Doug Engelbart - Notes

Doug Engelbart - Wikipedia

-born 1.30.25
-American inventor
-early computer pioneer
-internet pioneer
-invented computer mouse
-pioneer of human-computer interaction
-his team:
-developed hypertext
-networked computers
-developed prescursors to GUIs
-committed/vocal proponent of developmnt & use computers and networks to help w/ world's urgent/complex probs.

-Bootstrapping strategy - organizing principles embedded in his lab.
-specifically designed lab to 'bootstrap(?)' and accelerate rate of innovation achievable.
-(this is one poorly written and shitty Wikipedia page).

-EARLY LIFE/EDUCATION:
-born 1.30.25 in Oregon.
-German, Swedish, Norw descent.
-middle kid of 3.
-first lived Portland, then Johnson Creek.
-dad died before he was 9-10 y.o.
-grad of Portland Franklin H.S. in '42

-Oregon State U - midway thru was at end of WWII
-drafted into navy
-2 yrs as radar technician in Philippines.
-here, reads Bush's, "As We May Think" - inspired him.
-back to Oregon State - Bach in electrical engineering.
-hired by National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
-Ames Research Center.

-Epiphany - '51
-career inspired when engaged and realized no career goals besides good educ and decent job.
-these key concepts:
1. would focus career on making world better.
2. any serious effort of 1. needs ORGANIZED effort.
3. key to doing this: - harness collective human intellect of all people contributing to effective solutions.
4. if dramatically improve how do 3., boost ever effort on planet to solve important probs.
-sooner can do, the better.
5. computers could be means for doing this.

-in '45, read Bush's article - call to arms for making knowledge widely available as national peacetime grand challenge.
-ALSO, read about computers (were new)
-experience as radar tech taught that info could be analyzed and displayed on screen.
-his vision - intellectual workers sitting at display 'working stations.'
-fly thru info space
-harness collective intellectual abilities to solve probs TOGETHER in more powerful ways.

-harnessing collective intellect using interactive computers became life's mission.
-at the time, computers were only number-crunchers.

-grad school - electrical engineering - UC Berkeley.
-MS degree '53
-Ph.D. '55
-grad student work constructing CALDIC (California Digital Computer project).
-grad work leads to several patents!
-stays on as assistant prof for a year
-leaves
-formed startup, Digital Techniques.
-cash in on some of doctorate research on storage devices.
-then wants to pursue research had dreamed of.

-SO, goes Stanford Research Institue, (SRI), Menlo Park.
-worked for Hewitt Crane.

SRI and ARC
-SRI:
-12+ patents
-Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework -
-'62
-report about his vision and proposed research plans
-funding from ARPA
-forms Augmentation Research Center - ARC.
-ARC lab founded at SRI.
-ARC: -here did these HUGE things:
1-was driving force behind design/development of On-Line System = NLS.
2-developed computer-interface elements:
a) bit-mapped screens
b) mouse
c) hypertext
d) collaborative tools
e) precursors to graphical user interface-GUI.

-user interface ideas from way back in mid-60's
-was way before personal computer revolution
-most people kept away from computers - software not developed/written for most to use.

-MOUSE -
-applied for patent in '67.
-received in '70.
-wooden shell w/ 2 metal wheels
-developed w/ Bill English
-"X-Y position indicator for display system"
-nicknamed 'mouse' cuz tail comes out of end.
-cursor called "bug" but doesn't catch-on.
-NO ROYALTIES FOR MOUSE!!
-said SRI patented mouse.
-they had no idea of value.
-was licensed to Apple for only $40,000.

-chorded keyboard - computer input device
-allows user enter characters/commands by pressing several keys together like "chords" on piano.
-large no. combo's available using small no. keys.
-text/commands entered w/ only one hand.
-other hand free
-can be built into device like pocket-size computer or bicycle handlebar that's too small for reg keyboard.
-intro'd as computer interface in '68 @ The Mother of All Demos.

-research funded by ARPA.
-SRI involved w/ ARPANET - becomes internet.
-October 29, '69 - 1st message sent on ARPANET by student, Kline.
-was gonna send text, "login."
-"l" and "o" sent and then crashed.
- 1-hour later, recover, then got full message.
-Nov 21, '69 - first permanent ARPANET link established between IMP @ UCLA and IMP @ Stanford Research Inst.
-Dec 5, '69 - entire 4-node network established.
-SRI
-UCLA
-UCSB
-U. of Utah
-ARC becomes 1st Network Information Center.
-Engelbart continues focus on innovative research.
-SO, conflict leads to establishing NIC as own entity.

-coevolution - Engelbart's complex philosophy drove all his research
-this foreshadowed modern application of concept of coevolution to philosphy and use of tech.
-principle of linguistic relativity - (Benjamen Lee Whorf)
-Engelbart influenced by this.
-sophistication of language controls sophistication of thoughts can be expressed by speaker of the language.
-Engelbart - state of our current technology controls ability to manipulate info.
-this will control our ability to develp new/improved technologies.
-this is why committed to revolutionary task of developing computer-based technologies.
-so could manipulate info directly
-and, improve individ and group processes for knowledge work.

-'76 - Engelbart slips into obscurity.
-researchers leave him.
-he sees future in collaborative, networked, timeshare computers.
-younger programmers in favor of personal computers.
-is technical and social conflict.

-served on board of directors Erhard Seminars Training.

-ARC's funding from ARPA and NASA reduce funding cuz:
-Mansfield Amendment
-end of Vietnam War
-end of Apollo program
-SRI doesn't want Engelbart running ARC, so place remains under control of Bertram Raphael (artific intelligence).
-lab transferred to company called Tymshare.
-Engelbart's home burns down.
-Tymshare takes over NLS and Engelbart's lab.
-changes name of software to Augment.
-more changes - Engelbart retires in '86.

-'88 - teams w/ daughter and founded Bootstrap Institute.
-turns ideas into series of 3-day and 1/2-day managment seminars at Stanford U from '89-2000.
-Bootstrap Alliance formed - non-profit homebase.

-Boosting our Collective IQ - most complete coverage of bootstrapping ideas.
-written in '95


- '62 - wrote his seminal work - Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework.
-set out the basic ideas that continued to guide Engelbart's work.
-augmenting hum intell means increasing capability of a man to:
-approach complex situation
-gain comprehension to suit particular needs.
-derive solutions to problems.
-mix of following:
-more-rapid comprehension
-better comprehension
-gaining useful degree of comprehension in situation that had been too complex
-speedier solutions
-better solutions
-poss of finding solutions to problems that had seemed insoluble.
-means a way of life.
-integrated domain
-hunches, cut-and-try
-intangibles
-human 'feel for situation'
-all these coexist w/:
-powerful concepts
-streamlined terminology/notation
-sophisticated methods
-high-powered electronic aids.

IdeaFinders on Engelbart

-invented no. of interactive, user-friendly info access systems
-(we take for granted today)
1. mouse
2. windows
3. shared-screen teleconferencing
4. hypermedia
5. GroupWare
-almost 2-dozen patents

-mouse popularity grows cuz included as standard equipment w/ Apple Macs.

-inventions ahead of their time.
-integrated into mainstream computing as industry capabilities increased.
-mouse not popular until '84
-huge success of Microsoft's Windows95
-now, both mouse and windows concept are necessities.

-OTHER LINKS:
History of Mouse/Inventions
Telecollaboration