Douglas Engelbart and the Mother of All Demos

A little history lesson for those out there in library land who don't know who Dr. Douglas Engelbart is. Engelbart gave the world a couple things that we, as library professionals, use every day. He invented a small device capable of positioning a cursor in an X-Y display environment. We call such a device a computer mouse. He also created an interesting technology that allowed the linkage of information to a given word displayed on a computer screen, in other words, hypertext.

Then there's his idea that we'd call Windows, the video conferencing idea, his notion about e-mail, and something called copy and paste.

He displayed and explained these ideas at a demonstration in 1968 which came to be called "The Mother of All Demos." Watch the video over at Google and see how our world changed forever.


Engelbart gave the keynote speech at the World Library Summit in Singapore 2002.

Librarians are key people in Engelbart's vision of the world.

His 2007 talk at Google may be of interest to the bleeding edge librarians amongst us.

Video of panel at Google featuring:

Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse
Jeff Rulifson, Chairman of the Bootstrap Alliance, worked with Doug on the
"Mother of all Demos" where the mouse was demonstrated in 1968.
Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google
Mei Lin Fung, former Core Planning Committee Chair, Bootstrap Alliance

"More People Pooling Resources in New Ways" = History of Civilization