doug-engelbartHow many of us owe our livelihood to Doug Engelbart? Basically, every single one who uses a computer mouse in their everyday workplace, as Engelbart was the brains behind the computer mouse. The late Engelbart died at a ripe old age of 88, where he did mention in the past that his work was all about ‘augmenting human intellect’. Engelbart was such a visionary that if you were to roll the clock back to the 1950s and 1960s, a time when mainframes filled up whole rooms and data was input through the use of punch cards, Engelbart already envisioned a future where computers helped people share ideas and solve intricate problems in manners that might even be deemed as “crazy”.

Do bear in mind that the idea of a mouse that Engelbart thought up of did not end up as a commercially available device until 1984, when Apple rolled out the Macintosh. Engelbart and his colleagues did not make much profit from the mouse simply because they conceived it so early during the computer’s evolutionary march, that the mouse patent’s 17-year life span enabled the technology to pass into the public domain back in 1987. I guess you could say that Engelbart could have been a very, very rich man, as at least a billion mice have been sold since the mid-1980s until now should Engelbart have collected royalties. Rest in peace, Engelbart. You will be missed.

Filed in Computers. Read more about Mouse.

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