The 1968 chorded keyset-revived AGAIN

Doug Engelbart’s original keyset working with an iPad

    Original Chorded Keyset working with the iPad

Words of wisdom from Bill Fenwick

In a meeting today, Bill Fenwick articulated a key point that was also deliberated at Campus 2010 retreat in Trinidad,

“Participation in society in the future requires computer literacy.

Almost all aspects of your life will be limited if you cannot access a computer. This could cause an explosion in the gap between the able bodied and people with disabilities.”

TipTap potential product line can be critical as a possible interface device, particularly for those with use of only one hand, as well as the visually impaired.

Engelbart Quote of the month

“I could picture people sitting in front of big cathode-ray tube screens with the computer. We could make symbolic arrays to develop new information forms in order to portray for ourselves the thinking that we were doing. And other people could be sitting at similar complexes associated in the same computer center collaborating.”

“I said, “Wow, tremendous possibilities! Okay, I’m going to go after that.” That was in the early spring of 1951. If a computer could punch cards or print on paper, I just knew it could draw or write on a screen, so we could be interacting with the computer and actually do interactive work. You could engage in collaborative work, with other people at work stations tied to the same computer systems. We could be working independently or collaboratively. I had intuitive certainty that this would work.”

Engelbart quote from “The Engelbart Hypothesis

Valerie Landau and Douglas Engelbart at Program for the Future 2010
Valerie Landau and Douglas Engelbart at "Program for the Future 2010"

The 1968 chorded keyset-revived

Preserving the past to preserve the future

What a perfect day…Rob Stephenson (curator at The Tech Museum) and I met at the Ferry building in SF. While sitting by the dock of the Bay, Rob showed me the new adapter he built for chorded keyset Doug Engelbart gave me to play with.  Now Engelbart’s keysets from the 1960-70 work with any computer via USB.

Rob Stephenson, the greatest guy in town
Adapted for Engelbarts Chorded Keyset
Adapter for Engelbarts Chorded Keyset made by Rob Stephenson keying, chording, typing

The iPhone App, TipTapSpeech, just launched.  It’s based on a Doug Engelbart invention. Available at  iTunes store for $4.99.

One of the things that Doug Engelbart invented in the ’60s (along with the mouse and just about everything else about personal computing) was the “chorded keyset.”  His idea was you had the mouse in one hand and the chorded keyset in the other.  With the chorded keyset you could type any of the characters on a keyboard, using a combination of finger taps (think a “court recorder” type approach.) just launched it as an iPhone app!  It’s called TipTap Speech.  With it’s ONLY FIVE KEYS you can tap out any text with just one hand–and without looking.  And it converts to speech at the same time.

On top of all that, while Tip Tap Speech is for English text, it has already been configured for Hindi, Urdu, and Russian with more to come.  If you have any questions, contact me.

Andres Landau, my nephew, took this video of himself typing his name with TipTapSpeech with the built in camera on the laptop, while I was on the phone.

Doug Engelbart explains how it works.

Engelbart’s birthday wish about to come true

After Engelbart’s 81st birthday,

Valerie Landau and Doug Engelbart
Doug and I at his 81st birthday celebration at Stanford

I asked Engelbart which one of his ideas he wanted to see implemented in the near future. He said he would like the notion of chorded texting to take off. So for the past few years I’ve been working (on a volunteer basis) with some amazing people: Evan Schaffer, Rob Stephenson, Eric Matsuno to bring this to the marketplace.

TipTapLogo icon
TipTapSpeech Logo

We now have an iPhone App The Engelbartian chorded typing app: TipTapSpeech

Brief summary of the courses I taught on Applied Engelbart at California State University, Monterey Bay.

Class of Engelbart Scholars
Engelbart Scholars pose for the camera

Great Adaptations Blog creating TipTapSpeech Community

Blogger Suzanna Stinnett’s launched a user community space for our new iPhone  TipTapSpeech on her blog GreatAdaptations. TipTapSpeech is a BETA implementation of Engelbart’s idea of typing by using “chords” or multiple keys simultaneously rather than typing each letter with one key. I hope you will join in the discussion.

Doug Engelbart turns 85

The celebration at the Tech Museum was a historic event. Friends, family and colleagues honored Doug Engelbart with music, dance, food and merriment.

