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Inventor of the Mouse Passes away at 88

Dr. Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse in 1964, passed away this week at the age of 88.

Englebart, who was born in Portland, Oregan in 1925 and received a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley upon his return from battle in World War II. He first exhibited the mouse in 1968 at a computer conference in San Francisco. He showed more than 1,000 of the leading computer scientists a method of controlling a keyboard with a mouse and a keyboard, according to the New York Times.

Not only did he introduce the mouse, attendees were awe-struck when he demonstrated what he called the oNLine System that allowed researchers to share information through what is now called a network. This was unheard of at the time when computers were in their infancy. The technology was refined and would later become the backbone of systems created by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL).

It wasn’t until the 1980s that the mouse became the standard way to control computers. Where the term “mouse” originated isn’t known for sure but one theory is that the term was a logical extension of the term then used for the cursor on the screen–known as a CAT.

 

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