This week’s Loose Wire column:
THIS COLUMN was going to be about how to get more out of your computer mouse. You know, clicking, dragging, double-clicking, dropping, all that kind of stuff. I was all fired up about it until I consulted the guy who had a lot to do with getting the mouse onto every desktop. That’s when I learned about how the mouse makes us endure more than we should. Here’s why.
Jef Raskin is a technology guru who was in the thick of it when the personal-computer revolution started. His home page features a picture of him, bearded and bespectacled, wearing what I assume is an eye computer. It lists his accomplishments concisely and modestly: creator of Apple’s Macintosh, the Canon Cat, click-and-drag selection . . . coined the term and the concept of “information appliances” . . . also well-known as an expert on the aerodynamics of miniature aircraft. More importantly, Raskin reckons the mouse is a waste of your time. “A message for your readers is that the overuse of the mouse is costing them about 25% of their time,” he wrote in response to my e-mailed questions.