Thursday, July 04, 2013

 

Douglas Engelbart, Connecting the Dots 2, and Portable Computing Gets Quaint

SRI mousepad mouseI was saddened to hear that Douglas Engelbart passed away. Of course, there was the mouse, but it was the 1968 Mother of All Demos that shows how much we owe to him. As a Steve Jobs fan, I understand why Engelbart has been called "Steve Jobs' Steve Jobs." These were things produced not just for their own sake, but with a larger goal in mind of raising our "collective I.Q." We all wish he'd benefited more personally from his contributions, so much more than a slick business plan.

I picked up this mousepad during a short engagement at SRI. I'm thankful to have experienced a world that would enable and support a person like Engelbart. That I know people who referred to him as just "Doug" is pretty cool.

Connecting the Dots 
A couple of times here, I'd wondered about Valley technology to connect the dots to bolster national security. Of course, now with the NSA Prism program very much in the news, things have ramped up considerably. Working at Hortonworks and being immersed in Big Data, connecting the dots is very much a reality.

Portable
Of course today, my use of the term "portable computing" is just quaint. It has been "mobile" for some time, and with Google Glass, "wearable." My last Blackberry is a Torch, now in the same pile with all the other portable devices I've chronicled here, going down just as Palm did. I'm all in with Apple now, with an iPhone and iPad, and a random sprinkling of iPods.

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