the Mouse

We use a lot of technology in our lives that really should have been consigned to history a long time ago. Today's topic ... the mouse.

The computer mouse is an outmoded, unwieldy device that still stumps beginning computer users. It is supposed to act as a "pointing device," even though the Lord gave each one of us several highly flexible pointing devices at the end of each arm. We should be rid of the mouse, and here are just three reasons why ...

  • Pointing
    Touch screen technology is getting better and better, and corporate purchasers should demand that it become more and more affordable over the next 12 months. Web links, launching programs, and moving files around can all be done by substituting touchscreen technology for the mouse, without any new software development whatsoever.
  • Drawing
    Creating lines, boxes, circles and other forms is virtually impossible without invoking a pre-defined shape from within a program. In fact, I am not sure it is possible to create a worse drawing instrument than the mouse. It was once described as trying to draw with a potato instead of a pen. Can we please move to the stylus? Please?
  • Click, Double-click, Right-click
    The all-time, hands-down winner of unintuitive device design. At least Apple just went with one button. My Microsoft mouse has four, plus a scroll-wheel. No wonder it takes years to get really productive with a PC!

I suspect that I'm tilting at windmills, but am I wrong? Isn't there a reason why the good SmartPhones and PDA's don't have pointing devices anymore? The most successful SmartPhones in the past 10 years?
The iPhone. The BlackBerry Storm. And now, the Droid.

What is the common thread? Sophisticated, inexpensive touchscreen technology. No stylus. No track ball. And best of all, NO MOUSE.

What do you think?

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