William English, one of the pioneers of the world of computing, passed away

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William “Bill” English, one of the pioneers of computing, has passed away – The New York Times reported today that English died last week at the age of 91.

Read more in Calcalist:

As a member of the Stanford Research Institute and alongside Douglas Englebart, English helped develop what was considered the first computer mouse. In 1968, the two introduced the so-called “Mother of All Demos”.

The aforementioned presentation outlined the ideas that would later become part of the familiar interface of PCs – including a graphical user interface, editing texts on the web, links and video calls.

William English Photo: Wikipedia

Of the two, Engelbart is considered the visionary and English partner and one of the only ones who really understood his ideas and managed to put them into practice. This is how he developed the mouse, based on a sketch by Engelbart.

At the famous 1968 event Engelbart demonstrated his ideas and at the same time English ran for both of them behind the scenes.

It is not difficult to identify the legacy of English and its partner in modern computing – from the mouse through touch screens to textual uses. Some of the ideas have not yet reached the development stage but some of them will surely find their way into the mainstream of computers in the future.

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