Friday marked the 20th anniversary of an crucial upgrade many enthusiasts probably don’t remember, the announcement of the IntelliMouse Explorer and it’s sealed optical sensor. No longer would you have to choose between tossing Sun tens of thousands of dollars to get a laser mouse and mandatory reflective surface along with an admittedly impressive computer, or popping open the bottom of your mouse every week or so to pick out the gundge that accumulated on the rollers. Now, there was an affordable way to avoid that task, and it came with the added benefit of a couple of programmable buttons, to which most had the same reaction as the author over at Gizmodo. Try and explain that excitement to someone who’s only experience has been with sensors with 10,000+ DPI accuracy.
In about six years we can celebrate Apple’s evolution to mice with two buttons.
Twenty years ago, in April 1999, Microsoft introduced an update to its IntelliMouse line of input devices. On top it didn’t look much different than its predecessors—it still had a few buttons and a scroll wheel—but underneath it introduced a technology to the masses that brought an end to the prehistoric days of cleaning dirt and grime out of computer mice.