Modern computing born... film at 11.
July 11, 2001 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Modern computing born... film at 11.
"On December 9, 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, presented a 90-minute live public demonstration of the online system, NLS, they had been working on since 1962. The public presentation was a session in the of the Fall Joint Computer Conference held at the Convention Center in San Francisco, and it was attended by about 1,000 computer professionals. This was the public debut of the computer mouse. But the mouse was only one of many innovations demonstrated that day, including hypertext, object addressing and dynamic file linking, as well as shared-screen collaboration involving two persons at different sites communicating over a network with audio and video interface."
posted by pascal (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
that was really cool.

[this is good]
posted by o2b at 11:37 AM on July 11, 2001

Trivia: the fellow behind the video camera is Stewart Brand, who later when on to "Whole Earth" fame.
posted by dws at 12:04 PM on July 11, 2001

I "invented" hypertext one night in the summer of 1980. I was so excited that I called my undergraduate thesis advisor the following morning to tell him about it. He said, "Yeah, that sounds like what Doug Englebart was working on at SRI back in the Sixties. You may also want to see what Ted Nelson has to say about it."

When I looked up the work he did (this was pre-web; we had to go to places called "libraries" to do this), I was floored. And disappointed that nothing like NLS existed at a computer near me.

All this makes me wonder what wonderful things are lurking in research labs waiting for machines with the right horsepower and how they'll be adapted for regular users.
posted by idiolect at 1:39 PM on July 11, 2001

I was lucky enough to start my professional computing experience in the multimedia/interactive video business in the mid-80s, and in the course of that was exposed to Vannevar Bush, Doug Engelbart and Ted Nelson as a kind of "holy trinity" of HCI. But today is the first time I've been able to see the work of any of those people "live" - outside of the pages of a book or some other written media - which is what for me makes the linked site so amazing.
posted by pascal at 2:28 PM on July 11, 2001

As a current SRI researcher, idiolect, it makes me sad to know what wonderful things are lurking here but can't get out the door just yet due to some sad realities. Sure, one of those realities is lacking horsepower, but the more important one is the necessity for real business models. Thoughts of business and money give researchers shooting pains in their heads, but it's something you need to go through if you want your work to see the light of day. Even still, we're working on that. :)
posted by badstone at 4:23 PM on July 11, 2001

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