Photos: The mouse (and even better ideas) that roared 40 years ago
PALO ALTO, Calif.--Forty years ago this week, Doug Engelbart and fellow researchers at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) gave a demonstration in San Francisco that was a prescient vision of the future: it included a computer mouse, hypertext linking, real-time on-screen text editing, shared-screen teleconferencing, and other revolutionary ideas.
Here, a large crowd fills Memorial Auditorium at Stanford University Tuesday to watch a video of the historic demo and hear original team members recount their groundbreaking work.
Demo of cut and paste functions
Engelbart kicked off the 1968 demo by asking: "If in your office, you as an intellectual worker were supplied with a computer display backed up by a computer that was alive for you all day and was instantly...responsive to every action you had, how much value could you derive from that? Well this basically characterizes what we've been pursuing for many years in what we call the Augmented Human Intellect Research Center at Stanford Research Institute."
Here, he demonstrates cut and paste functions.
Desktop video-conferencing circa 1968
Borel greets Englelbart
Sproull interviews members of Engelbart's Augmentation Research Center
Tom Hagan shows off the 'first commercial mouse'
Wheels on mouse
First mouse built after Engelbart's prototype
Bill English poses with wood mouse
Engelbart and his old friend
Taylor recalls Engelbart story about expenses
Engelbart closing 1968 demo
Engelbart with wife
A humble Engelbart, with wife Karen (Wikipedia says he remarried in 2008), was clearly moved and appreciative of the accolades he received. Forty years earlier, in closing his demo, he said: "A very final credit goes to my wife and daughters who are out here to whom I'd like to dedicate this whole presentation because of what they've put up with over these years, with a husband that (is) dedicated in a monomaniacal way to something that is very wild."
Wild indeed. You can learn more about Engelbart's work at the Doug Engelbart Institute.