“H.I.S.-tory”
by Vince Ciotti
© 2011 H.I.S. Professionals, LLC, all rights reserved
Episode # 99:
Sad Obit of a
“Mighty Mo...
We Interrupt Our HIS-tory…
• This week was to be Part 1 of the story of SiemensSiemens, the German
conglomerate that acqui...
Birth of the Mouse
• Doug started his e-career drafted as a U.S. Navy
electronic radar technician during World War II.
It ...
Strange Name/HIS Connection!
• When he returned from the 1964 conference, Doug gave a copy
of a sketch to William English,...
Tale of Two Steves
• Jobs & Wozniak had made a splash with
their pioneering Apple 1 – ironically, this
early model went on...
Not Quite…
• Apple paid Xerox ≈$40K for the rights to the mouse, about the
price for four Lisa PCs! Why Xerox let it go fo...
Of Mice and Men…
• The mouse put Apple’s OS on the proverbial map,
and the Mac was followed by the Mac Plus, then
the Mac ...
An Even Better HIS “Mouse!”
• Not sure what hospital poor Doug spent his last days in, but if it
happened to be El Camino ...
Modern Mice
• I’m sure Doug was thrilled to see how
Microsoft’s Windows in the 90s finally
converted to rodent-hood, as ev...
Modern Mice
• I’m sure Doug was thrilled to see how
Microsoft’s Windows in the 90s finally
converted to rodent-hood, as ev...
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99. engelbart mouse

