Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Computer mouse inventor dies after inspiring Xerox PARC, Apple and HP

Picture from Professional Computing March/April 1985, p. 14 showing the sewing machine size HP Integral PC top opening to show the built-in inkjet printer followed by the keyboard and flat panel display folding outward.

HP Integral PC as shown being used in Professional Computing July/August 1985, p. 21 PHOTO: The Hewlett-Packard Integral PC was developed between 1982 and 1984 in Corvallis, Oregon, including a mouse. The IPC was a sewing machine size "transportable computer" that included a built-in flat panel electroluminescent display, letter size fan-fold paper inkjet printer and it ran the HP-UX UNIX operating system with a graphical windows interface. See previous posts HP Integral PC 1985 video demo (4/14/09) and HP Integral PC 1984 (8/26/06)

My local newspaper printed the AP news story by Michael Liedtke, Associated Press, "Inventor of computer mouse dies at 88," Gazette-Times, July 4, 2013, p. A3, I wrote the following letter to the editor:

Oregon State University alum Doug Engelbart was correctly credited in a July 4 headline written by the Gazette-Times for an Associated Press story, "Inventor of computer mouse dies at 88."

I witnessed firsthand how Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' Macintosh computer mouse was inspired by research, based on Engelbart's ideas, done at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and the Corvallis Hewlett-Packard Co. personal computer research lab in 1981.

HP half-heartedly introduced a mouse about the same time Apple did in 1984 because an HP corporate vice-president, unlike Jobs, demanded a touch-screen interface for the sexist reason that only "female secretaries" used typewriter keyboards. Ironically, touch-screen computer interfaces today are rapidly replacing mice for non-sexist reasons!

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Engelbart was the real genius behind computer innovations," Gazette-times, July 8, 2013, p. A7)

See previous post Patent laws being abused by Apple iPhone claims (8/28/12) that elaborates on my letter: Thomas Kraemer, "Patent laws don't protect inventors of technology goods," Gazette-Times, Aug. 28, 2012, p. A7)

VIDEO: See the Video of Doug Engelbart's 1968 computer conference demonstration of the future of computing, including the graphical interface and mouse controller:

See the book by Stephen Segaller, "Nerds 2.0.1: A brief history of the Internet," Oregon TV Books, Oregon Public Broadcasting, 1998 for more on the invention of the computer mouse (Google Books search).