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History - page 3

While using the early capture/track system, Mr. Hansen realized that, while useful for its original purposes, that of extracting and distributing a 'mouse sync' stream to multiple remote sites, there was significantly more potential. If he could develop a way to generate arbitrary mouse commands with the system, it would become new human input device!

It was pretty obvious that turning the pointer off and back on could be mapped to a left-mouse-click, and this was rapidly implemented, giving rudimentary control with very slow tracking, requiring correspondingly slow "click" times, i.e. the pointer had to be turned off for about 1.5 seconds, then turned back on for the system to reliably detect a "click" event. But it worked!

Very quickly, however, Mr. Hansen realized that more was needed. A typical 'mouse' user uses the mouse for much more than just "clicks". The most obvious extension was the ubiquitous click-and-drag which covers the bulk of the modern "windows-icon-mouse-pointer" interfaces that were starting to become popular with the introduction of Apple machines and Microsoft Windows 3.0. If turning the pointer off is mapped to 'left-mouse-button-down', and turning the pointer on is mapped to 'left-mouse-button-up', how on earth does one 'track' during a 'click-and-drag' operation? There is no pointer to track! The operator cannot drag!

Think about that problem for a bit. More to come!


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