We lost a great one
I just got word that Doug Engelbart passed away last night (a personal friend of both of ours emailed me just a few minutes ago to tell me). No more details are known, will pass them along when I hear more. (UPDATE: he passed away peacefully, his daughter reported, and was 88: http://gigaom.com/2013/07/03/doug-engelbart-american-inventor-computing-legend-passes-away/
I heard his health had deteriorated recently, which was also confirmed by his daughter).
Doug was the guy who invented the mouse and a LOT of what we know of as the modern computer. He was in the room when the first Internet node was turned on at SRI (which is the same research lab that invented HDTV, the Internet, speech recognition, SIRI, and much more).
For me, personally, Doug wasn't just a national hero, but was a personal hero too. Here he is showing my son, +Patrick Scoble
the original mouse (a copy is in SRI's lobby). He was always a decade ahead of most of us, showing the world what basically was the Macintosh back in 1969 in what is now known as "the mother of all demos." You can watch that at Douglas Engelbart : The Mother of All Demos (1/9)
How many people have shown you something 15 years before you could buy it? In my life? I can count those people on one hand.
Doug has influenced millions of people and lots of us in Silicon Valley sought out his visionary mind to get a little taste of what is coming next.
I'll miss him, here's a shot I made of Doug, along with Macromind founder +Marc Canter
and my producer +Rocky Barbanica
. Meeting him was meeting the real deal. A true visionary that you rarely see today (partly because the systems he invented made it easier to convince other people to try out your ideas).
We lost a great one yesterday. Personally Doug did more for humans than Steve Jobs did. That's how significant this loss is for the tech industry and the world.