The Who2 Blog

Douglas Englebart Dead: Awesome Inventor of the Mouse

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates grabbed the idea and got rich off of it, but the mouse was first invented by the amazing Douglas Englebart, who has just died at age 88:

The idea for the mouse — a pointing device that would roll on a desk — occurred to Dr. Engelbart in 1964 while he was attending a computer graphics conference. He was musing about how to move a cursor on a computer display.
When he returned to work, he gave a copy of a sketch to William English, a collaborator and mechanical engineer at SRI, who, with the aid of a draftsman, fashioned a pine case to hold the mechanical contents.
Early versions of the mouse had three buttons, because that was all the case could accommodate, even though Dr. Engelbart felt that as many as 10 buttons would be more useful. Two decades later, when Steve Jobs added the mouse to his Macintosh computer, he decided that a single button was appropriate.
Oh, he also invented multiple windows, version control, and then hypertext, which basically made Internet links possible. Just in case you were feeling like you’d done something impressive with your life.
But mainly: the mouse. Wow. And you’re using it to read this story right now.

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