Doug Engelbart – Invented modern computing

Doug Engelbart

There are lots of people who have done enormous service to the world through their inventiveness and willingness to share with other. A good example is Dennis Richie who I gave a tribute to in 2011 and who gave us the C Programming Language, one of the most used computing languages even today.


Doug Engelbart holding an early computer mouse

Doug Engelbart holding an early computer mouse

I recently came across Doug Engelbart who passed away four years ago and is responsible for inventing many of the ideas behind modern computing including:


  • Father of the mouse
  • Videoconferencing
  • Hyperlinks
  • WYSIWYG word processor
  • Multi-window user interface
  • Shared documents
  • Shared database
  • Documents with images & text embedded
  • Keyword search
  • Instant Messaging
  • Synchronous Collaboration
  • Asynchronous Collaboration
  • and much more

The Mother of all Demos

The Mother of all Demos was a 90 minute presentation he put together in 1968 to demonstrate, for the first time, some of the above inventions. Below is a video with selected highlights.



This was the beginning of Interactive Computing and a critical breakthrough on the way to the Graphical User Interface and eventually the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pointer) Operating System concepts.


You can read more about his contributions at:


The First Mouse

And now for a look at the First Mouse. This one predated the 3 button version used in the Mother of all Demos.



Again I am very grateful for those who have gone before us and shared and collaborated so freely that we might all benefit together.


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2017 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.