“Jacob E. Goldman, a physicist who as Xerox’s chief scientist founded the company’s vaunted Palo Alto Research Center, which invented the modern personal computer, died on Tuesday in Westport, Conn.,” John Markoff reports for The New York Times. “He was 90. The cause was congestive heart failure, his son Melvin said.”
“Established in 1970 in an industrial park next to Stanford, PARC researchers designed a remarkable array of computer technologies, including the Alto personal computer, the Ethernet office network, laser printing and the graphical user interface,” Markoff reports. “The technologies would later be commercialized by both Apple Computer and Microsoft, among others, and Xerox would be criticized for not capitalizing enough on the technologies it had pioneered — for ‘fumbling the future.'”
MacDailyNews Take: Apple paid. Microsoft stole from Apple. And, they continue to steal today, just walk into any Microsoft retail store and you’ll see. Your mere presence will also shock the staff; “A customer! Wait, what?! What do we do now?”
“Years later, Dr. Goldman explained Xerox’s failure to enter the personal computing market early on as part of a large corporations’ unwillingness to take risks,” Markoff reports. “‘A big company will not make the investment to bring out a new product unless they see it makes a big difference,’ he said in a 1988 interview in The New Haven Advocate. ‘“Look at the personal computer industry today. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry today. And we at Xerox could have had that industry to ourselves.'”
MacDailyNews Take: Crucial advancements that Apple made over what Xerox call into question the validity of that last sentence. It’s not at all sure that Xerox could have had the PC industry to themselves. (Never mind having thieves like Bill Gates lurking about.)
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Boy, the computer industry certainly has lost more than its fair share of visionaries this year.
R.I.P., Mr. Goldman.