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The Xerox Alto: A Personal Retrospective
 


Charles (Chuck) Thacker, and Butler Lampson


DATE & TIME
Wednesday, July 04, 2001

6:00 p.m.

LOCATION
NASA Ames Main Auditorium (Building 201),
Moffett Federal Airfield, Mountain View, CA, USA


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ABSTRACT OF TALK
Thirty years ago, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center created, over a relatively short period, a paradigm shift in computing. Many of the technologies that make today's personal computers attractive, including high-quality graphical user interfaces, window systems, networked distributed computing, and laser printing, were mature technologies at PARC by the end of the '70s. The platform on which many of these technologies were developed was the Alto personal computer. Although small and slow by today's standards, the Alto's flexibility made it an ideal system for hardware and software experimentation. In this talk, Chuck Thacker and Butler Lampson describe a few of the applications and technologies the Alto enabled, as well as the exceptional working environment at PARC and the extraordinarily talented group of people who made it all happen.

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