firsts (guis)

From: Peter Prymmer <>
Date: Thu Jan 15 00:15:01 1998

Regarding the first GUI:

It would seem that Douglas Englebart's work at the "Augmentation Research Center"
(ARC) of the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park was the first GUI
and was demonstrated at the Fall 1968 Joint Computer Conference in the
San Francisco Civic Auditorium by Englebart. The computer used was the one
at ARC (model unknown?) and was microwave linked to the display in the
Auditorium. Input devices included a keyboard, a 3 button mouse (invented 4
years earlier by Englebart), and a chord keyset - described as an input device
that resembled a five key segment cut from a piano keyboard.

Alan Kay was in attendance at that show and drew inspiration for his later work
at Xerox PARC on SmallTalk and the Xerox Alto (released in 1973, 2000 were made
and it is credited as "a contender for the title of world's first personal

The reference with all these claims is none other than the "Input/Ouput"
volume of the Time-Life "Understanding Computers" series (c) 1986
(L.O.C. QA76.1486 1986 004 85-28832; ISBN: 0-8094-5666-4 or
0-8094-5666-2 (library binding)). There is a picture of Englebart
conducting "a reprise" of his Joint Computer Conference show on page 65.

Peter Prymmer
Received on Thu Jan 15 1998 - 00:15:01 GMT

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