Doug Englebart’s Grocery List

I’m such a big fan of the Fall Western Joint Computer Conference (FWJCC) 1968 in San Francisco. It was such an awesome production put on.


If you’ve watched the Mother of All Demos, you know that one of the aha! moments of it is when Englebart pulls out his grocery list. The idea is pretty simple –if you put your grocery list into a computer instead of on a notepad, you could sort it, edit, clone it, categorize it, drag-and-drop reorder it.


That was 1968. So how are we all doing?

If you’re like my family, there’s probably multiple answers to that, but none particularly good. When Nicole shops, she writes it out on a sheet of paper, and spends a good amount of time trying to remember all the things she has to get. I sometimes write it out in an email I send myself, and then spend time trying to look for past emails I can raid for reminders.

Sorting? Cloning? Drag and drop refactoring?

Ha! What do you think this is, the…

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