If you’re on a desktop right now, you’re probably using a computer mouse. In which case, you should raise a glass to William English.
English, an engineer and researcher, died on July 26 at the age of 91 due to respiratory failure in San Rafael, California. And while his cohort Douglas Englebart is probably more famous for coming up with the idea for the computer mouse, English was the man who actually made it happen.
Engelbart was involved in the development of the ARPANET – the precursor to the modern internet—and showed off hypertext long before most people had interacted with a computer, let alone touched a networked computer. On December 9, 1968 Douglas Engelbart’s “Mother of All Demos” from Menlo Park, California showcased what was considered incredibly futuristic technology for the time, including his mouse.
Engelbart was rejected by Stanford for a teaching position because his research seemed too removed from practical applications. He then joined University of California, Berkeley.
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