1. An informer. 2. To inform against associates.

- american underworld dictionary - 1950
A character in 'The Matrix'. Crew member on the Nebuchadnezzar, most likely the head programer and digital pimp. Also gave the tasty wheat speach, which is undoubtedly the funniest part of 'The Matrix'

Mouse: Did you ever taste tasty wheat?

Switch: No, but technically neither did you

Mouse: Yes! That's exactly my point! How do I know what I think tasty wheat tasted like actually tasted like tasty wheat? What if what I thought tasty wheat tasted like actually tasted like... like oatmeal, or tuna fish. And that makes you wonder about a lot of things. Like chicken. Maybe the computers didn't know what to make chicken taste like, and so that's why chicken tastes like everything. And...

A mouse is a rat-like but small rodent. There are many different species of mouse; the commonest is the house mouse (Mus Musculus), which can be up to 20 cm long (half of its length is its long tail). It lives in all inhabited areas of the world, finding warmth and shelter in human dwellings. In the wild it eats grain, roots, fruit, grass and insects, but it will eat anything edible, sometimes even nibbling soap.

Mice breed rapidly, producing litters of up to 12 young, and in warm conditions such as heated houses they can breed all year round.

They can be a pest if they destroy human food, but in general they are useful to humans, as many predators live mainly on mice and would otherwise eat more valuable animals such as livestock.

A computer mouse is a small device that comes standard with most modern computers. It is a type of pointing device, or something used to move a cursor around a computer screen, usually as part of the desktop metaphor. It is usually a small plastic device the right size to fit into the palm of your hand.

The man credited with inventing the computer mouse is Doug Engelbart, who had more than a little to do with defining how we use computers today. He first demonstrated the device (called, at the time, an "X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System") at a computer conference in San Francisco in 1968.

Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, would later develop the Alto personal computer in 1973, but never release it commercially. It featured a mouse, along with the graphical user interface to support it.

Apple Computer released the first commercial computer that used a mouse in 1983 with the Apple Lisa. However, this first try was a little too expensive for most businesses, and Apple's second try, 1984's Macintosh, was far more successful (and much cheaper). It showed the world that the mouse could be used to make computing easier for the general public. Microsoft, the maker of MS-DOS, the dominant operating system for PC's, would follow up with its own GUI the next year. Today, practically every desktop computer made uses a mouse.

The most common type of mouse has a small rubber ball on the bottom. When the mouse is moved over a flat, horizontal surface (usually a mouse pad), the ball turns two wheels inside the device. The wheels are at right angles to one another, and their direction and speed of rotation are transmitted via a cable (usually with a PS/2 connector, though sometimes with USB or serial) to the computer, which translates this information into the cursor's location on the screen. On the top of the mouse are one or more buttons. Macintosh computers usually have one button, and PC's used to mostly have two. Newer mice for PC's have a wheel between the two buttons which can act as a third button when pressed down upon. Some mice simply have three or more buttons (and sometimes a wheel in addition to the additional buttons).

A slightly less-common type of mouse is an optical mouse. The old version of these used a laser on the bottom and a special reflective mouse pad with a fixed grid on it. The laser would reflect off the pad and be recieved into a sensor. The grid on the pad would break the laser when the mouse passed over it, thus allowing it to detect movement. However, these mice were not very reliable and would get confused if you moved it too fast.

The modern versions use a small digital camera on the bottom of the mouse with a small light. This camera takes relatively high resolution pictures at a high rate of speed, comparing each picture to the next and generating movement information from the result. These mice fix the problem of the rubber ball on conventional mice getting dirty and gumming up the works, but tend to get confused in things like FPS games, where the mouse is moved in many different directions very quickly.

The two most important things when purchasing a mouse are, of course, the mouse and the mouse pad. You get what you pay for. Cheap mice will wear out quickly, but a decent mouse will last you forever. In my personal experience, Microsoft mice have a horrible track record, but Logitech mice work pretty well. Also, don't get mouse pads with cloth covers. These tend to gather and cling to dirt, which then gets caught in the mouse ball. A better solution is a pad with a soft plastic top. Of course, there are also the aforementioned optical mice, which completely remove the need for a mouse pad and tend to last longer. They are, on the other hand, a little more spendy for a decent model.

