Lost Pastimes

Back in the ‘90s we’d all have to dismantle our computer mouse every few days to scratch accumulated lint and gunk off its rollers and ball. Thankfully those mechanical mice have long since been replaced by optical mice with no moving parts (aside from the switches) and now we can go a week or two between bouts of scratching lint and gunk off the little plastic feet of the mouse.

Rather than cleaning mouse balls, we get to clean mouse feet.

I suppose it’s an improvement.

We do seem, though, to have lost, somewhere along the line, the capacity to specify whether we want male or female mice. Back before the connectors were standardised you had to say which you wanted (or have a sex-changer handy). These days all mice are USB — that’s to say Uni Sexually Biased — and I may be alone in this, but I feel we’ve lost some of the whimsy.

Then there was that very fine text-editor programme, Brief, possibly the best of its breed ever. Produced, of course, by that fine software house UnderWare.

Where’s humour gone in these days of GRAFT dominance, when all we’re allowed to do is worry about legal liability or offending some algorithm and dropping off a search-engine’s rankings? Where’s the fun?