He stunned the world of computing in 1968 with a demonstration at the Fall Joint Computer Conference.
For the event, he sat on stage in front of a mouse, a keyboard and other controls and projected the computer display on a 22-foot-high video screen behind him. In little more than an hour he showed how a networked, interactive computing system would allow information to be shared rapidly among collaborating scientists. He demonstrated how a mouse, which he had invented just four years earlier, could be used to control a computer. He demonstrated text editing, video conferencing, hypertext and windowing.
In contrast to the mainframes then in use, Mr. Engelbart had created a computerized system he called the “oNLine System” or NLS, which allowed researchers to share information seamlessly and to create and retrieve documents in the form of a structured electronic library.