Douglas Engelbarts 85th Birthday Celebration at The Tech Museum
Douglas Engelbarts 85th Birthday Celebration at The Tech Museum- Photo by Dustin Jensen

Steve Wozniak and a few hundred people celebrate Engelbart's birthday

Dustin Jensen documented the event in photos:
and my niece Nicole Landau video taped the event.

A few hundred invited guest arrived in person and several friends gave live video greetings including Joy Tang from Taiwan, Eileen Clegg from Bodega Bay, Ted Nelson from New York and Brian Fisher from Vancouver.Happy birthday Douglas Engelbart.

We hosted a glorious 85th birthday celebration at The Tech Museum in San Jose.
We provided a white limo for Doug and Karen Engelbart


Where a few hundred of Doug’s friends and family greeted him. Like George Bailey, (reference to the film “It’s a Wonderful Life”) Doug Engelbart may just be the richest man in town.
(Photo courtesy of Dustin Jensen)

People came from near and far, young and old, to celebrate an honor this prophetic thinker.

Including Egyptian inventor Cherif Algreatly and special guest philanthropist Ihab, who flew in from Dubai to attend the event. (Photo by Dustin Jensen shown from left to right: Cherif Algreatly, Douglas Engelbart, Karen Engelbart, Ihab, Basil Elway, Valerie Landau)

A good time was had by all


Blanca Gonzalez and the Amazing Dandara share birthday greetings with Doug.
(Photo courtesy of courtesy of Blue Oxen Associates and photographer Eugene Chan )
Steve Wozniak and Engelbart enjoyed the 85th birthday confetti. (Photo by Dustin Jensen)

The Tech Museum provided Douglas Engelbart, Steve Wozniak, and Bill English the opportunity to pose on the set of the Star Trek exhibit. If only these three were at the helm of Spaceship Earth.
(Photo directed by Eugene Kim and posted courtesy of Blue Oxen Associates and photographer Eugene Chan )

Guests enjoyed music and dancing, cake, and champagne,
but most of all we enjoyed coming together to celebrate the life of one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th Century.

Ted Nelson, Joy Tang, Professor Brian Fisher, and Eileen Clegg joined us via video to pass on birthday greetings from afar. Nicole Landau videotaped the event

The Engelbart History mural and book “The Engelbart Hypothesis: Dialogs with Douglas Engelbart” by Valerie Landau and Eileen Clegg in conversation with Douglas Engelbart on display
(Photo courtesy of Blue Oxen Associates and photographer Eugene Chan )

Engelbart’s children and grandchildren came to honor him.


More delightful photos of Doug Engelbart’s birthday courtesy of Blue Oxen Associates and photographer Eugene Chan

As well as those taken by Dustin Jensen courtesy of

The Tech Museum and hosted the party with help from generous sponsors

Fenwick and West
Valley Zen
NextNow Collaboratory and NextPress


(NextNow Collaboratory Founder Claudia Welss and Valerie Landau)
Blue Oxen Associates


Charles Irby

And anonymous donors

Special thanks to my family and friends who volunteered in to make the event an tremendous success despite the shoestring budget
Nina Serrano
Laura Star Malone
Blanca Gonzalez
The Amazing Dandara

(Evan Schaffer, The Amazing Dandara, Valerie Landau, and Professor Alma Cervantes)

Camilo Landau, who learned to play the accordion to honor Doug with a Hambo (see his comment below)
Rock Star Engineer and Musician’s own Eric Matsuno with Instructional Designer Angelica Matsuno and Web Developer Matt Gates
Nicole Landau
Photographer Dustin Jensen
Molly McGee
Inventor Cherif Algreatly
Basil Elway
Karen Engelbart

Download the pdf of “The Engelbart Hypothesis: Dialogs with Douglas Engelbart” by Valerie Landau and Eileen Clegg in Conversation with Douglas Engelbart $5 via paypal
or read it online on the blog

It’s about the journey

Engelbart Quote from 2004…

The paradigm is kind of like the ability to see what’s really feasible..and would be well worth while. It’s going to be a different world, we are going to have different customs, different skills, a whole bunch of things, and no one thing is going to fix it. It’s going to be a concurrent evolution that has got to progress. The best thing we could possibly do is not think that somebody is going to tell you what “the answer” is but somebody that says, “Here is a process that will help facilitate optimally that evolution.”

Quote from Cringely interview in 2004