Thursday30 March 2023

R.I.P. Doug Engelbart – the man who invented the computer mouse

Reading time is around minutes.
first mouse

Doug Engelbart was working on improvement of the computer interface more than 40 years ago, and what he came up with is the invention by which we will remember him, the computer mouse.


Perhaps it is in some way symbolic that the creator of the mouse died at a time when Microsoft and Apple, companies that once depended on the mouse, are turning more and more away from it. We live in a world of obsessed with tablets and touch screens that try their best but does not manage to completely suppress the desktop rodent. Ten years ago there was a belief that mouse could retire only when interfaces for voice communication arrive, but after the initial development of this branch it has almost died out, at least for the "ordinary people".

Engelbart was born in 1925 in the US, Oregon. He worked in various aspects of computer science for decades, but what he will be remembered the most is U.S. patent number 3,541,541 - a computer mouse. Engelbart's patent was registered in 1967, and it was approved in 1970. If we look at the current situation with lawsuits over patents going on, it was quite fortunate that Engelbart worked for ARPA, noncommercial agency funded from the U.S. budget, and all that happened at the time when entire IT was painted with children's idealism, and the greed came later.

Besides Engelbert, computer mouse is also a work by Bill English, Engelbart's chief engineer, who is considered to be the first one to physically produce the first functional mouse. Douglas Engelbart has died in California at the age of 89.

Tell us your thoughts in our Forum

Last modified on Thursday, 04 July 2013 18:12

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.