Yesterday I wrote a small post about how keyboards work. And ofcourse (you just saw it coming) today I will write something about how a computer mouse works.
I promise I won’t get carried away and give too many details ;-)…
Do you remember those mice with a roller ball? The ones you had to use with a mouse pad? Then you probably also remember getting the dust out of the mechanics because your cursor faltered all the time.
Lovely ain’t it..?
This is a mechanical mouse. The little ball in the mouse is used to track movement. It is only logical, when you move the mouse of a surface, the ball moves as well.
Inide the mouse there are rollers, which capture horizontal en vertical movement. This movement is translated to electrical signals and are sent to the computer.
And because the computer is a rather magical thing, it knows what to do with these signals ;-). Resulting in the fact that your cursor moves.
Back to modern times… I’m sure almost everyone is using either an optical or a laser mouse these days.
An optical mouse doesn’t use moving parts (what you probably already expected) but it is using a small red LED. This LED emits light onto a surface and will read the pattern or the grid on this surface (this is the reason why it doesn’t work on shiny surfaces).
The mouse converts this information into motion data and will transmit this to the computer. Resulting again in the fact that your cursor moves.
This mouse has brought great improvements… You no longer need to use a mouse pad since dust cannot interfere with the sensors. The response (mouse <> PC) works a lot better. And you can laser your fellow colleagues!
As promised… short :-)