History Of Doug Engelbart in Context

2003         1/2 billion mice shipped by Logitec.      
2002         PARC: On January 4, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center becomes Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated, an independent company.      
2000           72.4 million computers on the Internet.    


Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law

Apple: Apple announces the resignation of Gil Amelio. Steve Jobs takes on expanded role and later becomes interim CEO.

Apple: Apple cancels of the Newton spin-off. Newton discontinued several months later.

Apple: Jobs also announced two new Apple machines: the PowerMac G3, and the PowerBook G3.

Apple: he Apple Store launched and is a runaway success, and within a week was the third-largest eCommerce site on the web.

iMac launched.


Apple: Spindler was asked to resign as CEO and was replaced by Gil Amelio, the former president of National Semiconductor.

Apple: Apple announces that it would be acquiring NeXT, and that Steve Jobs would be returning to the fold.

Apple: Newton department was spun off into a wholly-owned subsidy, Newton, Inc.

ARPA becomes DARPA.


Microsoft: Windows 95 released. It beats old records, selling over 1 million copies in the first 4 days.

Microsoft: Microsoft Bob for Windows 95 announced.

Microsoft: Microsoft reports that the employee headcount totals 17,801 people.

Microsoft: Microsoft reports revenues of $2.02 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 1996 which ended September 30, 1995. The net income for this time was $499 million dollars.

Microsoft: The Microsoft Network, MSN counts more than 525,000 members in its first three months of service. On a related topic, Microsoft also announced the release of the final version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0 for Windows 95.

Microsoft: Microsoft and NBC combine to enter a 50:50 partnership to create two new businesses. One of them is a 24 hour news and informatoin cable television chanel. The other is an interactive on-line news service distributed on MSN.

1994         Apple: Apple announces the PowerMac family, the first Macs to be based on the PowerPC chip      

Apple: Apple introcuces the first mass-market PDA (and launches the name PDA- Personal Digital Assistant).

Apple: Sculley leaves Apple, replaced by Michael Spindler.

Microsoft: Word celebrates its 10th aniversary. Figures show that there are more than 10 million Word users worldwide.

Microsoft: Microsoft ships Encarta. The first multimedia encyclopedia designed for a computer.

Microsoft: Microsoft introduced MS-DOS 6.0 Upgrade.

Microsoft: People licensed to the Windows opperating system now totals more than 25 million users.

Microsoft: Microsoft releases the improved Mouse 2.0.

Microsoft: Fortune magazine names Microsoft, "The Most Innvoative Company."

DARPA becomes ARPA.


Microsoft: Microsoft kicks off its first ever television advertising campaign. The TV ads are designed to demonstrate the benefits of Windows based computing to a broader audience.

Microsoft: Microsoft ships Windows 3.1 worldwide with over 1,00 enhancements. The new version created unparalleled amounts of demand with over one million advance orders placed worldwide. To prepare for the onslaught of questions regarding the new program, Microsoft hired more than 500 product support personnel to man phone lines.

Microsoft: Microsoft approved a 3-for-2 stock split. Shareholders will receive one additional share for every two shares held on the date of June 3, 1992.

Microsoft: President of the United States, George Bush, awarded Bill Gates the National Medal of Technolog for Technological Achievement. The President recognized Gates "for his early vision of universal computing at home and in the office; for his technical and business management skills in creating a worldwide technology company; and for his contribution to the development of the personal computing industry."

Microsoft: Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.1 is available worldwide. It allows the user to do common activities of sending e-mail, scheduling group meetings, sharing files and printers, managing calendars, and working together on group projects. It can provide networks of its own or exist on a LAN.

Microsoft: Microsoft ships Access Database for Windows.

1.3 million computers on the Internet.    

Apple: Apple released its first generation of PowerBooks (laptops), which were an instant success.

Microsoft: Microsoft announces new Excel 3.0 for Windows 3.0. It also announces Excel for Mac., expected to ship in a few months.

Microsoft: Microsoft purchases a 26 percent share of Dorling Kindersley, Ltd., a London-based publisher and international packager company.


Microsoft: Microsoft announces the worldwide availability of Windows 3.0, which offers a great variety of applications to make computing easier while appealing to the aesthetic.

