Thursday, July 04, 2013

Computing visionary Doug Englebart

Doug Englebart started visioning interactive visual computing, networking and more in the early 1950s. He died yesterday.

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.
Seattle Times

Photo: Claims to be of Englebart's famous 1968 demo. I can't tell if it is. Found at In a Strange Land. Click to enlarge.

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