William English, Engineer Behind 'The Mother of All Demos', Dies at 91

An nameless reader quotes The Los Angeles Instances:
On Dec. 9, 1968, the then-small world of laptop engineering was shaken to its core by a presentation of recent applied sciences projected onto a display in a San Francisco corridor. The attendees on the historic occasion noticed demonstrations of video conferencing, the primary public use of a pc mouse, hyperlinking during which clicking a phrase in a doc transported the person to a completely new doc — and extra. The person who was the star of the hands-on present seen within the corridor was Douglas Engelbart, whose workforce on the analysis heart SRI in Menlo Park, California, had been creating them for years.

However the man who had designed what is thought now as “The Mom of All Demos” and was working behind the scenes to ensure all of them labored was William Okay. English, who died Sunday on the age of 91. Invoice English performed an indispensable function in additional than Engelbart’s demo… In 1965 the lab obtained a NASA grant to invent a know-how for transferring a cursor and deciding on an merchandise on a show display; Engelbart developed the idea, however it was English who designed the primary prototype &mdash the mouse…
English primarily choreographed Engelbart’s presentation. Simply as essential, he made certain there have been no technical glitches. That was a problem, since Engelbart could be in San Francisco demonstrating a system that was being operated 30 miles away in Menlo Park, the 2 websites related through a microwave relay. The occasion went off nearly with no hitch, and a brand new world was born. “Doug wasn’t doing it,” remembers Roberta, who had labored as Engelbart’s secretary. “It was all Invoice.” Engelbart died in 2013.
English additionally participated in an early analysis challenge “into the psychological results of LSD,” in keeping with the article.

However just a few years after the legendary demo, English was recruited for Xerox’s legendary Palo Alto Analysis Heart, “the place he helped midwife PARC’s invention of the private laptop and different improvements… He subsequently left Xerox to hitch Solar Microsystems and later the pioneering digital recreation console maker 3DO.”

Learn extra of this story at Slashdot.


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