The Click Heard Round The World

It was December 1968. An obscure scientist from Stanford Research Institute stood before a hushed San Francisco crowd and blew every mind in the room. His 90-minute demo rolled out virtually all that would come to define modern computing: videoconferencing, hyperlinks, networked collaboration, digital text editing, and something called a “mouse.” —The Click Heard Round The World (Wired)

Interesting tidbits:

  • Engelbart credits Vannevar Bush with inventing the concept of links: “I’d read that article 17 years before I wrote about links using computers and honestly do not remember if I took the idea from Bush deliberately or only went back to his article later.”
  • “We also did a lot of experiments to see how many buttons the mouse should have. We tried as many as five. We settled on three. That’s all we could fit. Now the three-button mouse has become standard, except for the Mac. Steve Jobs insisted on only one button. We haven’t spoken much since then.”
  • What we call the cursor, Engelbart originally called the “bug”. If that term had stuck, the etymology of the word would be even more… uh… buggy.