"At the time, the only way those and other scientists interacted with computers, the mainframe machines of their day, was by submitting stacks of punch cards to them and waiting hours for a printout of answers.... For the event he sat on stage in front of a mouse, a keyboard and other controls and projected the computer display on 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 had invented just four years earlier, could be used to control a computer. He demonstrated text editing, video conferencing, hypertext and windowing. In contrast to the mainframes then in use, Dr. Engelbart had created a computerized system he called the 'oNLine System' or NLS, which allowed researchers to share information seamlessly and to create and retrieve documents in the form of a structured electronic library."
Douglas C. Engelbart died yesterday at the age of 88.