Microsoft: To start its 15th anniversary celebration, Microsoft exceeds $1 billion dollars in sales, earning $1.18 billion for the year, becoming the first software company to exceed $1 billion in sales in a single fiscal year.

Microsoft: Microsoft launches its largest, most expensive campaign in the company's history to date. It is for the Windows Computing Marketing Program.

ARPANET name is drop ceases to exist.
The first GUI Web browser is developed by Tim Berners-Lee.


Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law

Tymshare was acquired by McDonnell Douglas Corporation, where Engelbart began working closely with the aerospace components on issues of integrated information system architectures and associated evolutionary strategies. It was a welcome extension of his work at SRI.

After he and his team were unceremoniously disposed of by McDonnell Douglas, Engelbart and his daughter Christina founded the Bootstrap Institute as a California Corporation. Actually, it has functioned more like a non-profit organization in a quest to form strategic alliances aimed at dramatically improving organizations and society at large. They felt the time was ripe to pursue in earnest his comprehensive strategy for "bootstrapping organizations into the 21st century."

His house went up in flames while he and his family found themselves in their night attire standing among a crowd of onlookers.

Tim Berners-Lee released the initial HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) protocols which will become the World Wide Web.
1988         Microsoft: Microsoft and IBM expand on their partnership. They agree to do a joint project to develop a full range of systems software offerings for the 1990's.      

Apple: Apple introduces the Mac II. Built with expandablity in mind, the Mac II made the Macintosh line a viable, powerful family of computers. Apple was a "Wall Street darling" again shipping 50,000 Macs a month. It seemed in 1989 that Windows would be a flop, and the Mac would be riding high for the next decade.

Microsoft: Microsoft ships Operating System/2 (MS OS/2) a new PC operating system.

Microsoft: Microsoft announces Windows 2.0 which is compatible with the existing Windows program. It was designed to work with the OS/2. It offers a new visual appearance, and a system of overlapping window, rather than tiled windows.

Microsoft: Microsoft purchases Forethought, Inc., an applications software company. which develops and markets PowerPoint, a top-selling presentation application.

Microsoft: Microsoft ships its first CD-ROM application.

Microsoft: Microsoft comes out with Excel for Windows. This is the first Windows-only program.


Microsoft: Microsoft moves its "campus" headquarters to Redmond, Washington.

Microsoft: Microsoft stock goes public. It goes on the market at $21.00 per share, and by the end of the first trading day, it has ballooned to $28.00 per share. The initial offering raised approximately $61 million. At the end of the year, Microsoft employs 1,442 annualy. 1,162 are domestic workers, the other 280 are employed internationally.


Apple: Sculley becomes the de facto head of Apple in May. Over the next few months, Apple is forced to lay off a fifth of its work force, some 1,200 employees. The company also posts its first quarterly loss.

Microsoft: Microsoft celebrates its 10th anniversary, earns $140 million dollars for that fiscal year. The company has 900 employees.

Microsoft: Microsoft announces the retail shipment of Microsoft Windows.


Tymshare was acquired by McDonnell Douglas Corporation, where Engelbart began working closely with the aerospace components on issues of integrated information system architectures and associated evolutionary strategies. It was a welcome extension of his work at SRI.McDonald Douglas. ??

need McDonald Douglas people


Apple: On January 22nd, 1984, during the third quarter of the Super Bowl, Apple airs its infamous commercial introducing the Macintosh. Directed by Ridley Scott, the Orwellian scene depicted the IBM world being shattered by a new machine. Initially, the Mac sells very well, but by Christmas of 1984, people are becoming fed up with its small amount of RAM, and lack of hard drive connectivity.

Apple & MS: Sculley fights with Bill Gates over the introduction of Windows 1.0, which has many similarities to the Mac interface. Gates agreed to sign a statement to the effect that Microsoft would not use Mac technology in Windows 1.0--it said nothing of future versions of Windows, and Gates' lawyers made sure it was airtight. Apple had effectively lost exclusive rights to its interface design. This would prove to be an important document in future lawsuits between Apple and Microsoft, involving the Windows interface.

Apple: Apple introduces the LaserWriter, the first affordable laser printer for the Mac, and PageMaker, one of the first Desktop Publishing programs ever. These two in tandem makes the Mac an ideal solution for inexpensive publishing, and the Mac becomes an overnight success, again.

Microsoft ships BASIC and Multiplan simultaneously with the intro of the Mac.

