Computer mouse inventor Douglas Engelbart dies

Discussion in 'Technical' started by stg58, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Posting this with my "x-y position indicator,"
    Douglas Engelbart, whose invention of the mouse transformed the way people interact with computers, has died.
    Englelbart died Tuesday night at his home in Atherton, California, SRI International -- the research institute where he once worked -- said in a statement. He was 88.
    "Doug's legacy is immense — anyone in the world who uses a mouse or enjoys the productive benefits of a personal computer is indebted to him," Curtis R. Carlson, SRI's president and CEO, said in a written statement.
    Decades ago, Engelbart came up with the idea we now know as a mouse.
    His first prototype, which featured a carved out wooden block, wheels and a tiny red button, looks quite different from the sleek plastic designs now seen in homes and offices around the world.
    A radar technician during World War II, Engelbart worked at the Stanford Research Institute during the 1960s. It was there that a vision of people sitting in front of a video screen, interacting with a computer, came to him.
    "I knew enough engineering and had enough experience as a radar person to know that if a computer can punch cards or print paper, it can draw anything you want on a screen," he told CNN in 1997 after receiving a $500,000 prize for American innovation.
    Engelbart invented and patented what he called the "x-y position indicator," receiving a $10,000 check for the invention. He told CNN he couldn't recall who on his team had decided to call it a mouse.
    At the time, it wasn't easy to convince fellow scientists to follow his vision, Engelbart said. But he persisted.
    Later, he went on to found the Doug Engelbart Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to boosting the collective ability to solve complex, urgent problems on a global scale.
    "Sometimes I reflect on how naive somebody has to be in order to get visions -- and plug away at them -- that ultimately proceed, and how many other people with visions that are as naive just fall off the cliff," Engelbart told CNN in 1997.
    In addition to the computer mouse, Engelbart's work at SRI from 1957 to 1977 helped develop tech innovations such as display editing, online processing, linking and in-file object addressing, use of multiple windows, hypermedia, and context-sensitive help, the institute said.
    "Doug was a giant who made the world a much better place and who deeply touched those of us who knew him," Carlson said. "SRI was very privileged and honored to have him as one of our 'family.' He brought tremendous value to society. We will miss his genius, warmth and charm."
    Engelbart is survived by his wife and four children.
    kellory and chelloveck like this.
  2. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Doug Engelbart’s mouse prototype.

  3. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    I had never really thought about who first invented the mouse, but I bought myself a new one today, unknowingly in his honor I guess.
  4. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Was in Wingate college (now Univ) when we got our first "computer". I had it's own humidity/temp controlled room about 40'X18'X14' high--and it filled the room with miles of wire, thousands of tubes, and thousands of switches. We engineering students were forbidden to use calculators instead of the slide rules. Things have changed a bit--lol.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Back in the day, I was part of a team, that worked with a DEC PDP-10.... The CPU cabinet was the Size of a LARGE Upright Freezer, and it had 10 each Disk Drives, that were the size of a Modern DishWasher, and each spun 14" Platter Stacks, that held 10 Megabytes TOTAL Memory, each. My Team was responsible for a Data General Mini-Computer, that was the size of a BIG Desk, and functioned as the I/O FrontEnd Processor, for all the Remote Data Entry Terminals, (50) and Modem Lines, (50 ea. 110 & 300 Baud) connected to this system. The DG connected to the DEC-10 thru a 220 Kbs BiDirectional Serial Port. This was ALL experimental, at the time, and sat in the basement of the Health Sciences Building at the University of Washington, in Seattle. Oh the memories, of Days gone by......
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Remember all you want, I don't wanna. That punch card fed IBM 360 terrorized engineering students trying to learn FORTRAN.
  7. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The patent for the origial device described the computer peripheral as an x-y coordinate position locator. That was never going to be a name that would fly in popular culture.. .and thereby hangs a tale/tail. ;)
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I also learned on a Fortan machine.... It was an NCR (National Cash Register) Mini that ran Punch Card decks. Oh, how I hated that machine, when it ate half my deck, and then filp-out, and crashed.... I would get half my Deck back, along with a NASTYGram from the Admin, that I was banned from submitting another Deck for two weeks....
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Names and patents, do not always go well together....Wheel patented in Australia - 03 July 2001 - New Scientist
  10. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Xerox is clawing its way along as just a trademark but PARC was a huge lost opportunity for Xerox...

    SRI International - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In the day how many "Xerox's" did you "make"?

    In 1969, Chief Scientist at Xerox Jack Goldman approached George Pake, a physicist specializing in nuclear magnetic resonance and provost of Washington University in St. Louis, about starting a second research center for the company.
    Pake selected Palo Alto, California, as the site of what was to become known as PARC. While the 3,000 mile buffer between it and Xerox headquarters in Rochester, New York afforded scientists at the new lab great freedom to undertake their work, the distance also served as an impediment in persuading management of the promise of some of their greatest achievements.
    PARC's West Coast location proved to be advantageous in the mid-1970s, when the lab was able to hire many employees of the nearby SRI Augmentation Research Center as that facility's funding from DARPA, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force began to diminish. Being situated on Stanford Research Park land leased from Stanford University[4] allowed Stanford graduate students to be involved in PARC research projects, and PARC scientists to collaborate with academic seminars and projects.
    Much of PARC's early success in the computer field was under the leadership of its Computer Science Laboratory manager Bob Taylor, who guided the lab as associate manager from 1970 to 1977 and as manager from 1977 to 1983.
    Xerox PARC has been the inventor and incubator of many elements of modern computing in the contemporary office work place:

    Laser printers,
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