One common alternative to a mouse is a trackball, which is essentially an upside-down mouse with a larger ball.

The PC Mouse is a pointing device shipped with almost every computer nowadays as because is an important element of the graphical user interfaces available. It was invented by Doug Engelbart and presented at the Fall Joint Computer Conference held in San Francisco in 1968.

The idea behind the mouse is that you move the device on a mouse pad and the computer responds by moving a cursor accordingly around the screen. Using buttons placed on the top of the mouse enables you to select things or move things around. Complex mouse gestures have been developped by software designers and the mouse has been enhanced with additionnal buttons and wheels to suit user's needs.

Other pointing devices that mimic what you can do with a mouse have been developped : the Touch Pad, IBM ThinkPad's TrackPoint etc.

Mice anatomy

A mouse consists of five functional units : sensors, a mouse controller, a communication link, a data interface and a driver.

Sensors detect movement and trigger the mouse controller which sends data through the communication link to the data interface. Then the driver reads the data and updates the mouse information (position, buttons pressed, etc.) available to the kernel and the applications.

Sensors and Movement

Traditional mice use a rubber ball that rolls on the mouse pad when you move the mouse. The ball is placed between three wheels : two of them form an angle of 90° and are used to detect the movement, the third one is connected to a spring that holds the rubber ball in place.

The movement wheels are connected to a disk pierced of little equaly spaced holes placed between two infrared light emitting diodes and the corresponding photo transistors.

   diodes => | >= photo transistors
           --+------- shaft connected to the movement wheel
When the mouse moves, so does the wheel, cycling through blocking and allowing the light to reach the detector. There is a 90° phase difference between the signals collected by the two detectors.

Let 0 code for no light being detected by the sensor and 1 for light being detected. Upon mouse movement, the signal typically looks like :

   sensor #0 - 1111000011110000111100001111
   sensor #1 - 0011110000111100001111000011
The controller's job is to determine in which direction the mouse is moving. This can easily be done by constructing an integer from the two signals and seeing if it is incremented (the mouse moves one way) or decremented (the mouse moves the other way) modulus 4 :
   sensor #0 | 0 | 0 | 1 | 1
   sensor #1 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 0
    integer  | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3
Say if the integer increases the moving direction is left to right, when the sequence 12 is encountered, the controller should send a 'mouse moved right' packet to the computer. If the sequence 03 is encountered, then it means that the mouse is moved to the left.

Mice quality

Baud rate

When the mouse's status changes (button press, mouse movement, etc.), the controller is expected to send a packet containing the new information to the computer. But due protocol limitations, there is a limit on the transmission rate. For example, the Microsoft serial mouse uses a 1200 baud protocol and each packet consists of 3 bytes. Therefore the mouse can't send more than 50 packets per second. This isn't really a problem since screen refrash rates range from 60 to 120 Hz.
The baud rate is related to the maximum display rate. It can be changed by sending the appropriate signals to the hardware (see mouse protocol). For example PS/2 mice can have refresh rates as high as 200 Hz.

Tracking speed

If mice were updated only 50 times per second, you couldn't move them fast without the controller losing track of the movement.

Say you have a classic mouse with a 1 cm diameter ball and 40 slots and 40 spokes on the optomechanical sensors. Then a complete revolution of the ball involves 40 * 2 * 2 = 160 counts of movement, which can't be done in less than 160 / 50 = 3.2 s and represents a travel distance of 2 * π * 1 = 6.28 cm.
The maximum mouse speed would be about 2 cm/s which is very low.

