Understanding Mouse

Variation A

A device that controls the movement of the
cursor or pointer on a display screen.
A mouse is a small object you can roll along
a hard, flat surface. Its name is derived from
its shape, which looks somewhat like a mouse,
its connecting wire, which can be imagined
as the mouse's tail and the fact that one
must make it scurry along a surface.

As you move the mouse, the pointer on
the display screen moves in the same direction.
Mice have at least one button and sometimes
as many as three. These buttons have different
functions depending on what program is running.
Some newer mice also include a scroll wheel for
scrolling through protracted documents.

A mouse is important for graphical user
interfaces because it enables one to
simply point to options and objects and
click a mouse button. Such applications are
often called point-and-click programs.
A mouse is also useful for graphics programs
that allow one to draw pictures by using
the mouse like a pen, pencil, or paintbrush.

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Three basic types of mice:


Has a rubber or metal ball on its underside
that can roll in all directions. Mechanical
sensors within the mouse first detect the
direction the ball is rolling and then
move the screen pointer accordingly.


Same as a mechanical mouse, but utilizes optical
sensors to detect motion of the ball.


Uses a laser to detect the mouse's movement.
One must move the mouse along a special mat
with a grid so that the optical mechanism has
a frame of reference. Optical mice have no
mechanical moving parts. They respond more quickly
and precisely than mechanical and optomechanical
mice, but they are also more costly.

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Mice connect to PCs in one of several ways:

Serial mice connect directly to an
RS-232C serial port or a PS/2 port.
This is the simplest type of connection.

PS/2 mice connect to a PS/2 port.

USB mice.

Cordless mice aren't physically connected
at all. Instead they rely on infrared or
radio waves to communicate with the computer.
Cordless mice are more dear than both
serial and bus mice, but they do eliminate
the cord, which can sometimes get in the way.

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Variation B

A palm-sized, button-operated device that
can be slid on wheels or ball bearings over
a desktop to move the cursor on a CRT to any
position, or slid over a drawing in order to
recreate the drawing on a CRT.

Variation C

A hand-held, button-activated input device
that when rolled along a flat surface directs
an indicator to move correspondingly about a
computer screen, enabling the operator to move
the indicator freely, as to select operations
or manipulate text or graphics.

Variation D

A hand-operated electronic device that
controls the coordinates of a cursor on
one's computer screen as one moves it
around on a pad; on the bottom of
the device is a ball that rolls on
the surface of the pad.

Variation E

A hand-held input device that is
moved about on a flat surface to control
the cursor on a computer screen. It also
has buttons for activating computer
functions. The underside of a mechanical
mouse contains a rubber-coated ball that
rotates as the mouse is moved; optical
sensors detect the motion and move the
screen pointer correspondingly. An
optical mouse is cordless and uses
reflections from an LED to track the
mouse's movement over a special
reflective mat which is marked
with a grid that acts as a frame
of reference.

Variation E

A common device that enables the user
to reposition an arrow on their computer
screen in order to activate desired applications.
The term mouse comes from the appearance of
the device, with the cord to the main
computer being seen as a tail of sorts.

Variation F

A small handheld input device connected
to a computer and featuring one or more
button-style switches. When moved around
a desk, the mouse causes a symbol on the
computer screen to make corresponding movements.

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