Kill the Mickeys

By T$

A long time ago, when grandmothers still were grandchildren, digital computing was still a mystery about cryptic lines full of letters on endless paper situated in an environment of dark green monitors. Naturally, these ancient relicts of data culture waiting to be awakened had to be fed manually, magnetic tapes as well as terminals were even more hungrily waiting for input letter by letter, digit by digit than any book had been before. Solid culture in Gutenberg's manner was the A and Z as well as the 1 and 0 of digital progress. Of course, the only input device one could imagine suitable for this task was the keyboard. With its massive keys bearing familiar and new symbols it formed the control center for the pioneers of the future reigning over it.

Practically all desired elements of interaction are manifested in the keyboard: Solid technology providing resistance against dirt, even the forgotten rest of a cookie will be crushed to dust by the keys. Its unbeatable precision guarantees for speed and pixel-perfect accuracy even in textmode. Following natural language and writing, it integrates seamlessly into the next step of communication. No doubt it is the optimal tool for every creative and productive kind of intelligence.

However, it was discovered that the keyboard did not fulfill every wish expected for a perfect input device. That´s why a tiny wanna-be started to reach for the territory traditionally reserved for the keyboard: The mouse rushed the desks.

Using a mouse requires just pushing this clutlike device, even a clumsy newborn is able to do this. According to the expected brain capabilities of the average user the number of keys was reduced down to a maximum of three so-called buttons.

Todays mice are also equipped with a scrolling wheel. Like a baby toy it pleases its users, whose early rotting hands are already entirely damaged due to clicking everythere all the time. In the good old times the own will was delegated by PgUp, PgDown, Home and End keys as well as a bunch of shortcuts. Today, only poor wheel turning and dadaistic left-clicking braindedness can be seen, victims without orientation of the so-called modern time.
For those the mouse is sufficient enough. In order to click around in the ou-WWW, sending blinking instant greeting cards or satisfying the MTV de-generation with flash crap only minimal capabilities are required anyway.

Seen from a musicians side the mouse is a complete disaster as well. Music without the sibling of the computer keyboard, the music keyboard, is almost unimaginable. Even a normal computer keyboard still serves well for music (as many tracker users know) while the plastified rat can only be used for putting together premade noise patterns in the mu-sick maker at best.

The worst impact hit the graphical area. A typical mouse picture identifies itself immediately due to its awkward lines, flat-shaded with few colours surrounded by a unpleasant pile of kindergarten skribble. No wonder that most computer artists rely on the premanufactured effects simulating their creativity by Photoshop plugins.

No real painter would change his brush, no drawer his pen for a mouse. Only a sculptor might be able to use it artistically - by putting it under hammer and chisel.

Oldschool computer gamers are also horrified by this trend: In the past brave heroes with ironlike joysticks jumped in first line through arcade worlds while today there are only C&C clicking couch potatoes. Charismatic text adventures were traversed poetically like "use cucumber with key" while today only the mouscursor monotony can be found.

Perhaps the only place controlled by reasonable technology left is the plane, but one shouldn´t be that sure about it - as soon as the passenger nearby starts his laptop with wireless mouse you´ll wish having listened to the stewardess during her explanations of using the parachute and swimsuit.

However, the final breakdown completes in the mouse itself: The nice flummy rubber ball, the last sympathic element of this desktop vermin, was replaced by a cool LED combined with a crappy sensor.

Thus, there is only one acceptable attitude towards the mouse left for sensible people:


T$ [Deinmeister]