Wall St. Journal reports Douglas C. Engelbart, who stared at radar screens during World War II, helped transform computers into an interactive visual medium. That was just one of his big ideas.
Widely described as the father of the computer mouse, Engelbart played a key role in inventing or refining other building blocks for PCs and the Web, including bitmapped computer displays, word processing and the concept of navigating online by pointers known as links, says Wall St. Journal.
Engelbart, 1925-2013, demonstrated many of the ideas at a jaw-dropping event in 1968 in San Francisco still widely called the mother of all demos. His research center at Silicon Valley Stanford Research Institute was the second node on what evolved into the Internet.