He certainly was a big launcher of solving collective problems collectively.
“His goal was building systems to augment human intelligence. His group prototyped much of modern computing (and invented the mouse) along the way”
Marc Weber ~ Computer History Museum ★
We need to look back to see the future.
“Imagine someone demonstrating a jet plane 15 years before Kitty Hawk. Imagine someone demonstrating a smartphone 15 years before the first cellular networks were even launched. Imagine someone demonstrating a controlled nuclear chain reaction 15 years before Einstein formulated e=mc2. On a crisp, overcast, and breezy Monday afternoon in San Francisco on December 9, 1968, before an SRO audience of more than 2,000 slack-jawed computer engineers, a soft-spoken engineer named Douglas Engelbart held the first public demonstration of word processing, point-and-clicking, dragging-and-dropping, hypermedia and hyperlinking, cross-file editing, idea/outline processing, collaborative groupware, text messaging, onscreen real-time video teleconferencing, and a weird little device dubbed a “mouse” — the essentials of a graphical user interface (GUI) 15 years before the first personal computers went on sale.”
Stewart Wolpin ~ Mashable ★
On giants and shoulders.
“To give an idea of the scope of the demo, Engelbart demonstrated an early look at word processing, windowing, hypertext, and dynamic file linking, as well as using graphics in a computer program. It was also the first time many of the attendees had seen a mouse, although work on the mouse began in 1963.”
(Megan Geuss a.k.a. @MeganGeuss ~ Ars Technica) ★
Same magazine as ‘As We May Think’. No coincidence.
“In a hut like this — and maybe even one of these huts specifically — Engelbart opened up that issue of LIFE and read Bush’s Atlantic article. The ideas in the story plowed new intellectual terrain for Engelbart, and the seeds that he planted and nurtured there over the next twenty years grew, with the help of millions of others, into the Internet you see today.”
And boy, what a symphonies did it bring us.
“In the mind of today’s technological entrepreneur, the ideal user (and employee) is semi-skilled – or unskilled entirely. The ideal user interface for such a person never rewards learning or experience when doing so would come at the cost of immediate accessibility to the neophyte. This design philosophy is a mistake – a catastrophic, civilization-level mistake. There is a place in the world for the violin as well as the kazoo. Modern computer engineering is kazoo-only, and keyboards are only the most banal example of this fact. Far more serious – though less obvious – problems of this kind tie our hands and wastefully burn our ‘brain cycles’. Professional equipment, whose mastery requires dedication and mental flexibility, may not be appropriate for casual users. But surely it is appropriate – in fact, necessary – for professionals? Just why is this idea confined to crackpots shouting in the wilderness? I hope to learn a definitive answer to this conundrum some day.”
(Stanislav Datskovskiy ~ Loper OS)