Jolk Etymology

February 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm Leave a comment

The computer mouse is not, as many people assume, named after the similar-looking rodent.
In fact, the term derives from the original model number Douglas Engelbart used: J-97.

Engelbart and his team at ARC used a simple code to label prototypes: “n” for nonworking (a wooden model, for example) and “w” for working (a fully-functional test version). The first mouse that really succeeded was the third working model; he planned to announce this via a memo titled “J97w3 device ready for patent.”

History was made when he accidentally typed the first word with his fingers a row too far down on the keyboard: “Mouse device ready for patent.”


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