Nation & World News

Inventor Of Computer Mouse Dies; Doug Engelbart Was 88

By Bill Chappell on July 4th, 2013

U.S. inventor Doug Engelbart, the man known as the father of the computer mouse and a thinker who helped introduce other key innovations, died Wednesday morning at age 88. His death was announced today by the Computer History Museum.

A scientist and engineer who devoted himself to find ways to use computers to improve people’s lives, Engelbart developed his idea of Collective IQ — which also became the name of a blog he ran with his daughter, Christine — to describe what he called “a measure of how effective people are at addressing complex, urgent challenges collectively.”

The Computer History Museum summed up that idea in citing another quote from the late innovator: “The better we get at getting better, the faster we will get better.”

The idea was also one he promoted with the Bootstrap Institute, an organization he founded in 1990 that was later renamed the Doug Engelbart Institute.

As NPR reported back in 2009, for two decades, Engelbart was also part of the famed Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, where his work saw him play a part in the development of ARPANET, the network that helped set the framework for the Internet.

In a video from 1968, Engelbart demonstrated the capabilities of not only the mouse — a rudimentary, two-wheeled device in those days — but also of the power of networked computing. Titled “A Research Center for Augmenting Human Intellect,” the presentation gained a more informal name over the years: “The Mother of All Demos.

In the demonstration, Engelbart ran through concepts and practices that are common today, including “hypertext, shared screen collaboration, multiple windows, on-screen video teleconferencing, and the mouse as an input device,” the Computer History Museum says.

“This demo embodied Engelbart’s lifelong commitment to solving humanity’s urgent problems by using computers as tools to improve communication and collaboration between people,” according to the museum.

In 2000, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

DOJ Reaches Agreement For Oversight Of Albuquerque PD

The deal follows a Justice Department report released in April that showed the city’s police used excessive force in dealing with many suspects.


Ukrainian troops camouflage their multiple rocket launcher at a checkpoint in Kryva Luka, in eastern Ukraine, earlier this month. The U.S. says Russia is planning to provide similar systems to the rebels.

U.S.: Russia-Based Artillery Targeting Ukrainian Troops

The State Department says it has evidence that Moscow is lobbing artillery across its border at Ukrainian government forces, and that the Kremlin plans to ship rocket artillery to the rebels.


Arturo, the only polar bear in Argentina, lives in captivity at a zoo in Mendoza. The plight of the "sad bear" has spawned more than 400,000 signatures on a petition to get him moved to a "better life" in Canada.

Zoo In Argentina Says ‘Sad Bear’ Too Old To Go To Canada

The plight of the nearly 30-year-old polar bear, who lost his enclosure mate two years ago, has attracted attention from well-wishers the world over who want him moved.


Barbed-wire fence surrounding a military area is pictured in the forest near Stare Kiejkuty village, close to Szczytno in northeastern Poland. The CIA ran a secret jail on Polish soil, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday.

European Court Rules Against Poland In CIA ‘Black Sites’ Case

The European Court of Human Rights said Poland broke the European human rights convention by allowing the CIA to imprison and torture two terrorism suspects in secret prisons on its soil.


An employee looks at a Russian foreign passport at the U.S.  Embassy in Moscow.

U.S. Database Glitch Delays Passport, Visa Processing

The problem in the U.S. State Department system could cause problems for millions of people worldwide who are awaiting travel documents.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments