mother of all demos

Flyer to Doug Engelbart's Presentation 1968

December 9, today, 40 years ago in 1968 Doug Engelbart presented NLS to the public. NLS was a system named after the literal meaning of being on-line with the computer – the oN-Line System – where “on-line” was not used with the sense of today to have a system connected to the Internet. There was no Internet yet. The meaning of on-line in the 1960s was to use the machine interactively! For Engelbart's Augmentation Research Center at the Stanford Research Institute this was made possible by the use of one of the first time-sharing computers.

The presentation at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco at December 9, 1968 is often referred to as “the mother of all demos”. Doug Engelbart and his team presented the mouse, windows, interactive text editing, video conferencing and hypertext capabilities of NLS. A kind of magic and religious moment, as Alan Kay recalls.

Here are some excerpts from Vision and Reality of Hypertext and Graphical User Interfaces:

And finally I have some compelling interview clips for you, and of course the original recording from 1968:

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