Dec.9, 1968 – Modern PC Debuts

Wired reports –

1968: Computer scientist Douglas Engelbart kicks off the personal computer revolution with a product demonstration that is so amazing it inspires a generation of technologists. It will become known as “the mother of all demos.” The presentation included the debut of the computer mouse, which Engelbart used to control an onscreen pointer in exactly the same way we do today. For a world used to thinking of computers as impersonal boxes that read punched cards, whir awhile, then spit out reams of teletype paper, this kind of real-time graphical control was amazing enough. But Engelbart went beyond merely demonstrating a new input device — way beyond. His demo that day in San Francisco’s Brooks Hall also premiered “what you see is what you get” editing, text and graphics displayed on a single screen, shared-screen videoconferencing, outlining, windows, version control, context-sensitive help and hyperlinks. Bam! What’s more, it was likely the first appearance of computer-generated slides, complete with bullet lists and Engelbart reading aloud every word onscreen. Fortunately, the proto-PowerPoint section only made up a small fraction of his otherwise understated and impressive tour de force. And though it took years for the industry to catch up, many later computer scientists acknowledged their debt to Engelbart.

Continue reading HERE.

Watch the 1968 demo HERE.

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