RIP Doug Engelbart, and Thanks For All the Mice

The computer visionary, Doug Engelbart, BSOD’d on July 2. He should have been the computing star everyone outside of the nerd community knew about, but he was just a few years ahead of curve — which is sort of an occupational hazard among visionaries.

xkcd.com

Here’s a link to his groundbreaking 1968 demo (aka “The Mother of all Demos”), which is sort of dry now, but then…wow.

If you would rather get a more rounded pack of info about this critical developmental period (mid-60s through the mid-80s) of computers, I very highly recommend Part 3 of the 1992 documentary series “The Machine That Changed the World”. Nerd me finds it riveting but not dry and dull. It features the talking heads of a lot of key [semi-]famous names in computing — if you were a nerd at the time, you knew them well. (Engelbart briefly pops up around 6:41, though you really should watch the whole thing):

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