A Little History of the Xerox Star Mouse

The Xerox star mouse top, photo 2001 Joe Mayers
The Xerox Star mouse, photo © 2001 Joe Mayers

The Xerox 8010 Star Mouse 1981 Debut

The dollar bill in Joe Mayers' photo illustrates the Star mouse's small size. You would hold this mouse with your thumb and ring finger, heel of the hand on the desk, while resting the fore and middle fingers on the left and right mouse buttons.

Mouse history owes Joe Mayers, Consulting Engineer of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, our gratitude for offering this specimen to the world. He contributed it from his working computer lab, the MacPhile.

The world first glimpsed the 8010 Star mouse and the first graphical user interface with its desktop metaphor and icons at the National Computer Conference in May 1981. Xerox introduced its Xerox 8010 Information System mini computer, influenced by the Smalltalk language.

With the Star, Xerox gave birth to the desktop metaphore and the 72 dpi display. The 8010 machine came to be known as the Star internally at PARC. The 8010 was designed to run the Star body of software which was actually developed outside of PARC, at the southern R&D site. The name Star is not even referenced in the 8010's original brochure.
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