Douglas Engelbart a technologist conceived the computer mouse and laid out a vision of an Internet decades before others brought those ideas to the mass market. Engelbart arrived at his crowning movement relatively early in his career in a winter afternoon in 1968 when he delivered an hour-long presentstion containing so many far reaching ideas that it would be referred to, decades later, as the ‘mother of all demons’.

Speaking before an audience of 1000 leading technologists in San Francisco, Engelbart, a computer scientist at Standford Researsh Institute, displayed a cubic device with two rolling discs called an X-Y position indicator for a display system. It was the Mouse’s public debut.

Engelbart then summoned in real time the image and voice of a colleague 30 miles (48kms) away. And he explained a theory of how pages of information would be tied together using text based links; an idea that would later form the bedrock of the Internet’s architecture.

At a time when computing was largely pursued by government researchers or hobbyists with a counter-cultural bent, Engelbart never sought or enjoyed the explosive wealth that would later become synonymous with Silicon Valley success. For instance, he never received any royalties for the Mouse which SRI patendted and later licensed to Apple.

He was intensely driven instead by a belief that computer could be used to augment human intellect.

Student: Raj Jaiswal