Inventor of the Computer Mouse, Doug Engelbart, Passed Away at Age 88

Inventor of the Computer Mouse, Doug Engelbart, Passed Away at Age 88

The inventor of the computer mouse, Mr. Doug Engelbart, has passed away at age 88. According to the Computer History Museum, he was inducted in 2005 as a Fellow for "advancing the study of human-computer interaction, developing the mouse input device...."

(Image Source: Michael Schmelling/AP via The Guardian)

He is seen as a visionary who wanted to improve human interaction with computers, and through them as well. He believed that computers of the future will connect people, acting as conduits for ideas and solutions. His forwarding-looking thoughts were crystallized during the days when mainframe computers played a central role in the IT operations of large corporations and governments.

In 1968, Mr. Engelbert and seventeen other researchers presented a live demonstration of the NLS online system, which they had been developing since 1968. The  mouse was one of the components during the demonstration. Their NLS system also showcased many technologies like object addressing, hypertext, and dynamic file linking. On top of these precursory inventions, they also showcased what seems to be an early version of video conferencing over a wide area network (WAN).

However, the researchers failed to capitalize on the commercial success of the modern mouse. This was because by the time it became a popular input device in the late 1980s, their 17-year patent on the mouse had already lapsed. Mr. Doug Engelbart was born in Portland, Oregon, USA, in 1925. According to the Guardian, news of his  passing was relayed in an email, from his daughter, to the Computer History Museum.

(Source: The Guardian, Computer History Museum, MouseSite)

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