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Computer - Pointing Devices

Pointing devices are used to control a small arrow on the computer screen which can be used to select and move objects on the computer screen. Imagine trying to tell the computer to open documents and programs with out the simple use of a mouse or other pointing device. How would you go about it? It is difficult to imagine isn't it?

A pointing device allows easy interaction between the user and the computer. Without the availability of pointing devices the keyboard must be used to open, close, move, and manipulate screens and software programs. Although possible using the keyboard instead of a pointing device is a more advanced skill that would exclude many users from using computers in everyday life. Using the keyboard for many manual tasks is worth learning and can improve computer adeptness and efficiency, however the use of pointing devices have made a simple interactive space that have allowed more common consumers the joy of using and leveraging computers with ease and a common sense approach to manipulating the computers operating system.

Pointing devices have evolved over the years in form and function. There are many pointing devices on the market today. These include computer mice, trackballs, tablets with pens, and touch pads. The eldest and most widely used pointing device is the computer mouse. (Named for how it resembles to a small house mouse.) A typical mouse is used by dragging the device on a mouse pad or non-reflective surface which controls a the pointer on the screen. Similarly, a trackball uses a small ball on top of the device to be rolled with the thumb or palm of the hand to control the computer pointer. Trackballs are seen to be more ergonomically friendly as the hand can stay relaxed and limits wrist movement. Other pointing devices a tablet with pen, which was created to simulate a pen and notepad. The pen and tablet are commonly used for artistic and design oriented tasks. The freedom and feel of the pen allows for a more natural feel to computer aided graphic design and animation. Finally, the touch pad is commonly used with laptops to provide a small survace area which controls the pointer simply by moving your finger over the designated area. This helps engineers maximize space and function which is very important with laptop (or notebook) computing.

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