In fact, the controller has a higher refresh rate. Typical cheap mice are able to achieve more than 5000 counts per second. The tracking speed is the maximum mouse speed without the controller losing track of movement (ie. not skipping sensor changes).
If samples are lost, the controller can think that the mouse is going in the opposite direction and cause the mouse to jitter on the screen. To visualize this, think of a spinning disk with a black spot and lit by a stroboscope. If the disk is spinning too fast, you might think that it is turning in the opposite direction.
Tracking speed defines how fast the mouse can move without jittering.
(Of course if the baud rate is too low, the buffers might overflow)


A complete revolution of the previous mouse involves 160 counts and represents a distance of 6.28 cm which means that it measures movement with a granularity of 0.098mm. This reprenents about 259 dpi.
The resolution is expressed in Counts Per Inch (CPI) and defines how precise the mouse can measure movement.


The mouse is a basic device, it is rather easy to build on your own and even easier to program. See Mouse Protocol for further information on the data sent to the computer.

PC MOUSE Implementation Using COP800 AN-681, National Semiconductor, Application Note 681

Observations and actions of the infested

Mice, or Mus musculus, live, sleep, and breed under my kitchen sink. My inner city apartment is about 250 square feet all inclusive so the mice and I are close. I am constantly killing them. My bed faces my kitchen and the loud snap of wood and spring, followed by a mouse’s pathetic death squeal, wakes me up most nights. I have learned a lot about mice. And yes, mice are quite cute. When going about their business they sometimes chirp like little song birds.

Some nights it's a crunchy sound or a scurry that will wake me up. I will get out of bed, enter my kitchen, and watch a mouse trot off behind the stove or fridge. When they are in the kitchen, their main stomping grounds, they are bold and move relatively slow, seemingly unaware of you until a sudden movement or thrown book makes them bolt. After scaring the mouse into one of its hiding spots I reposition all my traps to block off any available escape routes. In this fashion I have enjoyed watching many a mouse problem solve and/or die. I have seen a mouse jump over two traps only to fail on the third. Mice can jump many feet into the air. It’s startling. After you see a jumping mouse your apartment begins to resemble a Q*bert board and you fancy that a mouse can get just about anywhere. Indeed, mice can walk up any rough vertical surface. I have seen a mouse jump into the air, grab a hold of a dishtowel, and climb its way onto my rented stove. I have watched a mouse climb up blinds. Once you see them above your head it is easy to imagine them airborne. This makes sleeping in my apartment more difficult. I have watched a mouse, its lower section caught and pinned to a trap, pull itself along the floor only to have its neck broken in a second unseen trap. They scream but there is never any blood. Perhaps the traps pinch them in a way that no blood spills. Perhaps mice contain no blood. I have killed a mouse with a broom, whacking it twice, and there was no blood. I have watched the metal bar strike across mus musculus’ back, the force of it overturning the trap, and seen a squealing mouse, twitch and scurry for nearly a minute, until finally pulling itself out from under the bar and running behind my fridge. One hour later it moseyed out from under the fridge then suddenly raced across the center of the room. Right by my bed. Mice prefer to walk along baseboards but when it comes down to it they go wherever they want. After watching the mouse free itself I decided to change my killing methods. While enjoying the horror show was a positive way of facing my vermin infestation it was not going to solve the mouse problem. For that I would need bromadiolone.

The ins and outs of bromadiolone (C30H23BrO4) poisoning.

Intially, I resisted the poison. Bromone, the brand name for my bromadiolone, warns that “ingestion or absorption through the skin can be fatal." Fatal not just to mice but to people. It also warns to keep away from food and to not breathe too deeply around the bromone cubes.

The World Health Organization has many freaky things to say about bromadiolone. The general hazard warning is this, “Readily absorbed following ingestion or inhalation, or through the skin; if absorbed, effects may range from an increased tendency to bleed to massive hemorrhaging”. Bromadiolone is an anticoagulant, it is rodent Ebola in a cube. The above information was unsettling, as was the advice to wear a face mask while handling, but overall it said the likelihood of poisoning yourself was low. However, it also states that bromadiolone accumulates in the liver and, most troubling of all, “No data are available on the kinetics and metabolism of bromadiolone in humans."

