Wednesday, July 03, 2013

A True Visionary

True visionaries are as rare as natural black pearls, occurrences of each being most mysterious but ever present with society never knowing when such an entity possessing these singular qualities will show up. Jobs, Einstein, Davis and Tesla, being members of this exceedingly rare breed, changed society in ways that cannot be quantified, must now include Douglas C. Engelbart, a computer visionary who intuitively knew what computers could become 20+ years before the advent of systems able to be accessed by means extending beyond the ubiquitous punch card based on the mechanics of the 18th century Jacquard loom.

Because he had read Vannevar Bush's amazing 1945 paper As We May Think, the first expression of what the web would eventually become 50 years later, (BRT The Memex) Engelbart took Bush's ideas to the next level by conceptualizing networked machines able to drive the internet that Bush was talking about using a keyboard, mouse and display to make it happen, hardware conceived of in his mind years before tech would catch up with his unique vision. To make sure such hardware could actually be developed, Engelbart invented the mouse, the device we know and love, as the prime interface driver for all things digital in the connected age of the web. Click here to see The Mother of All Demos to see why. Addendum, here is the Stamford University version of The MOAD. :)

Seen above are Englebart's patent drawings of the mouse and how it connected to a computer complete with keyboard and display. Said patent was approved on November 17th from a paper he gave to the patent office on June 21, 1967. Click here to see the patent. 

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