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  • Douglas Engelbart: The Unsung Hero.

    Posted on February 7th, 2012 halliedominick No comments

    We often link inventions with their inventors. When we think of the computer, who do we associate it with? Bill Gates? Steve Jobs? Steve Wozniak? Before reading the article regarding augmenting human intellect, my first guess would have been Bill Gates. However, this is not the case. Believe it or not Bill Gates simply took computing to the next level. There were many people before his time that helped individually add to the overall computing process.

    Douglas Engelbart is one of these people. Engelbart viewed the computer as a useful tool in the future office place. Our vision of the computer today was the same vision that Engelbart envisioned. He contributed to many aspects of the computer, but is most known for his patent of the mouse. Though the mouse is slightly different today, it still holds a lot of the same features.

    Before reading the article, “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework,” I had never heard of Engelbart’s computer demo. This demo had made a huge impact during its time. (How have I not heard of it if it was so huge?) In 1968, it was the first live demo. The first. We often take for granted how few firsts there are in our day and age. During this demo Engelbart previewed his invention he referred to as NLS or oN-Line System. This has been considered a predecessor to the internet. NLS included the mouse, hypermedia, and on-screen video teleconferencing. It baffles me that in 1968, people were using on-screen video teleconferencing. I have always assumed that Skype was the first on-screen video teleconferencing.

    Learning this has sparked my curiosity of the previous inventions that led to the technology that we call the modern day computer. Though we like to link inventions to their inventors, this may not be possible considering the numerous people whose individual contributions each partially added to the modern day computer.

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