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Published on 14.07.2013 at 2:37am

3Douglas_Engelbart_in_2008

Douglas Carl Engelbart [January 30, 1925 - July 2, 2013]

Douglas Carl Engelbart was an American engineer and inventor, especially known for the invention of the computer mouse, passed away at the age of 88 at his home in California.

In the 1960s, Engelbart and his team in ARC (Augmentation Research Center) developed computer interface elements such as bitmapped screens, the mouse, hypertext, collaborative tools and precursors to the graphical user interface.

Most of the topics of his research were mentioned during what is now known as "The Mother of All Demos" – a presentation of experimental computer technologies given in 1968. The demonstration featured the introduction of the prototype of the earliest computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing, dynamic file linking, revision control and a collaborative real-time editor.

Engelbart received a patent in 1970 for a wooden box with two metal wheels (the computer mouse), which was described in the application as an "X-Y position indicator for a display system". The idea behind the invention of the so-called mouse (nicknamed that because of the cord sticking out of the back of the wooden shell) was to find a better way to select items on a computer display screen.

Engelbart was honored with many prestigious awards over the years. Those included the Yuri Rubinsky Memorial Award (1995), the Lemelson-MIT Prize (1997), The Franklin Institute’s Certificate of Merit (1996), the Benjamin Franklin Medal (1999) in Computer and Cognitive Science. In 2000 he was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the former US President Bill Clinton, which is the highest technology award. Other awards and medals include: the British Computer Society’s Lovelace Medal, the Norbert Wiener Award and the receiving of an honorary doctorate from Yale University.

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