ILearnt

Random stuff I learnt

The Mother Of All Demos

There is a video of a demonstration given by Doug Engelbart in 1968 which is commonly referred to as “The Mother Of All Demos”. In the demo, he demonstrates a lot of technologies for the first time together that are common place today and some which we haven’t even achieved properly now:

  • windows
  • hypertext
  • graphics
  • efficient navigation and command input
  • video conferencing
  • the computer mouse
  • word processing
  • dynamic file linking
  • revision control
  • collaborative real-time editor (collaborative work)

One of the demonstrations that is particularly of interest to me is the chorded keyboard. The reason for this is that my father developed one of the first commercial handheld organisers and this used a chorded keyboard. It was called the Microwriter (and in turn the AgendA and the CyKey). My father worked with the movie director Cy Enfield to develop this and in particular the clever way to make learning the key combinations easier.

Recently I found out that this led to my father having a meeting with Doug Engelbart in person to discuss if there were any intellectual property issues with the Microwriter approach.

Links

Mother Of All Demos

Microwriter