Predicting the Web-Enabled Desktop

In a Usenet post written in July 1981, over ten years before Berners-Lee announced the World Wide Web project, K. Richard Magill suggested that combining Ted Nelson’s work in hypertext with “windowing capability, a pointing mouse, and auxiliary 5-key keyset” would make a powerful tool. “Now if only it came packaged in a briefcase-sized personal DEC-10…”

Okay, so five-key keysets never took off, but it’s still an accurate prediction of the modern web-enabled desktop. It’s also the first known reference to the terms “hypertext” and “Ted Nelson” in the Usenet archive. The rest of the short thread is worth reading, too. (On a side note, does anyone know what happened to K. Richard Magill? I wanted to ask him about his prediction, but can’t find any references to him after he sold all his audio gear in 1990.)