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Author Topic: 1973 Xerox Alto Demo  (Read 353 times)

phi2008

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1973 Xerox Alto Demo
« on: January 25, 2018, 11:18:34 PM »

Amazing how far ahead of the curve Xerox were -


:thumbs:

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Weaver

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Re: 1973 Xerox Alto Demo
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 12:38:47 AM »

Thank you for that. Incredible stuff, and shows just how deeply Apple ripped off all of Xerox' stuff with the Lisa and then the Mac when modern-era 68000 silicon came along. Why didn't Xerox patent protect all of their innovations, they could have become the greatest company in the world if they had pushed ahead, could have been Apple. And even if silicon or hardware manufacturing of that kind wasn't their thing they could have had a flow of patent income by letting others do the marketing and r+d whilst they just creamed profits off all the exploiters of their software fundamentals. It's a shame that Xerox didn't get their due.

It's a shame that the early Mac was so useless, with its tiny rom ram and floppy and no hard disk. That was just what economics permitted. But by any rights they should have wiped IBM out, after all the PC was so incredibly expensive. But of course as some of us remember, IBM themselves became irrelevant as the clones were a quarter of the price the likes of the Amstrad PC compatible 8086 box, Dell 286 boxes and so on. [we had Dell and Amstrad boxes at work, a pair, one of each per user, bought a dozen 8086 Amstrads with Hercules mono graphics in them, as an adjunct to the giant Vaxen that source code ultimately lived on] The PC platform hardware standard with its multi vendor nature became the naff army against Apple. And soon the 386 was 'good enough' with large RAM finally, and proper 32-bit sane flat memory and good VM, even though its pitiful register file wasn't fixed for another 17 years or so with the AMD64 (aka x64) very major architectural expansion. Apple then stagnated meanwhile with no software innovation and their silly o/s. Motorola couldn't keep up, the 68060 was over 5 years too late and Intel P6 superb processors raced ahead into the future upping clock speeds from the 33MHz 486 to the 200MHz P6 and then on to >3GHz. This most of us recall. Apple just didn't have a clue, didn't realise that software was its thing, coupled with marketing.
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phi2008

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Re: 1973 Xerox Alto Demo
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2018, 04:46:47 PM »

If you want to read about the incredible period at Xerox that produced this, ethernet, laser printers, Smalltalk, get the book - Dealers of Lightning: Xerox Parc and the Dawn of the Computer Age.
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jelv

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Re: 1973 Xerox Alto Demo
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2018, 05:54:03 PM »

20 years on I still think that the Word Processor on the Xerox Documenter was the best Word processing software I've ever used. In fact I still have a couple of files in which the floppies with the software were distributed - now I use them for storing CDs/DVDs.
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Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. Rick Cook, The Wizardry Compiled