"The Mother of All Demos"
1968: Douglas Engelbart explains the foundation of user interface to the world. How to make computers responsive and useful, mouse pointer, hypertext, etc.

In school I read about it often, but TIL I can just WATCH the thing!!!!!

It's really amazing to think about how much streaming video like YouTube has changed things.

10 years ago when I was in school this presentation was referenced in textbooks, talked about, but nobody had the video to show. I didn't even know it was recorded!

Now that's easy!

In 2007, I was researching Luigi Russolo's "noise" music of 1913. All I had were books describing the sound, and photos of a few scores.

I spent days synthesizing a recording of it based on the description, just to be able to hear SOMETHING to get an idea of what it was like.

Today, we can just call up original recordings of Russolo's performances on YouTube.

When I was trying to research this a decade ago, I couldn't even find out that such a recording even existed!

Or I think about how much of a struggle trying to solder electronics was for me for many years. Why? Mostly because I had to learn from books!

Pace's 1980 soldering instruction videos on YouTube changed that for me. What to do suddenly became so clear!

These videos have existed for decades, but it took high speed internet and video streaming for me to find them.

Being limited to what I had locally at libraries or on television, I just didn't have access to this stuff, or even get a chance to know it was out there to be found!

@rainwarrior Every year for the last four years I've had a small party with local nerds and watched the demo on its anniversary.

Even aside from the technical Innovations in the NLS, it's a pretty legendary demo from a presentation standpoint, too.

People take it for granted today, but the live presentation tech they used was absolutely amazing for the time.

@jeffalyanak Yeah, trying to imagine all the planning and coordination it took to do this live demo on a machine that wasn't even in the same town!

This totally blew my mind!
This was in 1968! A machine with 64k of core!

Engelbart was a genius!

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!