Fascinating facts about Douglas Engelbart
inventor of the computer mouse in 1968.
invent. First to patent. First practical.
1925 in Portland,
Years before personal computers and desktop information processing became
commonplace or even practicable, Douglas Engelbart had invented a number of interactive,
user-friendly information access systems that we take for granted today: the computer
mouse, windows, shared-screen teleconferencing, hypermedia, GroupWare, and more. At the
Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco in 1968, Engelbart astonished his
colleagues by demonstrating the aforementioned systems---using an utterly primitive 192
kilobyte mainframe computer located 25 miles away! Engelbart has earned nearly two dozen
patents, the most memorable being perhaps for his "X-Y Position Indicator for a
Display System": the prototype of the computer "mouse" whose convenience
has revolutionized personal computing.
Mouse (computer), a common pointing device,
popularized by its inclusion as standard equipment with the Apple Macintosh. With the rise
in popularity of graphical user interfaces (Graphical User Interface) in MS-DOS; UNIX, and
OS/2, use of mice is growing throughout the personal computer and workstation worlds. The
basic features of a mouse are a casing with a flat bottom, designed to be gripped by one
hand; one or more buttons on the top; a multidirectional detection device (usually a ball)
on the bottom; and a cable connecting the mouse to the computer. By moving the mouse on a
surface (such as a desk), the user typically controls an on-screen cursor. A mouse is a
relative pointing device because there are no defined limits to the mouse's movement and
because its placement on a surface does not map directly to a specific screen location. To
select items or choose commands on the screen, the user presses one of the mouse's
buttons, producing a "mouse click."
Engelbart's inventions were ahead of their time, but have been
integrated into mainstream computing as industry capabilities have increased. It was not
until 1984 that the Apple Macintosh popularized the mouse; but today it is difficult to
imagine a personal computer without one. And the huge success of Microsoft's Windows95
proves that Engelbart's original windows concept has also become a virtual necessity. In a
talk delivered at MIT (June 1996), Bill Gates himself praised Engelbart for his pioneering
work. Byte magazine, in an article honoring the 20 persons who have had the greatest
impact on personal computing (September 1995), went so far as to say of Engelbart:
"Comparisons with Thomas Edison do not seem farfetched.
Engelbart now works out of the Bootstrap Institute,
which he founded, where he is an inventor and a consultant in multiple-user business
computing. His current focus is on a type of GroupWare called a "open hyperdocument
system," which may one day replace paper recordkeeping entirely.
the Computer Mouse
from The Great Idea Finder
History of Computing
from The Great
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal
by Thierry Bardini / Paperback: 284 pages / Stanford Univ Press (December 2000)
When Douglas Engelbart first demonstrated windows and a funny wooden device called
a mouse back in 1968, interest jumped quickly and he became the progenitor of the PC.
Memex to Hypertext : Vannevar Bush and the Mind's Machine
by James M. Nyce (Editor), Paul Kahn, Vannevar Bush / Hardcover - 367 pages / Academic Pr
Memex, a computer that was never built, was described in 1945 by pioneer computer engineer
Bush, and foreshadowed the principles and operations of today's personal computers.
Vannevar Bush's article "As We May Think" inspired the thinking of Mr. Engelbart
and many others.
Endless Frontier : Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century
by G. Pascal Zachary / Paperback - 518 pages / MIT Press - 1999
Profiling Vannevar Bush, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer who, as head
of the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), oversaw all wartime military
research. He mobilized the nation's scientific and technological talent by funding private
research with public.
ON THE WEB:
Find out what Mr. Engelbart is inventing today at the institute he founded.
Inventors Hall of Fame
Douglas Engelbart Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1998.
Dimension - Inventor of the Week
Douglas Engelbart featured January, 1997 for his invention of the computer mouse.
Douglas Englebart has always been ahead of his time, having ideas that
seemed far-fetched at the time but later were taken for granted.
Douglas Engelbart and 'The Mother of All Demos'
Show and tell by the expert in his field.
The Electronic Labyrinth is a study of hypertext technology, providing a guide to this
rapidly growing field. Highlights the contribution of Mr. Engelbart in the creation of
with Douglas Engelbart
Transcript of a video history interview with Mr. Doug Engelbart, winner of the
Computerworld Smithsonian Award in 1994. From the National Museum of American History,
A resource for exploring the history of human computer interaction beginning with the
pioneering work of Douglas Engelbart and his colleagues at Stanford Research Institute in
Sources in BOLD Type
October 9, 2006.
Berners-Lee's invention has revolutionized the world like nothing
The invention of the Internet,
should be classed with the greatest events of the 20th Century.
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book, is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the
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