English also played a pivotal role in the landmark 1968 presentation, “The Mother of All Demos.” Englebart and English had developed an experimental computer dubbed oNLine System (NLS) which was capable of all the elements you find today in modern personal computing—hypertext, windows, graphics, video conferencing, word processing, you name it. Englebart delivered the 90-minute presentation on December 9, 1968, but it was English who made sure everything ran smoothly behind the scenes. English directed the whole production from the back of the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, using cameras and microphones to coordinate live, two-way video between the lab in Menlo Park and the presentation hall.

And if that weren’t enough, English also helped adapt Englebart’s ideas to develop the Xerox Alto while at PARC. The Alto later served as the inspiration for the Apple Lisa and Macintosh systems, as well as the first Microsoft Windows PCs.

So the next time you use your computer to do literally anything, pour one out for the unsung computing hero, William English.