Last week a Great Man, Doug Engelbart, passed away. Without him much of the modern computing experience - including the World Wide Web as we know it - would not exist. Today's Web is a fraction of what his vision of it was over 40 years ago - a set of technologies that could augment intellect and accelerate human progress for the benefit of all.

It's very rare when someone presents technology and ideas that are so advanced that they literally stun people - they don't know how to react because they can't connect them to their daily lives; they have no context to even discuss them. It's certainly partially why it took so long for so many of the concepts that Doug presented in 1968 to make their way into the world.

Even at the 30th anniversary event at Stanford, his surviving engineering team came on stage, and when Provost Condoleezza Rice announced them they received somewhat tepid applause. Alan Kay stood up and berated the audience. "Do you realize what they did? These guys made the equivalent of the Saturn V rocket - they took us to the moon!"

Now the world has a better idea, but we know that so much of his work has yet to be done.

I remember seeing Doug make his way through SFO coming back from one of the international Web conferences. He walked like a man with a purpose.

May we all find such purpose within ourselves.
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