The Mother of All Demos

November 24, 2019 • #

One of the great things about YouTube is being able to find gems of history like Doug Engelbart’s “Mother of All Demos” presentation from 1968. How amazing it must’ve been to see something like this live, 50 years ago:

The live demonstration featured the introduction of a complete computer hardware and software system called the oN-Line System or, more commonly, NLS. The 90-minute presentation essentially demonstrated almost all the fundamental elements of modern personal computing: windows, hypertext, graphics, efficient navigation and command input, video conferencing, the computer mouse, word processing, dynamic file linking, revision control, and a collaborative real-time editor (collaborative work). Engelbart’s presentation was the first to publicly demonstrate all of these elements in a single system. The demonstration was highly influential and spawned similar projects at Xerox PARC in the early 1970s. The underlying technologies influenced both the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows graphical user interface operating systems in the 1980s and 1990s.