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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Inventor of Mouse and User Interface Douglas Engelbart Passed Away

  • Wednesday, 3 July 2013
  • deepak kumra
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  • Douglas “Doug” Engelbart, a legendary American inventor and computing icon who invented the computer mouse and helped develop much of the modern PC user interface, passed away last night, according to family sources. News of his passing was shared on Professor David Farber’s email list, where Engelbart’s daughter Christina said her father died peacefully in his sleep at home. His health had been deteriorating of late, she said, and he took turn for the worse on the weekend.

    Engelbart, who was born in Portland, Ore., was 88. It is hard to describe Engelbart’s role in the personal-computing revolution in mere words — he was well known for his work on human-computer interaction, including the invention of the computer mouse. His research and efforts led to the development of a diverse set of technologies such as hypertext, networked computers and the graphical user interface.
    Engelbart joined Stanford Research Institute (which would later become SRI International) in 1957, where he filed for over a dozen patents. His report “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Concept Framework” led to the establishment of the Augmentation Research Center (ARC). He (along with others) worked on ideas such as bitmapped screens, collaborative tools, and the precursor of graphical user interfaces.

    Invented the mouse and the desktop interface

    An obituary in the New York Times quoted Engelbart’s wife Karen as saying the cause of his death was kidney failure. According to the NYT, Engelbart became interested in creating a new way of interacting with computers after reading Vannevar Bush’s “As We May Think” while serving as a radar technician in the Philippines during World War II.
    In 1967, Engelbart filed for a patent for a rudimentary form of computer mouse — SRI patented the mouse and licensed it to Apple for about $40,000. Later, ARC would become involved with ARPANET, the precursor of the internet. In December 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded Engelbart the National Medal of Technology.
    Embedded below is a video clip of a live demonstration that Engelbart did on December 9, 1968 at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Calif., assisted by a group of researchers from the Augmentation Research Center — a 90-minute live public demonstration of the online system they had been working on since 1962. This was the public debut of the computer mouse, but it was only one of the many innovations the group demonstrated, along with hypertext, object addressing and dynamic file linking, as well as shared-screen collaboration.

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    Punjabi Mania

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