Honouring Technology pioneer Douglas Engelbart, RIP

On July 2nd, one of the greatest technology visionaries of the modern era, Douglas Engelbart, passed away at the age of 88. 

The Computer  and Communications Museum of Ireland, based at the Digital Enterprise Reseracgh Instiute (DERI) in NUI Galway is very privileged to have in its possession a rare specimen of one of his inventions which we will proudly display at a public Open Day in his honour that will take place this Saturday (July 13th) from 10am until 3pm.

The 'five finger chorded keyset' was publicly used for the first time by Douglas in his legendary ‘Mother of all Demos’ presentation that took place in the San Francisco Convention Centre on December 9th 1968.
This event, attended by c.1,000 computer experts, was a seminal moment in modern history as it introduced many of the key technologies of the Digital Age such as the computer mouse, video conferencing, word processing and hypertext.

The keyset was used in combination with one of his other new inventions, a three-button mouse, to allow fast data entry and computer interactions.

At the time of the ‘Mother of all Demos’ in 1968, Doug Engelbart was working at the famous Stanford Research Institute located in Menlo Park California.

Douglas met Dr. John Breslin of DERI and NUI Galway in the United States earlier this year and mentioned that he was delighted that the Computer & Communications Museum of Ireland held an example of his work in it's permanent collection. 

The artifact is on loan to the museum from Karl Flannery of the Galway-based Storm Technology who received it from Engelbart in the mid-1980s whilst working in the USA on behalf of Digital Equiipment Corporation (DEC).

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