Microsoft announces they will soon be shipping Word, Chart, and File for Macintosh.

Apple: Bruce Horn leaves Apple.

Apple: Alan Kay becomes Apple Fellow.

Tim Berners-Lee takes up a fellowship at CERN.


Microsoft: Paul Allen resigns as Microsoft's Executive Vice President, but remains on the Board of Directors.

Microsoft: Microsoft introduces the Microsoft Mouse. This particular mouse had two buttons.

Microsoft: Microsoft introduces its multi-feature word processing program, Microsoft Word for MS-DOS1.0. "PC World" subscribers received a free demo of Word in the magazine's Software Review. This was the first time that a magazine had featured a floppy-disk bind-in.

Microsoft: Microsoft unveils Microsoft Windows, a variation of the MS-DOS operating system that lets users have multiple unrelated programs open at once by employing a window system. A user could also transfer data rom one application program to another.


IBM introduces it PC, which uses Microsoft's 16-bit operating system, MS-DOS 1.0, and other Microsoft languages such as COBOL, BASIC, and PASCAL.

Apple: A saturated market made it more difficult to sell computers, and in February Apple was forced to lay off 40 employees. Wozniak was injured in a plane crash. He took a leave of absence and returned only briefly. Jobs became chairman of Apple computer in March.

Microsoft becomes a privately held corporation with Bill Gates as President and Chairman of the Board, and Paul Allen as Executive Vice President. The company is now Microsoft Inc., an incorporated business in the State of Washington.

Apple: Bruce Horn leaves PARC. Joins Apple.


Apple: Apple III released.

Apple: Apple now has several thousand employees, and is beginning to sell computers abroad.

Tim Berners-Lee writes a program: "Enquire Within Upon Everything".    


Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law

PARC & APPLE:Steve Jobs, looking for new ideas to work into future iterations of the Apple computer, traded US $1 million in stock options to Xerox for a detailed tour of their facilities and current projects. One of the things Xerox showed Jobs was the Alto, which sported a GUI and a three-button mouse. When Jobs saw this prototype, he had an epiphany and set out to bring the GUI to the public.

Apple: Development of Lisa begins., with Jobs as project manger. Jobs was taken off the Lisa by Mike Markkula, then president of Apple. Jobs, who owned only 11% of Apple, decided to take over someone else's project, and began working with the Macintosh--which had started as a $500 personal computer. Jobs made sure it was much more.

Microsoft: Microsoft moves its headquarters to Bellevue, Washington from New Mexico.


Engelbart continued to direct the Augmentation Research Center until early 1978 when the lab was closed down for lack of funding. NLS then became the principal line of business in Tymshare's newly formed Office Automation Division, but under a new name, Augment. The name change brought with it a switch from R&D to commercialization.

need Tymshare people


Apple: Introduction in early '78 of the Apple Disk II, the most inexpensive, easy to use floppy drive ever, at the time.

Microsoft: Microsoft establishes its first over-seas sales office in Tokyo, Japan.

Microsoft's year end sales exceeds $1 million dollars.

1977     SRI sold their commercial rights to NLS, along with its service business of supporting customer organizations over the ARPANet, to Tymshare Inc. of Cupertino, CA.  

Apple: Apple II debuted at a local computer trade show.

Microsoft: An official partnership agreement between Bill Gates and Paul Allen is signed.

The earliest demonstration of the triple network Internet.    

Apple: Steve Wozniak designs what would become the Apple I.

Apple: April 1, Apple Computer born.

Microsoft: Paul Allen leaves MITS to devote his time completely to Microsoft. Also the tradename "Microsoft" is registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico.


Microsoft: The Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) develop Altair 8800, the first personal computer. It is on the cover of "Popular Electronics" along with a lenghty article. The article catches Paul Allen and Bill Gates' eyes, and they develop a BASIC Interpreter for Altair.

Microsoft: Gates and Allen complete BASIC and license it to their first customer. MITS, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. BASIC is the first language written for a PC.

Microsoft: Paul Allen gets a job at MITS as Director of Software.

Microsoft: Bill Gates' and Paul Allen's BASIC officially ships as version 2.0 in both 4k and 8k editions. Allen and Gates get a licensing agreement for BASIC.

