“Douglas C. Engelbart, a visionary scientist whose singular epiphany in 1950 about technology’s potential to expand human intelligence led to a host of inventions — among them the computer mouse — that became the basis for both the Internet and the modern personal computer, died on Tuesday at his home in Atherton, Calif.,” John Markoff reports for The New York Times. “He was 88.”
“The cause was kidney failure, his wife, Karen O’Leary Engelbart, said,” Markoff reports. “Dr. Engelbart’s insight came just two days after he was engaged to be married in December 1950. He had a good job working at a government aerospace laboratory in California, and he was pondering what he might do of value with the rest of his life.”
Markoff reports, “Then it came to him. In a single stroke he had what might be called a complete vision of the information age. He saw himself sitting in front of a large computer screen full of different symbols, a vision most likely derived from his work on radar consoles while in the Navy after World War II. The screen, he thought, would serve as a display for a workstation that would organize all the information and communications for a given project. A decade later, during the Vietnam War, he established an experimental research group at Stanford Research International (later renamed SRI International) with financing from the Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Air Force, and NASA.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: R.I.P., pioneer!
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “iDjon” for the heads up.]