(he following is a letter to the ubiquitous computer mouse we've all grown to love so well over the years)
I will always remember the day we first met. It was shortly after Apple brought out its first Macintosh back in the 1980's. It was a stunning day with that special colour in the air that only the height of spring can bring, with a delightful scent of roses floating on the breeze.
Until I met you, I had no idea what beauty and elegance could be. I had previously enjoyed a string of relationships with functional PC keyboards, and even flirted after hours with early models of computer game joypads.
But when I first laid eyes on your curvaceous form, I knew I was in love. No other computer peripheral promised such smooth lines and such an ability to control what was happening on the monitor.
To hold you in my hand was a delight only surpassed by the sensation I witnessed when I saw that your undulating movements on my desk corresponded precisely with those of the pointer on my screen.
Over the years I have stayed by your side, as steady a friend and companion as one can be. Microsoft, Logitech, IBM, Apple, no matter what brand you were, I have loved you in all your incarnations. I've loved you as a gaming mouse, as a functional work mouse, and even spent time with you casually, in slummy internet cafes.
That's why I think it's best that I'm honest with you now: I've found someone else.
Yes, it's true, I no longer love you as I used to. Instead, I've been using a trackball at work, and I've been loving it.
Not only does it cure those niggling repetititve strain injuries that my time with you has caused, but it gives me a slight feeling of superiority when others are unable to use my computer due to the fact that they don't know how to move the pointer with a trackball.
Where you used to be flighty, moving all around my desk at the slightest whim, my new Logitech Trackman is peaceful, a reassuring prescence that sits stably at my keyboard's side. With the slightest flick of my thumb I can voyage across the universe; the same motion with you would require me to move my whole arm.
I don't even need a mousepad with my new trackball. It can work anywhere there is a flat surface. It's never going to be as fussy as you always were. God knows how many different times I cleaned your ball to get rid of the clogging lint. And then there were the hours I spend finding a mousepad that would work well with your new optical models.
I have to confess, I feel better about myself. I feel more confident, more stable, more able to deal with anything that life throws at me. More able to face the day, with my trackball by my side.
Mouse, we've been together for a long time. But the time has come. I'm breaking up with you.
I know you'll be able to find someone else to taunt with your playful desktop waggle. And I'll always remember you fondly. But I have to look to the future, and not back at the past.
Sorry mouse, there is another. (Credit: ZDNet.com.au)