Microsoft: Bill Gates, writing to Paul Allen, uses the name "Micro-soft" to refer to the partnership they share. This is the first known reference to the name.

Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn publish TCP protocol.

PARC: Alto personal computer becomes operational. As it evolves, the Alto will feature the world's first What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editor, a commercial mouse for input, a graphical user interface (GUI), and bit-mapped display, and will offer menus and icons, link to a local area network and store files simultaneously.

PARC:The first laser printer, called EARS (for Ethernet-Alto research character generator scanning laser output terminal) at PARC.

PARC:Ethernet launched. This new protocol for multiple computers communicating over a single cable will spawn a series of sophisticated networking protocols enabling distributed computing. It will become a global standard for interconnecting computers on local-area networks.

PARC:Client/server architecture is invented. This development makes the paradigm shift of moving the computer industry away from the hierarchical world of centralized mainframes - that download to dumb terminals - towards more distributed access to information resources.

PARC:Bruce Horn joins PARC Learning Research Group.


PARC:Kay joins PARC and begin using Smalltalk in an educational context.

On March 23, 1972, by DoD Directive, the name was changed to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA was established as a separate defense agency under the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

1970         PARC:Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) opens its doors July 1st.      


Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law
1969           BBN delivered an IMP to UCLA hooked by 50 Kbps circuits to SRI and UCSB.    
1968     During the 1968 Fall Joint Computer Conference (a semi-annual joint meeting of the then major computing societies) held in San Fransisco, the ARC lab harnessed some leased video links to the conference site and borrowed an unusual, new device that could project dynamic video brightly onto a 20-foot screen needed to provide readable NLS screens in a space holding 1000-plus attendees. At a special session, Engelbart, operating NLS from the stage through a home-made modem, used NLS to outline and then concretely illustrate his ideas to the audience while members of his staff (with their faces shown on the screen) linked in from his lab at SRI. A standing ovation concluded this "mother of all demos," the first public demonstration of the computer mouse, of hypermedia, and of on-screen video teleconferencing.     Alan Kay: "In 1968 I saw two or three things that sort of changed my whole notion of computing. The way we had been thinking about it was sort of Doug Englebart's view that the mainframe was like a railroad, owned by an institution that decided what you could do and when you could do it. Englebart was trying to be like Henry Ford. A personal computer as it was thought of in the sixties was like an automobile. In 1968 I saw Seymour Papert's first work with kids and LOGO, and I saw the first really great handwriting character recognition system at Rand. It's a fabulous system. And that had a huge influence on me because it had an intimate feel. When I combined that with the idea that kids had to use it, the concept of a computer because something much more like a supermedium. Something more like a superpaper."

At the end of 1967 ARPA initiated a small contract with the Stanford Research Institute for the development of specifications for the necessary communications system. Elmer Shapiro was to be the key person on this study. Published in the final version in December of 1968 was a 71-page SRI report entitled "A Study of Computer Network Design Parameters", an early version in early 1968 served as the first draft of the IMP specification.

ARPA's Program Plan for the ARPANET was titled "Resource Sharing Computer Networks". It was submitted June 3, 1968, and approved by the Director June 21, 1968.

The Completion Report explains that the Program Plan was, "an interesting document. The stated objectives of the program were to develop experience in interconnection computers and to improve and increase computer research productivity through resource sharing. Technical needs in scientific and military environments were cited as justification for the program objectives. Relevant prior work was described. It was noted that the computer research centers supported or partially supported by IPT provided a unique testbed for computer networking experiments, as well as providing immediate benefits to the centers and valuable research results to the military. The network planning that had gone on was described, the need for a network information center was noted, and the network design was sketched. A five year schedule for network procurement, construction, operation, and transfer out of ARPA was presented. (It was noteworthy that IPT had initially had in mind eventual transfer of the operational network to a common carrier.) Finally a several-million-dollar, several-year budget was stated." (ARPA draft, III-35)


While Alan Kay studied at the University of Utah he learned to use the innovative SketchPad program developed by Ivan Sutherland and began programming in Simula. Borrowing ideas from these and other programs, as well as from his background in Biology, he formulated his "biological analogy." Kay postulated that the ideal computer would function like a living organism; each "cell" would behave in accord with others to accomplish an end goal but would also be able to function autonomously. "Cells" could also regroup themselves in order to attack another problem or handle another function.

