Of mice and blogs…

Today I took Maryam and Patrick over to see Douglas Engelbart. He’s the guy who invented the mouse and a whole lot of other things we all take for granted every day.

Anyway, we were there to talk about blogging. After all, we’re a blogging family. Doug had invited us over to his house, along with Bill Daul’s NextNow group. About 15 people showed up. Anyway, I think we got some more bloggers to start. Doug showed his engineering thoroughness. Took meticulous notes. I can already tell he’ll be a great blogger — if he starts.

I got lots of questions about information overload. How do I keep up? How do I answer all my email? Answer: I don’t, but I try (166 are waiting, sorry for not getting to them).

Anyway, at the end of the very interesting discussion Doug disappeared for a few minutes. When he came back he was holding a little box. He sat it on the coffee table in front of him and gingerly¬†opened it. He called Patrick over and said “I have something to show you.”

Slowly he took out something that looked like a wood block. He said “this is the first mouse.” I couldn’t believe it. This thing belongs in the Smithsonian. If put up on an eBay auction I’d expect it to get $250,000 or more. It is one of the most important computer artifacts I’ve ever seen. And here it was sitting in front of us and Doug was encouraging us to play with it.

Unbelieveable.

What a start to 2006. Here’s another picture with a Channel 9 guy sitting on top to give some scale.

By the way, you can see Doug (and other famous geeks) on NerdTV. That’s really a cool program.

Comments

  1. That is a really neat story and great photos. It reminds me of the way I felt several years ago when I found myself in Gene Cernan’s house talking to him about being on the moon. It’s one of those pinch yourself moments.

    It would have been truly amazing to have been around when all of that stuff was being conceived of and invented. I hope Doug starts a blog.

  2. That is a really neat story and great photos. It reminds me of the way I felt several years ago when I found myself in Gene Cernan’s house talking to him about being on the moon. It’s one of those pinch yourself moments.

    It would have been truly amazing to have been around when all of that stuff was being conceived of and invented. I hope Doug starts a blog.

  3. Kent: I hope he starts one too. Out of all the people I’ve met he has some very challenging things for us all to consider. I can see how he was 25-40 years ahead of the rest of us (that mouse was done in 1963 — two years before I was born).

    It was a real treat. One of the highlights of my life, which is getting more surreal every day.

    Oh, and the NextNow group is very interesting too. This was one of the better audiences I’ve spoken to in terms of the conversations that started.

  4. Kent: I hope he starts one too. Out of all the people I’ve met he has some very challenging things for us all to consider. I can see how he was 25-40 years ahead of the rest of us (that mouse was done in 1963 — two years before I was born).

    It was a real treat. One of the highlights of my life, which is getting more surreal every day.

    Oh, and the NextNow group is very interesting too. This was one of the better audiences I’ve spoken to in terms of the conversations that started.

  5. That’s a great story to start the new year and a wonderful photograph. Its a bit like the older generation passing on the torch. Hope you all have a great 2006.

  6. That’s a great story to start the new year and a wonderful photograph. Its a bit like the older generation passing on the torch. Hope you all have a great 2006.

  7. Okay – you got one! I’ve just opened a blog at http://ymburgess.worldpress.com. (novice alert: I as yet have no clue how to make a link in this comment, and need to learn about trackback, RSS, etc. be gentle with me.)

    So thanks a bunch, Robert, for being with us this (last?) evening. You are an inspiration and I really appreciate the boost.

    Had dinner out with Doug afterwards and then a long talk in the kitchen. He’s so interested in collaborating that blogging seems a fit medium for that. We’ll see if we can get him in here.

    YMB

    P.S. When I asked your son what he thought of the evening’s conversation, he sort of shrugged. I wasn’t surprised: news for some is not news for others. The kids have got it happening all over. I remember being the young whippersnapper and never, ever thot I’d be in the elder generation – yikes! Where’d those 20 years go??

  8. Okay – you got one! I’ve just opened a blog at http://ymburgess.worldpress.com. (novice alert: I as yet have no clue how to make a link in this comment, and need to learn about trackback, RSS, etc. be gentle with me.)

    So thanks a bunch, Robert, for being with us this (last?) evening. You are an inspiration and I really appreciate the boost.

    Had dinner out with Doug afterwards and then a long talk in the kitchen. He’s so interested in collaborating that blogging seems a fit medium for that. We’ll see if we can get him in here.

    YMB

    P.S. When I asked your son what he thought of the evening’s conversation, he sort of shrugged. I wasn’t surprised: news for some is not news for others. The kids have got it happening all over. I remember being the young whippersnapper and never, ever thot I’d be in the elder generation – yikes! Where’d those 20 years go??

  9. To my fellow NextNowers–I wish I’d stayed at dinner! Thank you Robert for a great afternoon of conversation. I’ve always described NextNow gatherings as “intellectual porn”–so many interesting people to talk to. Each one I could talk with for days. Thanks so much for your insights about how Google is pouring gasoline onto the blogosphere with its reliance on links. Now on to convince traditional publishers they have to get on board…

  10. To my fellow NextNowers–I wish I’d stayed at dinner! Thank you Robert for a great afternoon of conversation. I’ve always described NextNow gatherings as “intellectual porn”–so many interesting people to talk to. Each one I could talk with for days. Thanks so much for your insights about how Google is pouring gasoline onto the blogosphere with its reliance on links. Now on to convince traditional publishers they have to get on board…

  11. Robert,
    Thanks for coming and bringing your family. It was a great evening. And thanks for sharing your valuable insights about blogging.

  12. Robert,
    Thanks for coming and bringing your family. It was a great evening. And thanks for sharing your valuable insights about blogging.

  13. Of Microsoft mice (and keyboards).

    Neither work very well with XP x64. Sure, they work, just not with full functionaity (like many peripherals with XP x64).

    I’d like to see Vista, too. Just so my dratted (not-so) Comfort Edition hardware would work as advertised.

    Any word on Intellipoint and Intellitype 5.x for x64 in January? Beta perhaps?

  14. Of Microsoft mice (and keyboards).

    Neither work very well with XP x64. Sure, they work, just not with full functionaity (like many peripherals with XP x64).

    I’d like to see Vista, too. Just so my dratted (not-so) Comfort Edition hardware would work as advertised.

    Any word on Intellipoint and Intellitype 5.x for x64 in January? Beta perhaps?