On December 9, 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, presented a 90-minute live public demonstration of the online system, NLS, they had been working on since 1962. The public presentation was a session in the of the Fall Joint Computer Conference held at the Convention Center in San Francisco, and it was attended by about 1,000 computer professionals. This was the public debut of the computer mouse. But the mouse was only one of many innovations demonstrated that day, including hypertext, object addressing and dynamic file linking, as well as shared-screen collaboration involving two persons at different sites communicating over a network with audio and video interface.
It's interesting watching the demo. There's a keyboard in the center, a rather large unergonomic looking mouse to the right, and a 5-key chorded keyboard to the left. Other than the shape, the mouse is easily recognizable as a mouse (a three button mouse no less). The chorded keyboard is rather odd (and something that didn't make it in today's mass market). The features include composition, editing, linking (like links used on the web today, but possibly more sophisticated) and collaborative work being done on two computers at the same time.
It would be an impressive system today. Back in 1968 it was mind blowing.
But he wasn't the only one working on hypertext at the time—there was Ted Nelson and his work on Xanadu (which has yet to be finished today).
Keith, a friend of mine from FAU had some extra tickets to the FAU Owls game at Pro Player Stadium down in South Florida (about half way between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale). I knew Spring wanted to go so I passed the invite on to her. Keith managed to produce two extra tickets and Spring convinced me (“Please? Please? Pretty please?”) to come along as well.
Keith showed up around 3:00 pm in the family conversion van with his
brother T, coworker MM and MM's significant other CM. We piled into the van,
and took the
Florida Turnpike Ronald Regan Turnpike down to Pro
Player Stadium. Parking was easy as it wasn't a large crowd. Upon emerging
into the stadium proper, I saw that it was SPC vs. FAU.
“Wow!” I said. “I didn't know I was playing against the Owls.” SPC being my initials and all.
“Um, they're playing St. Peter's College,” said Keith. and we found our seats (7th row, just off the 50 yard line) fairly easy. Then Keith, CM and I headed off to find food.
Expensive food at that. The two cheese burgers and Cokes I got for Spring and I cost close to $20 (ouch) but since they have a captive audience I suppose they can get away with such hurtful prices. As the mighty hunters returned with food, the game started.
I will admit that I spent a fair amount of time viewing the cheerleading squads (FAU had three squads out on the field, St. Peter's none) and not really paying attention to the game. That's okay, since Spring was viewing the cheerleading squads as well. The FAU Owls' mascot handler was also cute (she was helping him navigate the stands to prevent him from tripping).
By halftime, the score was 19 to 0, and not in FAU's favor. To start the Half Time show, a few Hooters girls came out, slowly followed by the Hooters Owl waddling (and waddling he did—the costume crotch was only a foot or two off the ground) out. Two lucky contestants had to race up and walk around a baseball bat five times, then toss two hula-hula hoops over the Hooters' Owl; the owl had a preferred preference towards the girl contestant, but in the end, the guy won.
Then, to the music of Orff's Carmina Burana the Hip Hop Kidz took center field for the rest of the show. Spring picked out the littleist kid out there had a cast on her right arm, yet she seemed to still be enjoying herself.
Second half—more cheerleading watching. About the only real excitement of the whole game came when St. Peter's was 2nd down at the 1 yard line—FAU managed to keep them there and prevent a score by St. Peter. Unfortunately, the FAU drive from their own 1 yard line did not lead to a touch down, although the FAU defense kept St. Peter's from scoring at all during the second quarter.
But the FAU offense couldn't score to save their life. So the final score ended up being 19-0.