Last year I reviewed ‘Dealers of Lightning‘, a great book about Xerox PARC in the 1970 where pretty much all of the technology was invented we are still using today on our graphical user interface based PCs today. Over the past year a number of very interesting videos have appeared that are a great complement to the overall story and impressively show just how many things were invented there.
I’d say the mother of all demos1 showing the capabilities of the 1970’s Xerox Alto machine is this 2 hour video recorded just a couple of days ago at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.
For more on the Alto hardware bring some time and have a look at this series of inspiring and entertaining videos taken over the past year by Jean-Marc Verdiell in which he documents the restoration efforts of an Alto. It’s amazing to what lengths these guys went to get it back into working operation again.
Lots of more videos on the Alto can be found on Youtube, for example, by searching for Butler Lampson.
1 For the original ‘mother of all demos’ have a look here.