Why Your Mouse Cursor Is Slanted Instead of Straight?

Why Your Mouse Cursor Is Slanted Instead of Straight

Have you ever wondered why your mouse cursor rests ever so slightly to the left? Chances are, that little arrow on an incline is so ubiquitous that you’ve never even thought twice about its 45-degree lean. As it turns out, there’s a very good reason for it. Or was, anyway, back in a more pixelated age.

Over on Stack Exchange, computer software developer Bart Gijssens revealed the following explanation of the slanted cursor’s origins in response to this question on its design.

This is the historical reason:

Why Your Mouse Cursor Is Slanted Instead of Straight1

(concept drawing taken from document: http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/xerox/parc…)

The mouse, and therefore the mouse cursor, was invented by Douglas Englebart, and was initially an arrow pointing up.

When the XEROX PARC machine was built, the cursor changed into a tilted arrow. It was found that, given the low resolution of the screens in those days, drawing a straight line and a line in the 45 degrees angle was easier to do and more recognizable than the straight cursor.

As you can see below, the original, straight cursor was indeed much more difficult to pick out amongst the blocks of basic text.

Why Your Mouse Cursor Is Slanted Instead of Straight2

And as Gijssens points out in a later edit, after Englebart created the left-leaning cursor, Steve Jobs borrowed it for his software followed by Bill Gates who borrowed it after him. At this point, we’ve just become so accustomed to our leaning (and still highly functional!) arrow that anything else would seem too bizarre. Besides, why mess with perfection?

Apple celebrates 30 years of Mac innovation with gorgeous timeline, video and interactive poll!

On this day thirty years ago, Steve Jobs presented the new Macintosh to a roomful of Apple investors.

Apple’s computer would go on to put the power of technology in everyone’s hands, all the while changing the face of personal computing for decades to come, upending whole industries, challenging the status quo and eventually leading to the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Today, the company has taken over its own homepage with a gorgeous visual timeline of the thirty years of Macintosh innovations, paying tribute to the computer with a nicely done video, an interactive poll and other goodies…

Apple’s boss Tim Cook tweeted this from his iPad.

” Happy Birthday Mac! My life is infinitely better because we met. Today we salute everything you stand for. http://www.apple.com/30-years/ ”


The Apple.com homepage has been redesigned with a nice teaser graphics replacing the rotating product banners and the four thumbnail sections alongside the bottom.

The message reads:

Happy Birthday, Mac.

In 1984, Apple introduced the world to Macintosh.

It was designed to be so easy to use that people could actually use it.

And it came with a promise — that the power of technology taken from a few and put in the hands of everyone, could change the world.

That promise has been kept.

Today, we create, connect, share, and share, and learn in ways that were unimaginable 30 years ago.

Imagine what we can accomplish in the next 30 years.

And here’s Apple’s video, celebrating some of the pioneers and the “incredible impact they’ve made”, including musician Moby whom Apple also featured in early iPod videos.

Clicking the teaser leads to a special page of Apple.com offering a visual timeline of the Mac’s thirty-year history, ranging from the very first 1984 Mac to the PowerBook, the original iMac and its subsequent redesigns to the latest Retina MacBook Pro and the radically redesigned Mac Pro.


This is from the first pane of the timeline:

The one that started it all — the original Macintosh — wasn’t just a computer. It was a declaration that the power of the computer now belonged to everyone. At the time, most people didn’t even know how to use one.

But thanks to the simple graphical interface of the Macintosh, they didn’t have to. It was approachable and friendly, starting with the smiley face that greeted you. There were folders that looked like file folders and a trash can for throwing things away.

And with the click of a mouse, you could suddenly do the unimaginable. You could move things around on the screen, change the way they looked, combine words with images and sounds, and create like never before. A new era had begun.

Each clickable section reveals a story behind that era’s Mac model and offers a detailed overview of how it changed specific aspects of personal computing and what creative people like musicians, writers,  architects and filmmakers did with it.


Apple Stores seems to have joined the celebration with some pretty nicely done Mac-themed window displays, have a look below.

