Douglas Engelbart, l’inventeur de la souris, est mort
L’ingénieur et pionnier de l’informatique Douglas Engelbart, inventeur de la souris d’ordinateur, est mort mardi 2 juillet au soir à l’âge de 88 ans à son domicile californien d’Atherton, au cœur de la Silicon Valley, a-t-on appris mercredi auprès de l’Institut portant son nom.
Né dans l’Oregon, il s’était installé au Sud pour devenir chercheur au Stanford Research Institute, après des études d’ingénierie électrique et informatique dans les années 1950, une époque où les ordinateurs occupaient encore des pièces entières. Ses recherches ont ainsi porté sur la visioconférence, la téléconférence, le courrier électronique, les « fenêtres » et le lien hypertexte mais il est surtout connu pour avoir inventé la souris d’ordinateur.
In December 1968, however, he set the computing world on fire with a remarkable demonstration before more than a thousand of the world’s leading computer scientists at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, one of a series of national conferences in the computer field that had been held since the early 1950s. Dr. Engelbart was developing a raft of revolutionary interactive computer technologies and chose the conference as the proper moment to unveil them.
For the event, he sat on stage in front of a mouse, a keyboard and other controls and projected the computer display onto a 22-foot-high video screen behind him. In little more than an hour, he showed how a networked, interactive computing system would allow information to be shared rapidly among collaborating scientists. He demonstrated how a mouse, which he invented just four years earlier, could be used to control a computer. He demonstrated text editing, video conferencing, hypertext and windowing.
Doug Engelbart, who foresaw the modern computer, dies at 88 (Wired UK)
Engelbart first revealed his creation to the rest of the world in 1968, at an event in San Francisco, about an hour’s drive north from SRI, and the unveiling, before many of the world’s leading computer scientists, has since become known as “The Mother Of All Demos” (see video below).
In the audience that day in 1969, “shivering like mad, with a  degree temperature,” was a young man named Alan Kay. Kay would go on to join Xerox PARC, where he worked on the research lab’s seminal Alto computer and the groundbreaking object-oriented programming environment known as SmallTalk. He was among the few who saw the demo — and Engelbart — for what they were.
“He was one of the very few people very early on who were able to understand not only that computers could do a lot of things that were very familiar, but that there was something new about computers that allow us to think in a very different way — in a stronger way,” Kay said during the 40th anniversary celebration.
Ah ! SmallTalk…