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99. engelbart mouse

  1. 1. “H.I.S.-tory” by Vince Ciotti © 2011 H.I.S. Professionals, LLC, all rights reserved Episode # 99: Sad Obit of a “Mighty Mouse:” Doug Englebart
  2. 2. We Interrupt Our HIS-tory… • This week was to be Part 1 of the story of SiemensSiemens, the German conglomerate that acquired pioneering shared vendor SMS... • But in the news this morning (July 3rd, 2013) was the sad obituary of one of the fathers of computing, Douglas Engelbart, a little- known early electronics maven who dreamt big and delivered: • The computer mouse, so ubiquitous today, but a daring input concept back in 1967. • He also worked on the ARPANET – the telecom “pre- cursor” to today’s Internet. • So let’s take a break from today’s HIS vendors and pay tribute to this amazing man who literally “had a vision” and then worked his whole life to deliver the goods. To keep things relevant, we’ll end with how an input device featured in an early CPOE systems too, since physicians were as keyboard-averse then as they are now!
  3. 3. Birth of the Mouse • Doug started his e-career drafted as a U.S. Navy electronic radar technician during World War II. It might have been when he was sitting in front of a large radar screen when he got the epiphany that guided his later efforts: a user able to control the text and images that appeared on the “CAT” (early term for a CRT) screen and communicate with others. • He got his first “real” job working at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in the late 1950s, where he worked on some of the first graphic user interface (GUI) software and got the idea for the computer mouse. In 1967 he applied for a patent for the mouse, a thick wooden device with two wheels and three buttons. • He got the idea in 1964 while attending a computer graphics conference, where he was musing about how to move the cursor on a computer display. His patent was approved in 1970, and the rest, as they say, is HIS-tory…
  4. 4. Strange Name/HIS Connection! • When he returned from the 1964 conference, Doug gave a copy of a sketch to William English, an engineer at SRI, who, with the aid of a draftsman, fashioned a pine case to hold the contents. • And where did the term “mouse” come from? A hardware designer, Roger Bates, contends that the name came from the term then used for the cursor on a green-screen: CAT. It seemed the cursor was following their tailed device….• SRI grew eventually to over 50 researchers, but was disbanded when SRI was sold in 1977 to Tymshare, yes that shared HIS giant led by Bob Pagnotta after they acquired his MDS from NJ! • Sadly, Engelbart worked in relative obscurity until later being awarded the National Medal of Technology and the Turing Award. • And the mouse? It too sat in relative obscurity until an early
  5. 5. Tale of Two Steves • Jobs & Wozniak had made a splash with their pioneering Apple 1 – ironically, this early model went on sale last week for 6-figures! Back then, it retailed for a few hundred bucks, little more than the illegal “blue boxes” the Steves sold… • The Apple II rocked back in the late 70s when the micro revolution blossomed, and they Next (pun intended) started on a business computer to make some big bucks: thousands each, versus the few hundred $s people spent on personal computers. • This was the machine Jobs was working on when he spied Englebart’s mouse prototype at Xerox’ “PARC” (Palo Alto Research Center), and he immediately realized its potential to make this “Lisa” business PC an overnight hit!
  6. 6. Not Quite… • Apple paid Xerox ≈$40K for the rights to the mouse, about the price for four Lisa PCs! Why Xerox let it go for such a paltry sum is unknown, but if you figure how much of a disaster the Lisa was, maybe they were smart! At ≈$10K each, the Lisa was a dismal flop despite its stunning GUI interface and mind-blowing mouse… • Sales were so dismal Apple took them off the market and rumor has it buried them in a pit somewhere in CA… I actually owned a used Lisa for a few years in the 80s, but I only paid a few hundred bucks for it. Sorry, no pictures – I never realized how rare it was! • It was Apple’s next PC, the Macintosh, that featured the mouse that roared! Between the GUI OS and the point-and-click mouse, Mac sales took off, in part due to its more affordable able price tag of about $1- 2K each, depending on options,
  7. 7. Of Mice and Men… • The mouse put Apple’s OS on the proverbial map, and the Mac was followed by the Mac Plus, then the Mac SE (System Expanded), which was my first PC in 1987. • We started HIS Pros that year, and I used my Mac SE extensively for consulting reports and even brought it to a hospital client in Long Island: St. Francis Hospital, a major heart center. I wanted to show it off to their super-sharp MIS Director (no CIOs back then), Dave D’Auria, who was using one of the early IBM AS/400s to install IBAX (née Dynamic Control) HIS. So I schlepped the Mac there, set it up on Dave’s desk and invited him to try out the mouse, a far cry from the green-screen RPG he was used to… • Dave just could not get the hang of it! Like most DP professionals back then, the world was all Microsoft DOS, character-based, driven by the keyboard, and Macs sold only to US households.
  8. 8. An Even Better HIS “Mouse!” • Not sure what hospital poor Doug spent his last days in, but if it happened to be El Camino Hospital, up near the Silicon Valley in CA, even back in the 1970s Dr. Engelbart would have seen an amazing sight that equaled or maybe surpassed his mouse. • If you remember the previous episodes on Allscripts that traced the roots of Eclipsys back to Lockheed’s MIS, this picture should look familiar: the “light pen” that provided the ultimate point & click interface. Hundreds of MIS Directors who tried touching it got the message immediately, as did their thousands of physicians who used MIS’ CPOE for decades.
  9. 9. Modern Mice • I’m sure Doug was thrilled to see how Microsoft’s Windows in the 90s finally converted to rodent-hood, as every IBM and clone PC came with a mouse & GUI. • And he must have loved how Apple’s Steve Jobs took the point & click device to a whole new level in the 2000s with their “touch screen” devices starting with the iPod, expanded further with the iPhone, and then causing another revolution with the iPad tablet. • Ironically, page 18 of this month’s Consumer Report magazine claims that according to the Consumer Electronics Association in this year alone, the US is expected to purchase over 240 million smart phones and tablets: that’s one touchy-feely e-gadget for every man, woman and child over the age of 12! And every one will feature the same intuitive point & click that Doug Engelbart saw in his amazing vision back in 1964 – thanks Doug. And may you R.I.P.
  10. 10. Modern Mice • I’m sure Doug was thrilled to see how Microsoft’s Windows in the 90s finally converted to rodent-hood, as every IBM and clone PC came with a mouse & GUI. • And he must have loved how Apple’s Steve Jobs took the point & click device to a whole new level in the 2000s with their “touch screen” devices starting with the iPod, expanded further with the iPhone, and then causing another revolution with the iPad tablet. • Ironically, page 18 of this month’s Consumer Report magazine claims that according to the Consumer Electronics Association in this year alone, the US is expected to purchase over 240 million smart phones and tablets: that’s one touchy-feely e-gadget for every man, woman and child over the age of 12! And every one will feature the same intuitive point & click that Doug Engelbart saw in his amazing vision back in 1964 – thanks Doug. And may you R.I.P.

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