“The Mother of All Demos” is a name retroactively applied to a landmark computer demonstration, given at the Association for Computing Machinery / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (ACM/IEEE)—Computer Society’s Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, which was presented by Douglas Engelbart on December 9, 1968.
The live demonstration featured the introduction of a complete computer hardware and software system called the oN-Line System or, more commonly, NLS. The 90-minute presentation essentially demonstrated almost all the fundamental elements of modern personal computing: windows, hypertext, graphics, efficient navigation and command input, video conferencing, the computer mouse, word processing, dynamic file linking, revision control, and a collaborative real-time editor (collaborative work). Engelbart’s presentation was the first to publicly demonstrate all of these elements in a single system. The demonstration was highly influential and spawned similar projects at Xerox PARC in the early 1970s. The underlying technologies influenced both the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows graphical user interface operating systems in the 1980s and 1990s.
Influenced by Vannevar Bush: