I've watched the “mother of all demos” often wondering would it would have been like to have been in that room. Douglas Engelbart was a true pioneer. Silicon Valley in the 1960s sounds like an interesting place.

On December 9, 1968, in what has been called “The Mother of All Demos” Douglas C. Engelbart and a group of 17 researchers demonstrated hypertext, object addressing and dynamic file linking during a demonstration of the oN-Line System, also known as NLS, a computer-sharing system, they had been working on since 1962.



Douglas Engelbart was an American engineer and inventor, and an early computer and Internet pioneer.

Under Engelbart's guidance, the Augmentation Research Center developed, with funding primarily from DARPA, the NLS to demonstrate numerous technologies, most of which are now in widespread use; this included the computer mouse, bitmapped screens, hypertext; all of which were displayed at The Mother of All Demos in 1968.

SRI International's Augmentation Research Center (ARC) was founded in the 1960s by electrical engineer Douglas Engelbart to develop and experiment with new tools and techniques for collaboration and information processing.

The organization was founded as the Stanford Research Institute, formally separated from Stanford University in 1970 and became known as SRI International in 1977.

In December 1968 in a 90-minute session at the Fall Joint Computer Conference, Engelbart and his team presented their work in a live demonstration, including real-time video conferencing and interactive editing in an era when batch processing was still the paradigm for using computers. This was later called “the Mother of All Demos”.

Some early ideas by Douglas Engelbart were developed in 1959 funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Douglas C. Englebart (June 1986). “The Augmented Knowledge Workshop”. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on The history of personal workstations. Palo Alto, California: ACM. doi:10.1145/12178.12184. ISBN 0-89791-176-8. Retrieved April 20, 2011.



By Douglas C. Engelbart October 1962


J. C. R. Licklider, the first director of the US Defense Department's Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO), funded the project in early 1963. First experiments were done trying to connect a display at SRI to the massive one-of-a-kind AN/FSQ-32 computer at the System Development Corporation in Santa Monica, California.[2]

One day he was in a reading library on a small island when an article titled “As We May Think” caught his eye. The article, by Vannevar Bush, a physicist and inventor who oversaw the United States Office of Scientific Research and Development during the war, described a universal information retrieval system called Memex. The idea stuck with Dr. Engelbart, and he made it his life’s work.

The importance of Dr. Engelbart’s networking ideas was underscored in 1969, when his Augment NLS system became the application for which the forerunner of today’s Internet was created. The system was called the ARPAnet computer network, and SRI became the home of its operation center and one of its first two nodes, or connection points. (The other node was at the University of California, Los Angeles. Two others followed, at the University of Utah and the University of California, Santa Barbara.).



U.S. inventor Douglas Engelbart was one of the visionaries of the computer age. Besides inventing the computer mouse, his insight laid the groundwork for the interactive technology we now take for granted. Engelbart was 88.

One astute Silicon Valley observer remarked that saying Doug Engelbart invented the mouse is a little like saying that Henry Ford invented the steering wheel.