Andy van Dam and others build the Hypertext Editing System and FRESS.

In the spring of 1967 at the University of Michigan, ARPA held its yearly meeting of the "principle investigators" from each of its university and other contractors. Networking was one of the topics brought up at this meeting.    
1966         Alan Kay enrolled at the University of Utah in Electrical Engineering.      

Ted Nelson coins the word Hypertext in the 1965 publication of Literary Machines.

Paul Baran writes a paper on "Distributed Communications on Networks".

ARPA funds a fact finding paper on "Network of time sharing computers".


The Air Force, that he began providing the funds for his own research laboratory, which he later dubbed the Augmentation Research Center.

Doug was at the Reno November 1963 Graphics Conference and thought: "Oh, how would you control a cursor in different ways?" I remember how my head went back to a device called a planimeter that engineering uses."

Doug's notebook reads: "How about earlier idea of counting impulses from x+y displacement points? "..." Separate possibility of a 'bug' instead of a stylus. Bug being someting that does not fall if you take your hands off- just stay where you left it." This is significat as it contrasts with Licklider noted that the light pen should 'return to its resting place whenever the operator releases it".

RFC 1336, David Clark is quoted: "It is not proper to think of networks as connecting computers. Rather, they connect people using computers to mediate. The great success of the internet is not technical, but in human impact. Electronic mail may not be a wonderful advance in Computer Science, but it is a whole new way for people to communicate. The continued growth of the Internet is a technical challenge to all of us, but we must never loose sight of where we came from, the great change we have worked on the larger computer community, and the great potential we have for future change."

A common question asked of the IPTO directors by the ARPA directors about IPTO projects was "Why don't we rely on the computer industry to do that?" (ARPA draft, III-23) This question leads to an important point - this ARPA research was different from what the computer industry had in mind to do - or was likely to undertake. Since Licklider's creation of the IPTO, the work supported by ARPA/IPTO continued his explicit emphasis on communications.

"The ARPA theme is that the promise offered by the computer as a communication medium between people, dwarfs into relative insignificance the historical beginnings of the computer as an arithmetic engine."... "The computer industry, in the main, still thinks of the computer as an arithmetic engine. Their heritage is reflected even in current designs of their communication systems.' They have an economic and psychological commitment to the arithmetic engine model, and it can die only slowly..." (ARPA draft, III-24)

1962     Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, published. J.C.R. Licklider writes a series of memos in August discussing his "Galactic Network" concept.

Licklider becomes the first director of IPTO, the Information Processing Techniques Office at ARPA.

Licklider leaves Bolt, Beranek and Newman, (BBN) in Cambridge, MA.

Leonard Kleinrock, publishes his theories on small packet-switching.
1960       J.C.R. Licklider publishes his paper "Man-Computer Symbiosis".        


Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law
1959     Enough standing to get approval for pursuing his own research. He spent the next two years formulating a conceptual framework.          
1958         DoD directive 5105.15 establishes the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) signed on February 7, 1958. The directive gave ARPA the responsibility "for the direction or performance of such advanced projects in the field of research and development as the Secretary of Defense shall, from time to time, designate by individual project or by category."      
1957     Research position at Stanford Research Institute, now SRI International.       Soviet Union launches Sputnik.  
1955     Obtained his Ph.D. in 1955, along with a half dozen patents in "bi-stable gaseous plasma digital devices," and then stayed on at Berkeley as an acting assistant professor.          
1952     Got his masters, which was actually called an Engineers Degree          
1951     Epiphany.          

December; questioning career. Crusade hunting starts.




Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law
1949       Giant Brains published.      

Studied electrical engineering at Oregon State University.

Settled contentedly on the San Francisco peninsula as an electrical engineer at NACA Ames Laboratory (forerunner of NASA).

1945     Vannevar Bush As We May Think"Atlantic Monthly.      
1942     Graduated from high school and went on to study electrical engineering at Oregon State University          


Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law


Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law
1925     Jan 30, Doug Born in Portland Oregon.          


Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law


Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law


Doug Career

Major Publications

Interactive Computing



Moores Law


Selected Sources.

For Apple history http://www.apple-history.com
For Xerox Parc history http://www.parc.xerox.com
ForARPA history: http://www.dei.isep.ipp.pt/docs/arpa--1.html