Douglas Engelbart

Inventor of the mouse--and more

When Doug Engelbart died on July 2 at 88, virtually every headline identified him as the inventor of the computer mouse. But the visionary computer scientist's work in the 1950s and '60s was so prescient and influential in so many ways that remembering him solely for his ubiquitous pointing device is a little like praising the Wright brothers for their pioneering role in the history of propellers.

In an era when interacting with computers involved feeding punch cards into a mainframe and most of the people doing the interacting were scientists, Engelbart saw computers as a way for ordinary human beings...

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