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The Word “Visionary” is Overused, But It Really Applied to This Man
MIT Technology Review ^ | July 3, 2013 | Brian Bergstein

Posted on 07/05/2013 6:19:16 PM PDT by neverdem

Back when computers were still just number-crunching machines, Douglas Engelbart foresaw their more powerful application in helping humans collaborate.

One summer day in 2000, I was in the Silicon Valley offices of the computer peripherals maker Logitech for a demonstration of a gimmicky new mouse. It was only mildly interesting, until a soft-spoken older gentleman came into the room. It was Doug Englebart. Because he is credited with inventing the computer mouse, Logitech’s public-relations people were hoping he could help illustrate just how far the device had come since he conjured one out of a block of wood in the 1960s.

As we talked about his inspiration for the original mouse, Engelbart struck me as remarkably humble. The vibe he gave off was “really, I’m fine talking about this, but you know, the mouse wasn’t that big of a deal.” As we talked more that day and on another occasion, what really got Engelbart to light up was the idea that computing could elevate mankind by making it possible for people to collaborate from afar. He had articulated this vision since the 1950s and built key technologies for collaboration in the 1960s. Later he saw these ideas become tangible for everyday people with the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web, but still in the 2000s he was hoping to see computing’s promise fully realized, with the boosting of our “collective IQ.” Of course in that grand sweep, the mouse was just one small tool.

So as you read the news today of Engelbart’s death at 88, don’t dwell too long on the mouse. Instead you might read about...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: douglasengelbart; engelbart

1 posted on 07/05/2013 6:19:16 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

It is sad that Engelbart never got the recognition he deserve.

God speed, Mr. Engelbart.

2 posted on 07/05/2013 6:30:34 PM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: neverdem

I confess I never heard of the guy until reading a post from here yesterday. Youtube has the entire video of “The Mother of All Demos” I didn’t want but a few minutes skipping around but it was fun to learn about him and see parts of his presentation from way back, Dec. 1968

3 posted on 07/05/2013 6:40:45 PM PDT by A_Former_Democrat
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
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FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

4 posted on 07/05/2013 6:43:19 PM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: KosmicKitty

As with so many things in the tech community he was well respected and got the recognition he deserved. He did not achieve ‘fame’ that the public speaks of but his body of work is well known and will be well remembered

5 posted on 07/05/2013 6:44:31 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: Nifster


6 posted on 07/05/2013 7:00:30 PM PDT by publius911 (Look for the Union label, then buy something else.)
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To: A_Former_Democrat

I really enjoyed that “Mother of all demos” lecture as well.

7 posted on 07/05/2013 7:02:23 PM PDT by Rodamala
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