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The Xerox 8010 Star Mouse

Thanks to Joe Mayers of Baton Rouge, Louisiana for contributing the Star mouse to oldmouse.com.

Xerox's 8010 released in 1981, featuring Star, a GUI with icons, double-clicking, and a 2-button mouse. The 8010 was designed to run the Star body of software which was developed outside of PARC, at the southern R&D site.

The little beige flat sided two button mouse is a slimmed down version of the original Alto mouse. It was assembled inexpensively in Mexico. A three button version was also marketed for the Lisp machine, known internally as a Dandytiger, and sold by a different division than the Star's. [Dave Curbow]. Adding a third button seems like it would be too close to the others for ease of use. The keyboard was operated with the left hand and the mouse with the right hand.

The external optical base on the Star mouse looks the same as on the second generation Alto mouse. It is feather light with optical sensors instead of a ball inside its small plastic case, about 3-½ by 2-¼". No special pad is required, but stick-on sheets with a printed grid were available. "It sensed movement by detecting movement in the visual texture presented to it." [Randy Gobbel]

The little mouse's motherboard says only "LEIMV-1" and "3385" except for numbered points. Its long café au lait colored plastic buttons are welded into the plastic housing, unlike the Alto's buttons which can be taken out when the case is opened. The motherboard shows a spot for a third button. Eight rainbow colored wires plus black spring from the board. This mouse uses a DE-9 pins connector, but photos of others show a different connector. "XEROX" is impressed on one side of its plug and a celophane label on the other side reads, "ASSEMBLED IN MEXICO."

The Xerox 8010 mouse was the first commercially produced mouse. A photo of another (later?) version shows an inset label on the base reading, "Made in Mexico." If this one ever had a label it peeled off leaving no evidence.

Not all Xerox 8010 mouses connected to computers. Here's one that connected to a Xerox copier!

See also the related Star and Alto Mouses article.

Top and plug of the Xerox 8010 'Star' mouse
The Star 2-button mouse with a DE-9 pin connector, contributed by Joe Mayers of Louisiana.

Bottom and plug of the Xerox 8010 'Star' mouse
The bottom of the Star mouse reveals LED sensors and three raised gliders.

Internal circuit board of the Xerox 8010 'Star' mouse
The motherboard of the Star mouse retains a socket for a third button.