Browse Definitions :
Definition

mouse

A mouse is a small device that a computer user pushes across a desk surface in order to point to a place on a display screen and to select one or more actions to take from that position. The mouse first became a widely-used computer tool when Apple Computer made it a standard part of the Apple Macintosh. Today, the mouse is an integral part of the graphical user interface (GUI) of any personal computer. The mouse apparently got its name by being about the same size and color as a toy mouse.

A mouse consists of a metal or plastic housing or casing, a ball that sticks out of the bottom of the casing and is rolled on a flat surface, one or more buttons on the top of the casing, and a cable that connects the mouse to the computer. As the ball is moved over the surface in any direction, a sensor sends impulses to the computer that causes a mouse-responsive program to reposition a visible indicator (called a cursor) on the display screen. The positioning is relative to some variable starting place. Viewing the cursor's present position, the user readjusts the position by moving the mouse.

The most conventional kind of mouse has two buttons on top: the left one is used most frequently. In the Windows operating systems, it lets the user click once to send a "Select" indication that provides the user with feedback that a particular position has been selected for further action. The next click on a selected position or two quick clicks on it causes a particular action to take place on the selected object. For example, in Windows operating systems, it causes a program associated with that object to be started. The second button, on the right, usually provides some less-frequently needed capability. For example, when viewing a Web page, you can click on an image to get a popup menu that, among other things, lets you save the image on your hard disk. Some mouses have a third button for additional capabilities. Some mouse manufacturers also provide a version for left-handed people.

Windows 95 and other operating systems let the user adjust the sensitivity of the mouse, including how fast it moves across the screen, and the amount of time that must elapse within a "double click.". In some systems, the user can also choose among several different cursor appearances. Some people use a mousepad to improve traction for the mouse ball.

Although the mouse has become a familiar part of the personal computer, its design continues to evolve and there continue to be other approaches to pointing or positioning on a display. Notebook computers include built-in mouse devices that let you control the cursor by rolling your finger over a built-in trackball. IBM's ScrollPoint mouse adds a small "stick" between two mouse buttons that lets you scroll a Web page or other content up or down and right or left. Users of graphic design and CAD applications can use a stylus and a specially-sensitive pad to draw as well as move the cursor. Other display screen-positioning ideas include a video camera that tracks the user's eye movement and places the cursor accordingly.

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About mouse

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • brute force attack

    Brute force (also known as brute force cracking) is a trial and error method used by application programs to decode encrypted ...

  • spyware

    Spyware is software that is installed on a computing device without the user's knowledge. Spyware can be difficult to detect; ...

  • ATM black box attack

    An ATM black box attack, also referred to as jackpotting, is a type of banking-system crime in which the perpetrators bore holes ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • warm site

    A warm site is a type of facility an organization uses to recover its technology infrastructure when its primary data center goes...

  • disaster recovery (DR) test

    A disaster recovery test (DR test) is the examination of each step in a disaster recovery plan as outlined in an organization's ...

SearchStorage

  • disk array

    A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object ...

  • enterprise storage

    Enterprise storage is a centralized repository for business information that provides common data management, protection and data...

  • optical storage

    Optical storage is any storage type in which data is written and read with a laser. Typically, data is written to optical media, ...

Close