|Founder||Jacob E. Goldman|
PARC (Palo Alto Research Center; formerly Xerox PARC) is a research and development company in Palo Alto, California.Founded in 1969 by Jacob E. "Jack" Goldman, chief scientist of Xerox Corporation, the company was originally a division of Xerox, tasked with creating computer technology-related products and hardware systems.
Xerox PARC has been at the heart of numerous revolutionary computer developments, including laser printing, Ethernet, the modern personal computer, GUI (graphical user interface) and desktop paradigm, object-oriented programming, ubiquitous computing, electronic paper, a-Si (amorphous silicon) applications, the computer mouse, and VLSI (very-large-scale integration) for semiconductors.
Unlike Xerox's existing research laboratory in Rochester, New York, which focused on refining and expanding the company's copier business, Goldman's “Advanced Scientific & Systems Laboratory” aimed to pioneer new technologies in advanced physics, materials science, and computer science applications.
In 2002, Xerox spun off Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary.
In 1969, Goldman talked with George Pake, a physicist specializing in nuclear magnetic resonance and provost of Washington University in St. Louis, about starting a second research center for Xerox.
On July 1, 1970, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center opened.Its 3,000-mile distance from Xerox headquarters in Rochester, New York, afforded scientists at the new lab great freedom to undertake their work, but it also increased the difficulty of persuading management of the promise of some of their greatest achievements.
In its early years, PARC's West Coast location helped it hire many employees of the nearby SRI Augmentation Research Center (ARC) as that facility's funding began falling, from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Air Force. By leasing land at Stanford Research Park, it encouraged Stanford University graduate students to be involved in PARC research projects and PARC scientists to collaborate with academic seminars and projects.
Much of PARC's early success in the computer field was under the leadership of its Computer Science Laboratory manager Bob Taylor, who guided the lab as associate manager from 1970 to 1977 and as manager from 1977 to 1983.
Work at PARC since the early 1980s includes advances in ubiquitous computing, aspect-oriented programming, and IPv6.
After three decades as a division of Xerox, PARC was transformed in 2002into an independent, wholly owned subsidiary company dedicated to developing and maturing advances in science and business concepts.
PARC's developments in information technology served for a long time as standards for much of the computing industry. Many advances were not equalled or surpassed for two decades,[ citation needed ] enormous timespans in the fast-paced high-tech world. Xerox PARC has been the inventor and incubator of many elements of modern computing:
Most of these developments were included in the Alto, which added the now familiar Stanford Research Institute (SRI) developed mouse,unifying into a single model most aspects of now-standard personal computer use. The integration of Ethernet prompted the development of the PARC Universal Packet architecture, much like today's Internet.
Xerox has been heavily criticized (particularly by business historians) for failing to properly commercialize and profitably exploit PARC's innovations.A favorite example is the graphical user interface (GUI), initially developed at PARC for the Alto and then sold as the Xerox Star by the Xerox Systems Development Department. It heavily influenced future system design, but is deemed a failure because it only sold about 25,000 units. A small group from PARC led by David Liddle and Charles Irby formed Metaphor Computer Systems. They extended the Star desktop concept into an animated graphic and communicating office-automation model and sold the company to IBM.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said that the Xerox graphical interface influenced both Microsoft and Apple. Steve Jobs of Apple said that “Xerox could have owned the entire computer industry, could have been the IBM of the nineties, could have been the Microsoft of the nineties."
While there is some truth that Xerox management failed to see the potential of many of PARC's inventions, this was mostly a problem with its computing research, a relatively small part of PARC's operations. A number of GUI engineers left to join Apple Computer. Technologies pioneered by its materials scientists such as liquid-crystal display (LCD), optical disc innovations, and laser printing were actively and successfully introduced by Xerox to the business and consumer markets.
Among PARC's distinguished researchers were three Turing Award winners: Butler W. Lampson (1992), Alan Kay (2003), and Charles P. Thacker (2009). The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Software System Award recognized the Alto system in 1984, Smalltalk in 1987, InterLisp in 1992, and the remote procedure call in 1994. Lampson, Kay, Bob Taylor, and Charles P. Thacker received the National Academy of Engineering's prestigious Charles Stark Draper Prize in 2004 for their work on the Alto.
Alan Curtis Kay is an American computer scientist best known for his pioneering work on object-oriented programming and windowing graphical user interface (GUI) design. At Xerox PARC he led the design and development of the first modern windowed computer desktop interface. There he also led the development of the influential object-oriented programming language Smalltalk, both personally designing most of the early versions of the language and coining the term "object-oriented." He has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society of Arts. He received the Turing award in 2003.
The GUI, graphical user interface, is a form of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and audio indicator such as primary notation, instead of text-based UIs, typed command labels or text navigation. GUIs were introduced in reaction to the perceived steep learning curve of CLIs, which require commands to be typed on a computer keyboard.
