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Ted Nelson’s Moving Homage to Douglas Engelbart Takes Aim at Today’s Tech World

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Ted Nelson, the man who coined the word “hypertext,” has delivered a moving eulogy for his friend and contemporary, computing pioneer Douglas Engelbart. Engelbart, who died in 2013 at age 88, first showed off such innovations as the interactive keyboard and mouse, text editing, Nelson’s hypertext, video conferencing, windowing, and much more, all in a 1968 presentation later dubbed “The Mother of All Demos.” But Nelson’s short talk at the Computer History Museum also condemns the computing establishment for relegating Engelbart to the sidelines after his breakthroughs.favicon follow link

 

Comments about Ted Nelson’s Moving Homage to Douglas Engelbart Takes Aim at Today’s Tech World

Nicholas Gabriel Levin  2013-12-18 13:19
Over the course of learning more about Nelson's issues with the current establishment, I've found his video series "Computers for Cynics" to be very enlightening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdnGPQaICjk - The first of eight parts

But for Nelson's work... Computer Lib/Dream Machines is still by far and away one of my favorite works on life, humanity, and clearing up all the mythology behind computers, how they're really machines that can do anything. He even outlines his plan for HyperText/Xanadu towards the end, essentially the idea that inspired "the web", but aspired to be so much more. It's really an amazing read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Lib - Wikipedia article

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf-EtOtok2U#t=5m16s - Martin McClure's overview

In one of life's great ironies, CL/DM was most recently reprinted by Microsoft Press in 1987. I don't believe there are any official channels to get it, right now.
Nicholas Gabriel Levin  2013-12-18 12:44
Well, it seems the 's'es I kept on seeing to the right of the links have mercifully gone away after refreshing the browser.

Please do ignore that little comment towards the end.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-12-18 13:20
I edited a little too - you don't have to (nor should you) use any special delimiter characters with URLs - no quotes or angle brackets. Just straight URLs, preferably on lines by themselves.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-12-18 13:21
To the extent that I can give credit to any one one thing, Computer Lib/Dream Machines is the book that set me on my path for majoring in hypertextual fiction at Cornell and founding TidBITS not long after graduating. We still haven't met the goals of his ideas in that book.
Betty Fellows  2013-12-18 13:25
It is pity that the link goes to the NY Times subscribe page and you can't get to the article unless you subscribe.

The actual link for the youtube version of the Eulogy is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMjPqr1s-cg

It was very moving.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-12-18 13:33
Drat - I wonder what The Times is doing, since I didn't get that subscription page on one Mac, but I am getting it on another. Thanks for the YouTube link!