Totally irregular blog on computers and security

50 Years Later, We’re Still Living in the Xerox Alto’s World

Written on Mar 16, 2023

Very interesting retrospective on the Xerox Alto, the first modern personal computer. It is fascinating to see so much good ideas were first invented at a printer manufacturer’s research lab.

I knew the mouse was invented there, but seeing they also came up with modern WYSIWYG word processing, Smalltalk, and the desktop metaphor, is crazy cool. Here’s a web-based Xerox Alto emulator, based on the cheekily-named ContrAlto.