At the end of 1979Steve Jobs and other Apple colleagues visited the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). There they were introduced to the Alto experimental computer, the Smalltalk language, and the computing environment developed by Alan Kay’s research group. Smalltalk was a breakthrough in object-oriented programming, an approach that is used today in many of the most popular programming languages. During his visit, Jobs became enamored with the Smalltalk graphical user interface and this changed his subsequent approach to Apple. This screenshot from the version of Smalltalk demoed to Jobs shows a critical moment that impressed him. Dan Ingalls, one of the Smalltalk developers, was able to change the user interface live by changing the appearance of selected text from white text on a black background to a bounding rectangular box (like in the upper left window). More recently, Ingalls created Smalltok Zoo, a set of Smalltalk emulators that you can run in your browser to experience the aha Jobs moment. For more on the history of Smalltalk and Alto, see 50 Years Later, We’re Still Living in the Xerox Alto World. [[<<add link]]

Part continuation of the serieslooking at historical artifacts that reveal the limitless potential of technology.

From articles on your site

Related articles online