Source: IDB

Apple Wins Best Tablet, Mobile Phone, and Computer Brand Of The Year. Again!


Apple may be losing smartphone and tablet marketshare, but it’s still the top brand in those categories. This, according to data from a recent US-based study on consumer brand perception by Marketing research firm Harris Interactive.

The firm polled some 38,000 Americans regarding their perceptions of their favorite brands, and Apple came out on top in 3 categories. As a result, Harris named the company the ‘brand of the year’ for smartphones, tablets and computers…

Here’s a note from Harris Interactive SVP Manny Flores (via VentureBeat):

“Americans continue to give Apple brands strong ratings,” Manny Flores, an SVP at Harris Interactive, said in a statement. “What really stands out is that in all three of the categories Apple brands are measured – Computer, Tablet and Mobile Phone – its brand momentum scores are in the top 30 of all 1,500 brands evaluated in the study, showing that consumers see this as a brand of the future.”

And here are the top lists from the 3 categories that Apple came out on top:


  1. Apple Computers: 2013 Computer Brand of the Year
  2. Hewlett-Packard (HP) Computers
  3. Dell Computers
  4. Sony Computers


  1. Apple iPad Series: 2013 Tablet Brand of the Year
  2. Kindle Fire Series
  3. Google Nexus Series
  4. Samsung Galaxy Series
  5. HP Slate Series


  1. Apple iPhone: 2013 Mobile Phone Brand of the Year
  2. HTC Phone
  3. Samsung Phone
  4. LG Phone

The results shouldn’t be too surprising. On the computer front, Macs have long been increasing in marketshare in the face of declining PC sales. And let’s face it, the iPad is the iPad. As for smartphones, the iPhone continues to sell extremely well.

Of course, this all depends on who you ask. Earlier this month, a report from YouGov’s Brand Index—who specializes in measuring brand perception—showed Apple far from receiving a ‘brand of the year’ title. In fact, it didn’t even make its Top 10.

Samsung unveils the Series 7 Ultra, refreshes the Series 7 Chronos with a slimmer design

Samsung unveils the Series 7 Ultra, refreshes the Series 7 Chronos with a slimmer design

We’ve gotta hand it to Samsung: announcing new products before CES is a clever way of grabbing our undivided attention. With days to go before the show officially kicks off, the outfit’s already unveiled some new monitors, and put out teasers for at least three other items. Now the company’s PC division is getting a headstart as well: Samsung just added two notebooks to its high-performance Series 7 family of products. These include the Series 7 Ultra, a 13-inch Ultrabook, as well as a refreshed Series 7 Chronos with AMD graphics.

Starting with the Ultra (pictured above), this is the first Ultrabook in the Series 7 family, which emphasizes hearty performance more than other PCs in Samsung’s lineup. It’ll be available in two versions, one with a touchscreen and one without, but even then, you’ll find variants with different processors (Core i5 or i7) and different storage capacities (128GB or 256GB). Whichever configuration you choose, though, you’ll get a 350-nit, 1080p display, up to 16GB of RAM (!), a backlit keyboard, JBL speakers and a 1GB AMD HD8570M GPU. Other specs include three USB ports (two 2.0, one 3.0), HDMI, Ethernet, mini-VGA, a memory card reader and a battery rated for up to eight hours (we’re assuming that’s the non-touch model).

Samsung announces the Series 7 Ultra, refreshes its Series 7 Chronos laptop with AMD graphics and a slimmer design

As for the new Series 7 Chronos, Samsung actually just teased it in a video earlier today. Based on that, we already knew the 15-inch version would be refreshed with AMD’s new AMD Radeon HD 8870M GPU, whose RAMaccelerator technology claims to increase browsing and general application speeds by up to 150 percent. At the same time, Samsung’s also given the chassis a makeover so that it’s now thinner than the last-gen model (0.82 inches thick versus 0.94). Other than that, it packs a 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 3635QM CPU, a 300-nit, 1080p display, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, an optional touchscreen, a backlit keyboard, JBL speakers and 11 hours of battery life (in theory, anyway).

Samsung hasn’t announced pricing or availability for either of these models.