In Pictures: The Mother of All Demos - The 1968 presentation that sparked a tech revolution

On December 9, 1968, Dr. Douglas Engelbart addressed a packed theater at the Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, demonstrating a new computing platform that heralded advancements from the computer mouse to videoconferencing. Forty-five years later, we're still reaping the benefits of his vision.

Outlining and sorting data During the demo, Engelbart created a quick list and used an obscure formatting command and a lot of copying and pasting to create an outline with headings. With a modern graphical word processor, it's a lot easier: Select any list, pick an outline style, et voila! The barrier to creating an information hierarchy is gone.

Software developers have taken Engelbart's vision even further with tricks like one-click data sorting. A mainstay of spreadsheets, basic alphanumeric sorting is now everywhere: Click on a column heading of any list in almost any application, file manager or website, and you can change its sort order. It's so easy you can do it by accident.

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