Back to the Future – The Way to a Personal Dynamic Medium for Creative Thought

Talk at reboot7, 10-11 June 2005 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract. Looking into the long history of hypertext and graphical user interfaces reveals fascinating insights that might help build a computer environment that really propels us into the future.


Back to the Future 45 slides, 14.6 MB

References to the movie clips

  1. Sketchpad (4' 03"), ca. 1962. Broy, Denert (eds.): Software Pioneers (DVD Extras)
  2. Interview with Jeff Rulifson (2' 08"), 2000. Invisible Revolution
  3. Alto Playroom (1' 02"), ca. 1974. Broy, Denert (eds.): Software Pioneers (DVD Extras)
  4. Put-That-There (1' 25"), ca. 1979. The NewMedia Reader (CD Extras)

Notes from the Audience to the future.txt

Further Reading

Der Computer als Werkzeug und Medium – Die geistigen und technischen Wurzeln des Personal Computers (497 pages, German)

The PhD thesis of Dr. Michael Friedewald

Two sections of the appendix are online:

Software Pioneers – Contributions to Software Engineering (728 pages, 4 DVDs)

Reader of the conference Software Pioneers, Bonn 2001. The entire 2 day conference is available on DVD; and on the conference homepage

The NewMedia Reader (823 pages, 1 CD)

A wonderful reader with otherwise hard to find early and influential articles.

Bootstrapping – Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing (284 pages)
NERDS 2.0.1– A Brief History of the Internet
Dealers of Lightning – Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (448 pages)

better than “Fumbling the Future”

how the web was born (372 pages)

coauthored by one of the inventors: Robert Cailliau

A History of Modern Computing (398 pages)

more technical than NERDS 2.0.1 – less focussed on the user interface than Der Computer als Werkzeug und Medium

Related Pages

reboot 7.0 conference(by Michael Heilemann)

(by Michael Heilemann)