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Before the Xerox acquired Scientific Data Systems, a researcher was hired. The researcher recommended that Xerox should create a technology center for researching digital technologies. It was thought that analog technologies were inadequate for the future and that the copier industry would be vulnerable. The idea was to combine copier and digital technologies within integrated office systems. Thus in 1970, the Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC was born.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
Alan Kay happened to have been one of the founding members of PARC. He along with his colleagues became aquatinted with the NLS and was impressed with what they saw. Members from the NLS were hired and two things happened. The mouse was licensed to Xerox in 1971 and the term "personal computer" was coined in 1973. Kay and his team created a vision of a distributed environment populated with personal computers. The Xerox Alto was a product of this vision. Four important events took place:
Software developed that exploited the Altos capabilities increased demand and interest in the Alto Demand and interest grew throughout and beyond Xerox Production of the Alto increased A by-product, the Ethernet, used to connect computers flexibly with standard communication protocols, became a networking standard.
Researchers at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center designed the Alto -- the first work station with a built-in mouse for input. The Alto stored several files simultaneously in windows, offered menus and icons, and could link to a local area network. Although Xerox never sold the Alto commercially, it gave a number of them to universities. Engineers later incorporated its features into work stations and personal computers.
1974 first release
|Last Updated on 13 October, 2002||For suggestions please mail the editors|
Footnotes & References
|2||text tcm.org (now part of the Science Museum Boston)|