First Computer Mouse
First Computer Mouse

Doug Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse and developer of early incarnations of email, word processing programs and the internet, has died at the age of 88.

He died on Tuesday night, according to an email sent from his daughter, Christiana, to The Computer History Museum in California, where Engelbart had been a fellow since 2005.

Ms Engelbart did not state the cause of death but said her father had been in poor health recently and died peacefully in his sleep at home.

He first developed a computer mouse in the 1960s and patented his creation the 1970s, though the notion of operating a computer with an outside tool was ahead of its time and the mouse wasn’t commercially available until 1984, with Apple’s new Macintosh.

When Engelbart first created the computer mouse it was simply a wooden shell covering two metal wheels, and his invention was so early he hardly profited from it.

Engelbart’s mouse patent had a 17-year life span and so the technology entered the public domain in 1987, meaning that he couldn’t collect royalties on the mouse when it was most in use. At least one billion computer mice have been sold since the mid-1980s.

Source: The Telegraph