The Manipulator For Graphical Information

Do you remember the first Russian laptop? Here come the first Russian mice. The design is alike, it should be classy things at that time, 16-17 years ago. Which one do you like the most?

Thanks to the collector Sergei Frolov, for sharing with us such rare photos.

This mice were used by Soviet computer users in 1986-1994 while probably creating some new sort of “MIR” space station, which was never built though. What pitty.

So, the mice:

first russian computer mice collection

The cord is nice, nowadays the fashion for such cords return.

first russian computer mice collection

I can translate what is written on the mouse back side – “The Manipulator For Graphical Information”

first russian computer mice collection

And on this one there is written “The Mouse”. Keep it simple.

first russian computer mice collection

Here it is seen clearly. “The Mouse” also is drawn on the mouse.

first russian computer mice collection

That’s one I like the most. It is said that the both buttons have letters on them “L”-left and “R”-right, in order not to mistaken. How often do you confuse mouse buttons?


first russian computer mice collection

For some reason the ball is missing. The red digits – this is a Soviet inventory number, was used in the govermental companies for better control of the equipment. There is a word “Price ____” embossed into the plastic, that’s a post Soviet phenomena. During the Soviet era the price was embossed into plastic parts of practically every item being sold in the shop, because the goverment set up the price for each item.


first russian computer mice collection

This one is a Genius clone, you can see Genius original mouse behind this white one.

Those things are classy, probably if some contemporary mouse designers can be inspired with such images for making a high tech laser optic wireless lightweight replicas of those ones. Who knows. I’ve seen a lot of cords lately styled for the first mouse cord, maybe that is the beginning.


31 thoughts on “The Manipulator For Graphical Information”

  1. The mouse that has the L & R on the buttons; they were put there because the mouse is built ambidextrous, but didn’t have a “left handed” option, and the ball is in there it’s just a textured black ball… a little tough to make out at first in the picture.

    I just liked that the good ol soviet mice had 3 buttons, but in the west it was a huge deal when 3 buttons started showing up in the mid 90s.

  2. Ah, that brings memories…

    I have actually used these while ago. What the
    photos do not show clearly that the ball in #1 was metallic
    and the whole thing was very heavy.

    We jokulary called “slonik” which in russian means “small elephant”
    or “kolobok” (personage from russial folklore).

  3. mouse “kolobok” (on first picture) have steel ball. its mechanism based on metal parts and precision tiny ball bearings. however movement and key press produce very cpecific sound.

  4. About red numbers mentioned above – it’s not an inventory number. It’s a model and a serial number, marked by manufacturer, not user. There was a clear difference between factory markings and user inventory markings. The first one was made with special paints and in designated places, like ones on the photo. User inventory nubers was made with ‘home depot’ oil paints, with big paint brush, often in very strange places, like over faceplate, ruining design and aestetic.

    And this really brings memories…

  5. The mouse on the first picture, it was my first mouse in my life. It was atttached to Iskra-1030 (“spark” in english) personal komputer ( My Iskra-1030 has b/w monitor with CGA compatible adapter. Serial interfaces has rs232 protocol, but was incompatible on phisycal layer, it was a “current loop” instead of voltage levels.

    That PC was too poor to beign used in MIR-2 design IMHO 🙂

  6. ..just to be precise: at those time we already had a lot of PDP/VAX clones (Electronika-60, DVK2/DVK3), whose was used in heavy design tasks. And we have really good professional graphical tablets for them. Moreover 🙂 we have even original VAXes via our Bulgarian friends 😉

    I personally can remember how I firstly touch the VAX at some exibition, which has status “engineers only”. It was at cold-war times 😉

    So please, guys, don’t be mispointed by these examples of soviet engineering products! 😛

  7. ..sorry 🙂 one more note 🙂 The left mouse on last photo – it was second mouse in my life, it was really good Genius GM-6 PC Mouse. It has very good book-like plastic box. Up to these days I have this box saved and use it to keep my CDs 🙂 (photo has been made few minutes ago)

  8. Hello, all!

    I’m Russian, and I saw and used many of those devices about fifteen year ago – they are devices from my childhood and youth 🙂 . The mouse, that drawn on the first two pictures, was plugged to the russian clone of IBM PC/XT – EC-1841 (in the russian that letters are read as “ye es”), the mouse from fifth and sixth photo was named “Marsianka” – was in the kit of russian computer named BK0011M, russian analogue of DEC PDP-11 with CGA-like graphics and pluggable musical co-processor Yamaha AY-3-8910.

    I worked (studied) with that computer till the 1997 year, then I bought IBM PC.

    The first russian notebook alive I saw in the 1997 and I can say, that it was very rugged and respectable thing. It works slowly, but do all, that it was dedicated for. I want to buy that thing for my collection. 🙂

    Soviet Union’s electronical industry produced two palm-top-like machines – “Elektronika 85” and “Elektronika 98”. I have only photoes and description of them.

    The BK0011M with the floppy-drive is lying on my book-shelf till the now. 🙂

  9. Were these mice relative copies of western products or wre they innovative in their own might ?
    The Russian laptops sure seem eerily similar to Toshiba laptops / notebooks of the time.

  10. Wow! It has been quite some time!
    I don’t think I used one of these though… My first PC was an AT 286 with a “huge” 10MB HD ans CGA color display. The envy of all colleagues with clunky 8086s. But mostly I worked on a VAX, so I didn’t need a mouse. BTW – I was one of the Bulgarian “tovarishti” who supplied you with the VAXes, Dmitry, we might have met on one of the exibitions… Ha-ha-ha, we had lots of vodka on every trip, plus all the brandy that the technicians hid in the boxes with parts! Big, bulky computers had some use – one could hide a lot of stuff inside!

  11. The great Soviet Union and it’s computer are unmatchable. The USSR is the first country to develop computers and put them into good use.
    Long live Soviet/USSR technology.

  12. Круто, мля. Хочу себе такую коллекцию мышей! (уже немного есть, но всёравно мало… Если есть – пишите

  13. Another post illustrating Russian open, shameless copying of Western technology. Is there anything Russians didn’t copy? From military tech like bombers, air-to-air missiles, to computer mice.

  14. Wow. They apparently used higher quality plastic than original western manufacturers since you don’t see them turn yellow after all that time.

  15. 95 percent of all military technology made in russia came from the minds of the russian people….just becuase they copied one or two doesnt mean they copied the others..saying so means your ignorant. possibly two percent were strict copies of western technology..while the other three percent a combination of soviet and western design.also many western aircraft look like soviet models…and vice versa. air to air missiles in the soviet union were not copies….unless your ridiculous bias can give me proof….lol which you have none of.after the copy of the american bomber…… the t-4 i think the russians started to develop their own ingenius designs.

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