The history of the graphical user interface, understood as the use of graphic icons and a pointing device to control a computer, covers a five-decade span of incremental refinements, built on some constant core principles. Several vendors have created their own windowing systems based on independent code, but with basic elements in common that define the WIMP "window, icon, menu and pointing device" paradigm.
Mesa is a programming language developed in the late 1970s at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in Palo Alto, California, United States. The language name was a pun based upon the programming language catchphrases of the time, because Mesa is a "high level" programming language.
Butler W. Lampson, ForMemRS, is an American computer scientist best known for his contributions to the development and implementation of distributed personal computing.
The Xerox Alto is a computer designed from its inception to support an operating system based on a graphical user interface (GUI), later using the desktop metaphor. The first machines were introduced on 1 March 1973, a decade before mass-market GUI machines became available.
The Xerox Star workstation, officially named Xerox 8010 Information System, is the first commercial personal computer to incorporate technologies that have since become standard in personal computers, including a bitmapped display, a window-based graphical user interface, icons, folders, mouse (two-button), Ethernet networking, file servers, print servers, and e-mail.
In computing, the desktop metaphor is an interface metaphor which is a set of unifying concepts used by graphical user interfaces to help users interact more easily with the computer. The desktop metaphor treats the computer monitor as if it is the top of the user's desk, upon which objects such as documents and folders of documents can be placed. A document can be opened into a window, which represents a paper copy of the document placed on the desktop. Small applications called desk accessories are also available, such as a desk calculator or notepad, etc.
Lawrence Gordon Tesler was an American computer scientist who worked in the field of human–computer interaction. Tesler worked at Xerox PARC, Apple, Amazon, and Yahoo!
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to human–computer interaction:
Robert William Taylor, known as Bob Taylor, was an American Internet pioneer, who led teams that made major contributions to the personal computer, and other related technologies. He was director of ARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office from 1965 through 1969, founder and later manager of Xerox PARC's Computer Science Laboratory from 1970 through 1983, and founder and manager of Digital Equipment Corporation's Systems Research Center until 1996.
Bravo was the first WYSIWYG document preparation program. It provided multi-font capability using the bitmap displays on the Xerox Alto personal computer. It was produced at Xerox PARC by Butler Lampson, Charles Simonyi and colleagues in 1974.
Daniel Henry Holmes Ingalls Jr. is a pioneer of object-oriented computer programming and the principal architect, designer and implementer of five generations of Smalltalk environments. He designed the bytecoded virtual machine that made Smalltalk practical in 1976. He also invented bit blit, the general-purpose graphical operation that underlies most bitmap computer graphics systems today, and pop-up menus. He designed the generalizations of BitBlt to arbitrary color depth, with built-in scaling, rotation, and anti-aliasing. He made major contributions to the Squeak version of Smalltalk, including the original concept of a Smalltalk written in itself and made portable and efficient by a Smalltalk-to-C translator.
Charles Patrick "Chuck" Thacker was an American pioneer computer designer. He designed the Xerox Alto, which is the first computer that used a mouse-driven graphical user interface (GUI).
Stuart K. Card, an American researcher and retired Senior Research Fellow at Xerox PARC, is considered to be one of the pioneers of applying human factors in human–computer interaction. With Jock D. Mackinlay, George G. Robertson and others he invented a number of Information Visualization techniques. He holds numerous patents in user interfaces and visual analysis.
Charles Peter Philip Paul McColough was the chief executive officer and chair of the Xerox Corporation who, during his tenure at Xerox, founded the PARC (company). He retired in the late 1980s, after serving over fourteen years as CEO. Aside from his tenure at Xerox, McColough was treasurer of the Democratic National Committee between 1972 and 1974, was chairman of United Way of America, and served on the Board of Trustees at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York Stock Exchange, Bank of New York, Wachovia, Citigroup, Knight Ridder, and Union Carbide Corporation.
Richard "Dick" Francis Lyon is an American inventor, scientist, and engineer. He is one of the two people who independently invented the first optical mouse devices in 1980. He has worked in many aspects of signal processing and was a co-founder of Foveon, Inc., a digital camera and image sensor company.
Metaphor Computer Systems (1982–1994) was an American computer company that created an advanced workstation, database gateway, unique graphical office interface, and software applications that "seamlessly integrate" data from both internal and external sources. The Metaphor machine was one of the first commercial workstations to offer a complete hardware/software package and a GUI, including "a wireless mouse and a wireless five-function key pad". Although the company achieved some commercial success, it never achieved the fame of either the Apple Macintosh or Microsoft Windows.
Ted Kaehler is an American computer scientist known for his role in the development of several system methods. He is most noted for his contributions to the programming languages Smalltalk, Squeak, and Apple Computer's HyperCard system, and other technologies developed at Xerox PARC.
PARC, Palo Alto Research Center ... and Ethernet
spun off by Xerox in January 2002