Thursday, 24 May 2012
You have probably heard of Douglas Engelbart. He is best known as the inventor of the computer mouse - but in fact, this man created just about all of the conceptual underpinnings of what we now think of as the standard human-computer interface. Engelbart presented his ideas to the public in one long demo session on December 9, 1968. This demo is known today, quite appropriately, as 'The Mother of All Demos.'
If you watch the Mother of All Demos you will notice the piano-like device sitting to the left of the conventional keyboard. It is known as a chorded keyboard, or chorder. In Engelbart's computing environment, it supplemented, rather than replaced, the traditional typewriter keyboard. Most of Engelbart's contemporaries saw the chorded keyboard as a somewhat naive engineering mistake.