I, Cringely hangs out with Doug Englebart and reminds us of who that might be, extending the Cringley streak (he’s been traveling afield a bit since moving East and it seems to have increased the scope of his work).
Computers had no user interfaces in the sense that we know them today. Heck, they had no USERS. Computers were not networked. They didn’t even print. And into this primitive world, Doug Engelbart drove to work the day after he’d proposed to his sweetie, wondering what to do with his life. And by the time he got to work, he had in his mind something not at all unlike our computing experience today. Amazing! It was so amazing, in fact, that Doug had to keep most of his ideas secret simply to avoid ridicule. He shared his vision with colleagues, and they counseled him to keep it quiet so being a kook wouldn’t hurt his career.