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Doug Engelbart – mouse inventor, dead at 88

We take them for granted and we use them everyday when working on our desktop computers but we never stop to think about the science behind these small devices and the true visionary minds that designed and built them.

The mice that we have on our desks make our lives much easier and were the first step towards a brighter and more interactive computing experience. If it weren’t for Doug Engelbart and his team we would probably still be using some sort of Norton Commander of DOS Navigator on steroids.

Doug Engelbart – a real influence

Unfortunately, Mr. Doug Engelbart passed away at the beginning of this month at the age of 88. However, his work will live forever through the billions of programmers, administrators and gamers out there that wield their mice with skill and cunning.

Whether you are into software development, web development, desktop development or gaming, you have to agree that Mr. Engelbart made your life a whole lot easier and enjoyable.

Furthermore, his studies paved the way for many other technologies that eased the interaction between humans and computers. Examples include hypertext, simple GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) and even computer networks.

A short lesson in Mouseology

The first mouse came to be under the hands of Mr. Doug Engelbart in 1963 at the Stanford Research Institute. It didn’t look like much but at that time it incorporated so much modern technology that it cost over $100,000. Not only was it the first mouse but it was also the most expensive one.

In terms of design, it looked more like a jointer than a computer-related device. It was made completely out of wood and it also featured four wheels for moving it around the table like a toy car.

Initially it was called the “X-Y position indicator for display systems” (not cool) but due to its wire and its way of moving around the desk, it was later given the “mouse” nickname which eventually stuck. Whether you are using a cool one button mouse from Apple or an ultra-complex gaming mouse, the “wooden toy car” is where it all started.

In the end, all of us here at Developers Global would like to say “Thank you Mr. Engelbart!” for making our work much easier.

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