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Engelbart, Inventor Of Computer Mouse, Dies At 88

By Michael Liedtke

FILE - In this April 9, 1997 file photo, Doug Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse and winner of the half-million dollar 1997 Lemelson-MIT prize, poses with the computer mouse he designed, in New York. Engelbart has died at the age of 88. The cause of death wasn't immediately known. (AP Photo/Michael Schmelling, File)


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) – Doug Engelbart, a visionary who invented the computer mouse and developed other technology that has transformed the way people work, play and communicate, died late last month. He was 88.

His death of acute kidney failure occurred at his home in Atherton, Calif., after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, according to one of his daughters, Diana Engelbart Mangan.

Back in the 1950s and ’60s, when mainframes took up entire rooms and were fed data on punch cards, Engelbart already was envisioning a day when computers would empower people to share ideas and solve problems in ways that seemed unfathomable at the time.

Engelbart considered his work to be all about “augmenting human intellect” – a mission that boiled down to making computers more intuitive to use. One of the biggest advances was the mouse, which he developed in the 1960s and patented in 1970. At the time, it was a wooden shell covering two metal wheels: an “X-Y position indicator for a display system.”

Engelbart “brought tremendous value to society,” said Curtis R. Carlson, the CEO of SRI International, where Engelbart worked when it was still known as the Stanford Research Institute. “We will miss his genius, warmth and charm. Doug’s legacy is immense. Anyone in the world who uses a mouse or enjoys the productive benefits of a personal computer is indebted to him.”

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Posted by FanSite on Aug 1st, 2013 and filed under Techline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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