No More Pencils, No More Books -- Write and Read Electronically
"In 1957, Douglas Engelbart set out to give humanity something better than paper and pencil for working out solutions to its problems. Not a specific problem, mind you, but all problems. This idea gnawed within him for seven years and led him to the Stanford Research Institute [where he] established what is now called the Augmentation Research Center."
Part of a special issue titled: Here Comes the Tuned-In, Wired-Up, Plugged-In, Hyperarticulate Speed-of-Light Society - An Electronics Special Report
(SRI-ARC Catalog Item XDOC 9705)
Whole Earth Catalog: Voices
Doug: ... You could think of your center as an information domain, "and you're flying through it. And if you do some kind of mapping to feel even more intimately that it's a concept space that you're tooling around in... Where's your center of gravity when you're out in space?... The rate at which micro-miniaturization is going, you could make a computer that would be more powerful than the biggest we have now, so small that you could find a way to get the energy from a person's metabolism to run it... You're internalizing the computer like that. What's the you then?” ...
Businessmen Fascinated at Computer Conference
“"Imagine yourself as the board chairman of a company seeking to acquire another, smaller company. Meeting with your board of directors, you gather before a motion-picture size viewing screen as an assistant seats himself at a control panel. Onto the screen flash the names of potential companies..." Such a meeting could be envisioned as Dr. Douglas Engelbart described Monday at Civic Auditorium, in an unusual demonstration before the fall joint computer conference of his project, called Research Center for Augmenting Human Intellect, whose goal is to improve the effectiveness with which individuals and organizations work at intellectual tasks -- primarily a system and a vehicle to help humans operate in complex information environments.”
Learn More About the Demo
The Computer as a Communication Device
Describing a recent computer-supported meeting in Doug Engelbart's lab as a case in point, the authors contend: “we are entering a technological age in which we will be able to interact with the richness of living information—not merely in the passive way that we have become accustomed to using books and libraries, but as active participants in an ongoing process, bringing something to it through our interaction with it, and not simply receiving something from it by our connection to it.”
See Engelbart's Firsts for details.
Pupils Get Insight On Computers
“"A human computer is in operation at Mt. Eden High School." This experiment is carried on to give all students the insight into the mysteries of digital computer techniques. The novel feature of this teaching method, developed by Douglas Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute, is that it makes use of human participants to simulate the function of logical elements typical in digital computers...”
See also recent blogpost "How Doug Engelbart taught students about how computers think" with story, photos, links to his teaching tutorial, and more