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Douglas Engelbart, who invented that thing that millions of people have in their hand while watching porn: the computer mouse, died at the spry age of 88.

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Englebart, shown here looking for nude pictures of Lauren Hutton.

Known for being on the ground floor of modern computer technology, Engelbart was at the forefront of internet computing and computer interfacing way back in the 50’s.  It was a time when vacuum tubes were passé and racism and misogyny were the American way.

He attended the University of California at Berkley where he received a Masters and a Ph.D.   As a graduate student at Berkeley he assisted in the construction of the California Digital Computer project

His years working on the CALDIC project were “The absolute, greatest, most mind-blowing, life-altering and joyous years anyone could ever imagine,” according to his roommate at the time, Cal.

Not being satisfied with CALDIC, he founded the Augmentation Research Center, and became the driving force behind the design and development of the oN-Line System (NLS).   I guess calling it OLS was just too lame.

He and his team developed computer interface elements such as bitmapped screens, the mouse, hypertext, collaborative tools, and precursors to the graphical user interface.  And because of this work, today whack-jobs and weirdoes can openly express their opinions on Gun Control and Battlestar Galactica in a truly open forum and be ignored by the masses.  Oh, and there’s the porn.  The mind-boggling amount of porn. 

(Someone once made the argument that the sheer mass of internet porn should be one of the seven wonders of the modern world… and I think he might be right.)

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Englebart holding the original mouse, which is really just a block of wood, an old lock and… are those pizza cutters?

Engelbart slipped into relative obscurity after 1976. Several of his researchers became alienated from him and left his organization in part due to differing views of the future of computing.  “We had some real donnybrooks back then,” one of his former associates recounts, “Once, Dougy-E (as he was known to his friends) in a moment of passion, actually threw his pocket protector at my Starship Enterprise model!  Luckily he, like the rest of us, completely lacked any semblance of athletic ability.  So it landed, safely, three feet shy of the desk.  I’m selling it now on Starship Enterprise!”

Doug was big on the collaborative, networked computers.  But his crew was all about the PC.  They thought that centralized power was highly suspect.  Power to the people!  But eventually, they became the centralized power.  And now we have “the cloud.”

This hit goes to: Babysitter!  That’s right, our one-month drought ends with a new tie for the lead!  Babysitter and Dawn-n-Mike (but mostly Mike) are both at 140 points!  But look out, I’m sure to have eight hits before the year’s end!

As a side note: The irony about this update is that I had to wait to do it because the mouse broke.

Happy pooling,

SPMI

Current Standings:

Babysitter – 140 (Clive Dunn – 10, Ravi Shankar – 10, Margaret Thatcher – 20, Chi Cheng – 60, Pat Summerall – 20, Douglas Englebart – 20)

Dawn-n-Mike – 140 (Oscar Niemeyer – 0, Norman Joseph Woodland – 10,Patti Page – 20, Reg Presley – 30, Hugo Chavez – 50, Frank Thornton – 10 – George Jones – 20)

The New Dick in Town – 120 – (Jack Klugman – 10, Mindy McCready – 70, Jonathan Winters – 20, Jeanne Cooper – 20)

Team Sushi – 80 – (Conrad Bain – 20, Roger Ebert – 30, Deacon Jones – 30)

Joanne – 80 – (Freddy Schmidt – 10, Robert Bork – 20, C. Everett Koop – 10, Moon Mullen – 10, Virgil Trucks – 10, Dr. Joyce Brothers – 20)

Gianna – 80 – (Lucille Bliss – 10, Bonnie Franklin – 40, E. L. Konigsburg – 20, Deanna Durbin – 10)

Tailgating with Jesus – 70 – (Marvin Miller – 10, Earl Weaver – 20, Jerry Buss – 20, Gus Triandos – 20)

Sean P. McFeeley I – 50 – (Patty Andrews – 10, Dick Trickle – 30, Jean Stapleton – 10)

Council of Geeks – 50 (Richard Griffiths – 40, Ray Harryhausen – 10)

Jami – 50 – (Larry Hagman – 20, Annette Funicello – 30)

The Girl on Fire – 50 – (Dear Abby – 10, Ed Koch – 20, Milo O’Shea – 20)

“Imaginary” Steve – 40 (Al Neuharth – 20, Ken Venturi – 20)

Nikki the Bad-Ass – 10 – (Stan Musial – 10)

“Sister” Mary Sheila – 10 (Lee MacPhail – 10)

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