Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

  • Calendar

    October 2020
    S M T W T F S
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
  • Recent Posts

  • Tag Cloud

  • Archives

Mouse turns 40

Posted by Richard on December 9, 2008

Forty years ago today, the first computer mouse was publicly demonstrated:

On 9 December 1968 hi-tech visionary Douglas Engelbart first used one to demonstrate novel ways of working with computers.

The first mouse that Dr Engelbart used in the demo at the Fall Joint Computer Conference (FJCC) was made of wood and had one button.

A day of celebration is planned in California to mark the 40th anniversary; with many of the researchers behind the original demo reunited to mark the event.

The mouse, which was built by Bill English, helped Dr Engelbart demonstrate how text files could be clipped, copied and pasted as well as showing ways of using computer networks to collaborate on projects or co-edit documents

Technically, Engelbart's mouse was born a couple of years earlier, but it's that first public demo that everyone remembers. In addition to debuting the mouse, Engelbart's demo also introduced the graphical user interface (GUI) and the first working hypertext system. It was revolutionary, to say the least:

In the 1968 demo Dr Rulifson was at the SRI Lab and appeared on screen in Brooks Hall auditorium while helping Dr Engelbart to show how co-workers could use NLS to collaborate.

The demo was so far ahead of other uses of computers at the time and the technology on show was so powerfully convincing that one attendee later likened Dr Engelbart's efforts to "dealing lightning with both hands".

The following year, Engelbart's NLS (oN Line System) became one node of the first full network connection on Arpanet, the precursor to the Internet.

Subscribe To Site:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.