The Mother of All Demos


The Mother of All Demos

The Mother of All Demos is a name given to Douglas Engelbart's December 9 1968 demonstration at the Convention Center in San Francisco. At the Fall Joint Computer Conference (FJCC), Engelbart, with the help of his geographically distributed team, demonstrated the workings of the NLS (which stood for oNLine System) to the 1,000 computer professionals in attendance. The project was the result of work done at SRI International's Augmentation Research Center. The demo featured the first computer mouse the public had ever seen, as well as introducing interactive text, video conferencing, teleconferencing, email and hypertext.

The title of the FJCC 1968 session which was devoted to this demo is: "A research center for augmenting human intellect", Douglas Engelbart, Session Chairman. Bill English is listed as the co-author of the FJCC conference paper of the same name, and acknowledged as one of the principal engineers responsible for NLS and the demo. A copy of the original session flyer is posted [http://codinginparadise.org/weblog/2008/02/original-program-announcement-for.html here]

The first known usage of the phrase "Mother of All Demos" was in journalist Steven Levy's 1994 book, "Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything" ISBN 978-0140291773:

"... a calming voice from Mission Control as the truly final frontier whizzed before their eyes. It was the mother of all demos. Engelbart's support staff was as elaborate as one would find at a modern Grateful Dead concert. ..." - Insanely Great, page 42

Subsequently Andries van Dam repeated the phrase in a speech the 1998 [http://unrev.stanford.edu/ "Engelbart's Unfinished Revolution"] Conference (opening of Session 3), cited in John Markoff's 2005 book "" ISBN 978-0670033829.

External links

* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8734787622017763097&q=engelbart Google streaming video of 1968 Demo]
* [http://sloan.stanford.edu/MouseSite/1968Demo.html RealPlayer streaming video format]
* [http://sloan.stanford.edu/MouseSite/1968Demo.html The MouseSite at Stanford is a definitive, resource-rich site chronicling the demo and Doug's early work at SRI]
* [http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/06.01.05/dormouse-0522.html Engelbart's 1968 demo] an authorized excerpt from "What the Dormouse Said"
* [http://scpd.stanford.edu/scpd/students/Dam_ui/pages/ArchivedVideoList.asp?Include=engelbart_colloquium Video of Engelbart's Unfinished Revolution Conference, 1998] Stanford University Center for Professional Development (free registration required)
* [http://citeseer.comp.nus.edu.sg/context/50933/0 Published citations for Engelbart, D. & English, W. (1968). A research center for augmenting human intellect. AFIPS Fall Joint Computer Conference. p. 295-410]
* [http://codinginparadise.org/weblog/2008/02/original-program-announcement-for.html A copy of the original 1968 Engelbart 1968 FJCC session flyer]
*The [http://www.invisiblerevolution.net/ Invisible Revolution] is a documentary about Doug Engelbart.


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