Why is the mouse pointer slanted instead of pointing straight up?

By Shawn Knight
Feb 18, 2014
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  1. Have you ever pondered why some things are the way they are in computing? Or perhaps why some aspects have lived on well past their prime? The System Request key and the Scroll Lock key are two perfect examples of...

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  2. TS-56336

    TS-56336 TS Addict Posts: 609   +109

    I always just assumed it was because that's typically the way a pen is pointing when writing on paper so that's what we're used to.
  3. Maybe because having it angled left gives you a flat, vertical edge on the left-hand side, which allows you to see the exact horizontal cut-off point (with the tip of the array marking the vertical cut-off point), so that you can see the exact X,Y point you are clicking on more easily.
  4. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,157   +195

    if one can't create original content, copy from someone else.
  5. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 853   +352

    Mine points the other direction, because I'm a lefty ;)
  6. Maybe because having (x,y) location we do not need to more extra calculations where to draw pointer, just start at this location
  7. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Wow this is very interesting. Thanks for sharing!
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    Yeah, this is what I would have guessed... slanted lines don't look right on a screen made from pixels.

    Did you know the mouse was originally meant to be used turned around with the cord (tail) coming out the bottom? Then some smart person came along and realized how much easier it was to use if you flipped it around.
    misor likes this.
  9. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,370   +2,162

    The vast majority of content is copycat. The key to an effective product is changing someone else's formula just enough so as to not be egregious.
    misor likes this.
  10. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,106   +1,376

    The way that arrow cursor is done in Windows today: its left side is precisely vertical, for best appearance. The rest is just done to resemble a tidy arrow. There is nothing else to it.
  11. Funny how we get use to the pointer and forget he is wandering on the screen doing everything.
  12. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Its always the little things that catch your attention. I KNEW the mouse was invented VERY early on. Never thought about it much really. I grew up in the PC revolution. And I dont mean the 1990 one. Im talking before there were ever home computers. I grew up watching the tech grow!! From the start of cabinet video games to home computing. POint is, I grew up in this era and I didnt know the history of the PC mouse. Like I said, its always the small things that catch your attention. And to all those people who DID grow up in the 90's, congratz!!! But there was PC before they were born. Each decade since its inception has seen MASSIVE growth. We tend to get "hypnotized" by our tech. The CURRENT versions are all that matter. But this nice tidbit is from our past and shows us that the nice little things we take for granted DO have a history. So to all those out there that poopoo subjects like this, just wait, there WILL be a time when YOU are old and will want little reminders of when YOU were growing up. Thats what this story is, a reminder. A reminder of our past, a reminder of WHERE we came from. We are so used to computers and how they run/ruin our lives that we have forgotten that there was a time when the only computer on the planet was buried underground in a 5 story complex and it FILLED the complex. A reminder that there was a simpler time, that WE as a species have depevolped this amazing tech to make our lives better, and a reminder that we as a people are capable of GREAT things. Maybe you dont get that, but I DO.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,455   +1,759

    Not only do I not know what the "scroll lock" key does, but the damned light from it annoys the hell out of me. :p (It's not so bad with a wireless keyboard, since they don't light up)
    Don't forget that the "transistors", were actually vacuum tubes. I saw one of these at the Franklin Institute, on a 5th grade class trip.("Univac", I think)

    Quite a bit of that statement is debatable.
    Indeed....:) And almost all that's left to do now, is bring "the phaser" into existence, with a virtually limitless power source. That would free our soldiers up from carrying those big, heavy, clips of bullets into battle. :) (yay)!
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,455   +1,759

    Oh sure, but what if you're left handed?
  15. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Same here, assumed since that's how the majority of people hold a writing utensil it was just the natural evolution to tilt the cursor for a digital equivalent.
  16. It is obvious that the inventor of the mouse had Erectile Dysfunction.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,455   +1,759

    Yes, but it was likely caused by EM radiation(*) from the old style CRT monitors. Then too, digital photography, erotic art, and the ability to transmit large files on the web, have increased manifold since then. Plus, this was all going on in the year, "10 BC", (before Cialis).

    Ergo, it's likely nobody's suffering from a, "limp mouse", these days.

    (*) The front glass of a CRT is even leaded (Pb), so as to prevent X-Ray emission.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  18. EClyde

    EClyde TS Maniac Posts: 616   +143

    Never gave it a thought but it's nice someone did
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,455   +1,759

    Actually, with the left side of the cursor being a straight vertical line, it won't pixelate on a low resolution monitor. If you rotate to true vertical under those circumstances, you could possibly get,"stair-stepping".

    << Look at the collar on my avatar, you'll see what I mean.
  20. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,157   +195

    fixed or not! cheers!
    (I actually like almost all the posts of captaincranky and skidmarks as they are informative or witty)
    I wonder how the guest above compared the mouse design to E.D. ...
  21. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Since when is Sys Req no longer relevant? SysReq + REISUB when you mess up Linux restarts safely
    1. "Since when is Sys Req no longer relevant? SysReq + REISUB when you mess up Linux restarts safely

    Holy *hit man then that button is the Holy Grail of buttons. Keep it for eternity.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,455   +1,759

    Well, because the pointer is laying over at at angle, and not directly vertical.

    However, you do have to have a case of "phallus mind (*)", (as it would seem our "guest" does), to spuriously draw that conclusion.

    (*) Take a moment to translate that term into more contemporary vernacular.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014

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