In 2008 we take a lot of how we interact with computers for granted. We point-and-click with a mouse, have hyperlinks, online collaboration, object-oriented programming, videoconferencing. This stuff is everywhere and we do it daily without a second thought.
40 years ago, human-computer interaction was a different animal. We used huge mainframes with much less computing power than the cell phone or MP3 player in my pocket. We interacted using batches of punch cards and waited hours for output and forget about voice recognition. That only existed in an imaginary sci-fi world.
But in 1968 that all changed with a a presentation by genius visionary Doug Englebart. In a demonstration that became known as The Mother of All Demos, Englebart showed us the mouse, voice recognition, online collaboration and object-oriented programming; all concepts that would take another 15 to 20 years to become commonplace and revolutionized how we interact with and use computers.
On the fourtieth anniversary of The Mother of All Demos, YouTube is hosting the entire demo. Check it out and remember this is 1968. This is fascinating stuff!