Engelbart and the Dawn of Interactive Computing: 40th Anniversary Celebration | SRI International

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Engelbart and the Dawn of Interactive Computing: 40th Anniversary Celebration

On December 9, 2008 at Stanford University's Memorial Auditorium, SRI International commemorated the 40th anniversary of the world debut of personal and interactive computing by Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart and the SRI Augmentation Research Center (ARC).

Watch full event videos on SRI's YouTube channel.

On December 9, 1968, Engelbart and his team debuted the computer mouse, which controlled a networked computer system to demonstrate hypertext linking, real-time text editing, multiple windows with flexible view control, cathode display tubes, and shared-screen teleconferencing. This "mother of all demos", as it has since been dubbed, was presented live to a packed house at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, California. Watch video of the 1968 event on SRI's YouTube channel.

Speakers at the 2008 event included original participants in the 1968 demo and presentations on Doug Engelbart's vision to use computing to augment society's collective intellect and ability to solve the complex issues of our time. 

Event Photos

Robert Sproull

Charles House
Robert Sproull, Vice President and Fellow, Sun Microsystems Laboratories, the event moderator, welcomes the audience. Charles House, Executive Director, Media X at Stanford University (the event host sponsor) introduced the showing of highlights from the 1968 demo.
Panel speakers

Daniel Borel

Robert Sproull with SRI principals of the 1968 demo Don Andrews, William English, Bill Paxton, Jeff Rulifson, and a member of the 1968 audience, Andries van Dam. The panel relived the events that led up to the demo, the dramatic day itself, and its impact.

Daniel Borel, co-founder and Board Member of Logitech, talks about the global impact Engelbart's work has made for the device manufacturer. On December 9, 2008, Logitech (premier sponsor of the SRI event) announced shipment of its billionth mouse.
Christina Engelbart

Robert Taylor and John Markoff

Christina Engelbart, executive director of the Doug Engelbart Institute, discusses her father's driving vision. John Markoff (right), senior writer, The New York Times, interviews Robert W. Taylor, a former program director at the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA). While at ARPA, Taylor provided some of the earliest funding of Doug Engelbart's work at SRI.

Alan Kay

Doug Engelbart
Alan Kay, president of Viewpoints Research Institute, talks about the significance of Doug Engelbart's vision. Doug Engelbart says thank you at the event's end...
...and receives a standing ovation, as he did at the 1968 demo.