Saturday, December 06, 2008

40 years ago this week... the future as demo

I first read about Doug Engelbart's innovations in collaborative computer technology in mid-1980s books by Ted Nelson and Howard Rheingold, more than 15 years after Engelbart entranced an audience of engineers with a demonstration -- in 1968 -- of devices and ideas that most of the world wouldn't see for decades... the first mouse, hypertext linkages, expanding on-screen outlines, and a bigger idea behind them: That creative use of connected computers could augment human intelligence.

Luckily, that 1968 glimpse of the future was preserved on film and has been available in various Web incarnations. Now, for its 40th anniversary, you can read, watch and listen to more here:

The Innovation Journalism Blog: Come Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Engelbart's "Mother of All Demos":

"On December 9 1968, Doug Engelbart and his team from SRI International Augmentation Research Center performed 'the mother of all demos' in front of a gaping audience of one thousand computer engineers. The demo let the cat out of the bag in a monumental way; Doug's big idea that the big thing about computers was not automation, but augmenting human intelligence was demonstrated in real life... The audience could do nothing but cheer."

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