MOMENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY:
1968 a little known, yet historic event took place in San Francisco
at a computer conference. A middle-aged man took the conference
stage. He was decked out in a microphone and headphones set
and he seated himself in front of a new device that featured
a keyboard and many other strange things. Behind him was a big
screen on which much of the demonstration would play out. What
the audience then saw amazed them. On the split-screen screen
could be seen text, graphics, and videos. The man controlled
all the screen elements with a device called a mouse.
man was named Douglas Englebart. Another man with the same kind
of device in another location spoke to Mr. Englebart via an
audio-video connection and then took turns working with the
same texts, graphics, and videos using the same mouse which
Englebart had invented. This was a great moment in American
history and only a few people really knew it.
the components for the World Wide Web together with video-teleconferencing
had just been demonstrated to the audience before personal computers
even existed. The foundations of the Third Wave were already
set in place. But this new technological vision was so far ahead
of its time that neither business, nor government, nor the universities
were ready to provide more money for Mr.Englebart's projects.
It would take another twenty years before the rest of the country
would catch up with Mr.Englebart's vision of the future.