[Oberon] General - Xerox PARC 1970

Douglas G Danforth danforth at greenwoodfarm.com
Sun Sep 24 12:30:24 CEST 2017

Ah, now you have picked a topic on which I can comment!
George Pake was a visiting scholar at CASBS (Center Advanced in Study in 
the Behavior Science)
when I was a statistics advisor to the fellows, circa 1975.  At lunch I 
asked him why had PARC
not commercialized the Alto?  His short replay was "Not our charter".  I 
also knew Adele Goldberg
who was a Post Doc at IMSSS (Institute for Mathematical Studies on the 
Social Sciences) when
I was doing my graduate work at IMSSS.  She was married to my good 
friend Alex Cannara at that
time.  She showed me the Alto when I visited PARC.  Its hard drive was a 
large platter which, iirc,
held only 14MB of data.  It had the bitmap display, mouse, and 
ethernet.  I also knew Doug Englebart
who (incidentally developed the mouse).  He was quite down on the fact 
that people knew him for
that since his whole "augment" system was much more than just the 
mouse.  However, John McCarthy
(the creator of Lisp) said about the augment system "why do I have to 
think like Doug Englebart?"
Many more stories about that rich period of time.
-Doug Danforth

On 9/24/2017 2:43 AM, Tomas Kral wrote:
> Hi,
> A bit of history, this is where it all started.
> http://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/input-output/14/348
> In the Lab picture from left to right, Jim Mitchell, Ed Fiala, Terry
> Roberts, an unknown girl with a cigar(?), Wesley Clark, and Ed Taft.
> NOTE: Ed Fiala, a fellow contryman, (Eduard Fiala), I wonder what these
> people are today up to?
> When reading `Alto' specs, not seeing the size, price, etc. Still sounds
> like today's computing :-)

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