Happy 40th, Mother of All Demos


Today is the 40th anniversary of "The Mother of All Demos", Douglas Engelbart's famous talk at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in which he showed off the first computer mouse, interactive text on monitors, video conferencing, teleconferencing, email, collaboratively edited documents, windowed GUI systems, and hypertext. Engelbart put the gleam of the internet in everyone's eye four decades ago today.

Dr. Engelbart is still alive and kicking. Here he is in a picture taken by Alex Handy of the SD Times blog, staring at the entire internet in bemused recognition and saying "Hey, didn't I fuck your mother?"

Wild Dr. Engelbart Caught on Tape [SDTimesBlog.blogspot.com] (Thanks, VonGuard!)

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  1. Doug Engelbart + Syd Mead = The Future

    Increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems. Increased capability in this respect is taken to mean a mixture of the following: more-rapid comprehension, better comprehension, the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions, and the possibility of finding solutions to problems that before seemed insolvable. And by complex situations we include the professional problems of diplomats, executives, social scientists, life scientists, physical scientists, attorneys, designers–whether the problem situation exists for twenty minutes or twenty years. We do not speak of isolated clever tricks that help in particular situations. We refer to a way of life in an integrated domain where hunches, cut-and-try, intangibles, and the human feel for a situation usefully co-exist with powerful concepts, streamlined terminology and notation, sophisticated methods, and high-powered electronic aids.

    Augmenting Human Intellect (1962)

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