A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Monday, October 09, 2006



He basically invented the laptop, the mouse, the GUI and smalltalk

He is Alan Kay
I think you should cite your sources!
erm I was reading about how bad the current ruby implementation is and I always thought Smalltalk was a fast dynamically typed language so I wondered why Ruby couldn't handle it. I found this post Ruby and Strongtalk StrongTalk is a Virtual machine for smalltalk and basically gets dynamically typed stuff right. ColdFusion gets it right now in ColdFusion MX as well but it didn't in ColdFusion 5.

LISP is often seen as one of the best languages ever written but it never got massive community support even though it was a great way to introduce kids to computing, by programming turtles through LOGO! I already know about Seymour Papert and his role in getting kids into computing so I got sidetracked thinking about social networks and redstripe which got me reading about Alan Kay, I went on to read about PARC, which is perhaps the greatest IT team ever to work together, including Digital Media.

But essentially I read wikipedia and posted about him/it. HE IS STILL A GENIUS
Alan Kay is also involved in the $100 dollar laptop. If only by the effect of his work
I suppose I should have been more explicit....

I don't think that he invented all those things. Question four from my (in)famous Henley quiz was:

Q. Which of the graphical user interface, the laser printer, the mouse and Ethernet was not invented at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre?

A. The mouse, which was invented by Douglas Engelbart's Augmentation Research Center at the Stanford Research Institute.
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