The nature of the personal computer is simply not fully understood by companies like Apple (or anyone else for that matter). Apple makes the arrogant assumption of thinking that it knows what you want and need. It, unfortunately, leaves the “why” out of the equation — as in “why would I want this?” The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a “mouse.” There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I don’t want one of these new fangled devices.
sw661on 02 Oct 09
You could say this about computers in general; they’ve become an end in themselves.
Justin Jacksonon 02 Oct 09
Ha ha… Well the same could be true of “designers:” they design things that they think people will need or use (or both).
Politicians ask people what they want; designers build things that will be used, viewed, enjoyed…
Bill Riceon 02 Oct 09
Ha ha! This is personally ironic.
I am a Mac user and was working on my wife’s Vista (enabled???) PC the other night and said almost the same thing:
“Why does this thing keep trying to think for me and take me places I don’t want to go?”
naruon 02 Oct 09
A Mouse.. hahaha.. are you kiddin’ me ? What comes next.. a cat ???
Deeon 02 Oct 09
John Dvorak has proven over and over again that he’s awful at predicting technology trends. This does not surprise me at all.
Jean-Philippe Joyalon 02 Oct 09
What’s funny is that 25 years later the mighty mouse still feels experimental.
Coryon 02 Oct 09
I think people have come around to the whole mouse thing, but everything he said about Apple is certainly true.
Codyon 02 Oct 09
Say what you will about Dvorak (I personally like him), but I haven’t used a mouse in over three years. It’s an inefficient way to interact with a computer.
Jameson 02 Oct 09
Basically, you can never go wrong by believing the opposite of whatever Dvorak says will happen.
KAon 02 Oct 09
Hahaha.. amazingly ironic.
zephyron 03 Oct 09
Tom Morrison 03 Oct 09
I don’t like the mouse much. It has it’s uses: games, graphics applications (Photoshop, Illustrator etc.). The multi-touch trackpad on the latest Mac laptops is actually marginally preferable to most mice I’ve ever used. Mice seem to be the primary cause of RSI for me. Give me a keyboard any day.
"I personally like him"on 03 Oct 09
Cody: why do you like Dvorak? It’s an honest question: as an apple fan boy, I only ever rend up reading his terrible commentary on apple. Is he good at something else?
"I personally like him"on 03 Oct 09
Cody: why do you like Dvorak? It’s an honest question: as an apple fan boy, I only ever end up reading his terrible commentary on Apple. Is he good at something else? I’m genuinely curious…
errmon 04 Oct 09
Well I have to agree in many ways, the best piece of software UI I ever used was a green screen app in a credit card call centre, sure it took about 2 weeks to learn how to use it, but you could use it almost as fast as you were thinking. They knew how to make things work properly in 1982. The piece of cr*p asp.net thing they replaced it with meant that. 1. Everything took 3 times as long 2. I resigned. And I’m sure that that was just scraping the old app.
So although a mouse is possibly better for interacting with a system you have never used and may not ever use again, a keyboard based input system makes far more sense for something you are going to use day in day out.
I’m not sure if anyone knows how many users of final cut or pro tools regularly use the mouse for much?
Georgeon 04 Oct 09
But 25 years later, the guy still has a job doing exactly the same thing
Jeff Putzon 05 Oct 09
I think Dvorak tends to be the healthy skeptic in a circle of pundits who otherwise act as participants in a continuous circle jerk. He gets a ton of stuff wrong, but that’s OK. Sometimes he’s right, and sometimes he even relents and uses what he thought was wrong (Macs and Twitter). He’s still an entertaining writer.
Adimon 05 Oct 09
You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new ~ Steve Jobs
So I guess you gotta assume a little and hope it works, thats inovation
merleon 05 Oct 09
Errm, I developed green screen apps and they could be incredibly efficient. Of course the computer was so slow that you’d sometimes have to wait until it caught up with your buffered keystrokes.
And what’s a 2 week learning curve when you can be efficient for years afterwards.
Consider if they made a piano keyboard dead simple so that someone could play a tune the first time they sat down. It would probably render the instrument impossible for creating real music with actual emotional expression.
Eden Jaegeron 05 Oct 09
It’s an easy quote to pick on, and understandably fun to do so, but was there really evidence that we want (or need) a mouse?
I can get around much more quickly without one most of the time. And, of course, we’re using software today that expects us to have a mouse. Maybe we’ve given up a whole lot of efficiency in the transition?
David Son 05 Oct 09
Apple’s (or any other company’s) real or perceived arrogance is one thing…and too big a topic for the likes of me.
However, one thing that Apple does (and some other companies as well) is create things that you don’t know you need…but down the road, when an occasion arises…why lo and behold, they have invented just the thing.
I’ve had this sort of personal experience over and over again: “why would I ever need a ruler on my screen?-that’s just dumb!”—then later I find I need to measure some things onscreen, and I stumble into Screen Calipers by Iconico. To this day, I use those damn Calipers with Acrobat, PageMaker, Dreamweaver, Finale and Sibelius, etc. It’s one of the very best pieces of software I’ve ever used. Nothing fancy, nothing impressive…just enormously functional.
Again with Desktop Search: “what’s all this hoopla about desktop search? what a load of bull!” Well, that was then and this is now, and I wouldn’t be caught without X1, which weekly helps me wade through more than 15 years of digital stuff I’ve accumulated.
Just goes to show that it’s awfully hard to predict the future, even one’s own.
Fortune tellers and weathermen…
Mikaelon 06 Oct 09
The question is “Does M. Dvorak use a mouse now ?”
Johan Strandellon 06 Oct 09
@David S: I haven’t used Screen Calipers, but I’ve found xScope indispensible for design work.
There are some efficiency arguments in favour of keyboard based interfaces, but in my experience they don’t scale and they especially don’t work that well unless you use the application every day. Mouse and menu-driven interfaces are a lot easier to pick up and handles large and complex applications much better. And there are entire classes of applications where a mouse is more or less essential.
A GUI-driven application with well thought-out shortcuts gives you 90% of the advantages of a keyboard interface, while minimizing the drawbacks.
David Son 06 Oct 09
Thanks much for mentioning xScope—I’m on WinXP so it looks like I won’t be able to try it out, but it looks like a cool app. I believe Screen Calipers now is available for Mac, so you might give them a try.
Amazing how useful these little things are, isn’t it?
This discussion is closed.