If you don't have a digital subscription to The New Yorker, perhaps this will motivate you to get one. For the latest issue, none other than Malcolm Gladwell interviews IDEO co-founder Dean Hovey on the creation of the computer mouse for a pay-only feature article. An excerpt, detailing an early meeting with Steve Jobs as recounted by Hovey:
[Jobs] had brought a big plastic bag full of the artifacts of that moment: diagrams scribbled on lined paper, dozens of differently sized plastic mouse shells, a spool of guitar wire, a tiny set of wheels from a toy train set, and the metal lid from a jar of Ralph's preserves. He turned the lid over. It was filled with a waxlike substance, the middle of which had a round indentation, in the shape of a small ball. "It's epoxy casting resin," he said. "You pour it, and then I put Vaseline on a smooth steel ball, and set it in the resin, and it hardens around it." He tucked the steel ball underneath the lid and rolled it around the tabletop. "It's a kind of mouse."
Even cooler, Hovey has provided The New Yorker with a slideshow of his early developmental sketches and mockups, like the one up top. The slideshow can be viewed here and the article abstract here.