William English

William English, the co-inventor of a computer mouse, dies

English is one of the people in charge of that ‘interface of computer use’ more commonly known as the mouse.

The American engineer William English, a pioneer in computing for being the co-inventor of the computer mouse in 1968, died on July 26 at the age of 91, as reported by The New York Times.

Bill English, as he was treated by his friends and closest collaborators, was with his partner Douglas Engelbart a pioneer of the modern computer.

From the end of the 1950s, English collaborated with the also engineer Douglas Engelbart in the development of a new computer model for the SRI International company that could be used not only by specialists, as it was then, but also by people without technical knowledge.

Among English’s work, the co-invention of the mouse in 1968 stands out especially, an interface for computer use with which it facilitated the use of computers by anyone thanks to the use of a visual interface combined with the mouse and the cursor, an element that Widespread and still in use today.

English and Engelbart were pioneers of the ‘personal computer’, of the computer as we know it today because, at a time when only specialists used computers to work, they came up with a solution that made their control much more affordable for less advanced users.

The project from which the idea of ​​the computer mouse would be born was much more ambitious and corresponded to Engelbart’s very personal vision of what the computer of tomorrow should be like: a machine that would serve everything and with which we related by manipulating images with a cursor. Engelbart, who died in 2013 at the age of 88, had conceived decades before what would be the modern computer.

Inglés managed to give a practical and easy way out to understand the ideas of Engelbart, so both are equally important in what you would call ‘The mother of all demos’ ( ‘The Mother of All Demos’ in English), a practical demonstration of the operation of a mouse, a text editor and even a rudimentary form of hypertext, that is, the page and link structure on which the Internet is based.

All this, in 1968, long before the popularization of the mouse and the Internet in the 80s and 90s, respectively.

English died in a hospital in the Californian city of San Rafael (United States) on July 26, as confirmed by his wife Roberta, due to respiratory failure.

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