So I put out the cubes. The first thing I noticed was the mouse chirping intensified. I had placed the bromone cubes in all my apartment's dark places and the response was immediate. On an average day I normally hear a couple sounds that may or may not be mice but within half an hour I heard activity by the front door and in the kitchen. Both sound sources contained louder and more persistent chirping then normal. That night, and for the rest of day, I saw far more mouse activity. The cubes were drawing the mice out. My apartment building is tall and it seemed like I was attracting all of its mice as well as dealing with my own insurgents. Repulsed, I left for the night and when I returned the next day much of the cubes I had left out were heavily gnawed. That night I slept soundly, not a creature was stirring.

Assorted information that could not be included above

Mice love peanut butter, it is the best bait. Mice like Bromone's peanut flavored bromadiolone cubes so much they will chew through its thin cardboard container in order to eat it and die. I killed a rat with poison once and it died in the wall and stank for days. After the smell passed maggots crawled out from under the baseboards. With the mice I did notice a small smell a few days after but that was it. I have had a few mice sightings since but no where near pre-bromadiolone levels. However, the smartest way to deal with mice is to block their point of entry. Everything else is just maintenance.

Mouse is also boxing Jargon for a welt beneath the eye. These pronounced blood-filled bruises resemble a small rodent due to the "tail" running from the ear along the ridge of the cheek bone leading to a large bulbous "body" nearer the nose.

The term is mostly used in boxing circles but it is also found in most martial arts and contact sports as a mouse is most often caused by repeated blows to the face.

A welt beneath the eye is a severe concern for a boxer. If a Mouse becomes too big it might obscure the pugilist's vision causing the fight to be stopped. Even worse than this, the skin might rip or burst on further impact necessitating plastic surgery and a long absence from the ring.

Between rounds these swellings are often iced by the "cut man" who is employed to keep the fighter in a fit state to continue. Traditionally these welts were vigorously rubbed with ice however this often caused more damage than good.

Modern scientific methods have proven that it is far more effective to apply a cold metal rod called an Enswell* without movement to reduce the swelling.

Sir Henry Cooper almost always developed a mouse during his fights, a disadvantage which Muhammad Ali famously exploited in their fights together.



*Enswell is a trademark

Mouse (mous), n.; pl. Mice (m&imac;s). [OE. mous, mus, AS. m&umac;s, pl. m&ymac;s; akin to D. muis, G. maus, OHG. & Icel. m&umac;s, Dan. muus, Sw. mus, Russ. muishe, L. mus, Gr. my^s, Skr. m&umac;sh mouse, mush to steal. Cf. Muscle, Musk.]

1. Zool.

Any one of numerous species of small rodents belonging to the genus Mus and various related genera of the family Muridae. The common house mouse (Mus musculus) is found in nearly all countries. The American white-footed, or deer, mouse (Hesperomys leucopus) sometimes lives in houses. See Dormouse, Meadow mouse, under Meadow, and Harvest mouse, under Harvest.

2. Naut. (a)

A knob made on a rope with spun yarn or parceling to prevent a running eye from slipping.


Same as 2d Mousing, 2.


A familiar term of endearment.



A dark-colored swelling caused by a blow.



A match used in firing guns or blasting.

Field mouse, Flying mouse, etc. See under Field, Flying, etc. -- Mouse bird Zool., a coly. -- Mouse deer Zool., a chevrotain, as the kanchil. -- Mouse galago Zool., a very small West American galago (Galago murinus). In color and size it resembles a mouse. It has a bushy tail like that of a squirrel. -- Mouse hawk. Zool. (a) A hawk that devours mice. (b) The hawk owl; -- called also mouse owl. -- Mouse lemur Zool., any one of several species of very small lemurs of the genus Chirogaleus, found in Madagascar. -- Mouse piece Cookery, the piece of beef cut from the part next below the round or from the lower part of the latter; -- called also mouse buttock.


© Webster 1913.

Mouse (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Moused (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Mousing (?).]


To watch for and catch mice.


To watch for or pursue anything in a sly manner; to pry about, on the lookout for something.


© Webster 1913.

Mouse, v. t.


To tear, as a cat devours a mouse.

[Obs.] "[Death] mousing the flesh of men."


2. Naut.

To furnish with a mouse; to secure by means of a mousing. See Mouse, n., 2.


© Webster 1913.

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