Engelbart: It was the very first time the world had ever seen a mouse, seen outline processing, seen hypertext, seen mixed text and graphics, seen real-time videoconferencing.
van Dam: At the time, I had been working with Ted Nelson on our first hypertext system with a team of three part-time undergraduates. We were working in the hammer-and-chisel phase of this industrial revolution, coding in assembly language, and we were pretty good at it. But, here these guys had invented machine tools. They had built tools to build tools: This whole recursive “bootstrap” idea, starting with the system itself, and working all the way up through augmenting the human intellect, was just mind-boggling. It informs us today, still.
Jobs: We humans are tool builders. We can fashion tools that amplify these inherent abilities that we have to spectacular magnitudes. And so for me, a computer has always been a bicycle of the mind.
Ken Kesey: (author) It’s the next thing after acid!
Jobs: Something that takes us far beyond our inherent abilities.
I always recommend reading Vannevar Bush’s As We May Think, which inspired Doug Engelbart.