Cos (cos) wrote,

Doug Engelbart

    From: Christina Engelbart
    Date: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 6:31 AM
    Subject: update on my father

    Very sorry to inform my father passed away in his sleep peacefully at
    home last night. His health had been deteriorating of late, and took
    turn for worse on the weekend. I will circle back around soon, for now
    just wanted to give you all advance notice and look forward to
    discussing your thoughts as I am a bit fuzzy at present.

He had a grand vision of a better world: What if everyone had their own little computer, usable and convenient, immediately responsive to their actions? What if that computer could display graphics, and allow people access to lots of information and organize it, and let them collaborate with others? Then everyone else working on making the world better, in many different ways and fields -- all of them would be made more effective in their endeavors.

The lab he founded and ran at SRI developed, among other things: the bitmapped display, the mouse, and an early implementation of hypertext. He also spun off the first Internet NIC from his lab, and recruited Elizabeth Feinler to run it.

He had a grand vision, and set to work on it, and made significant progress during a time when very few people were considering such things... and then lived to see it all come true and change the world.

Edit: A good profile in the NY Times.

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