In 1972 a Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) scientist published a research study entitled A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages.
The device was called DYNABOOK and the author of that paper is Alan Kay, one of the key people who have shaped the way we are using computers today. In contrast to Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Steve Ballmer he didn’t stand on stages but he can be seen as the key scientist behind the graphical user interface and one of the inventors of object-oriented programming.
The Dynabook wasn’t so much a prediction but a vision.
A significant component of the Dynabook’s usage model was that its users would be able to easily develop simple applications. This is far away from Jobs’ tablet concept and that of all other competitors. The last thing you would want to do on an iPad is write your own software. There is an app for that and you will find it in the App Store. Anyway there is no doubt about the fact that Kay influenced Jobs in developing the iPhone and the iPad.
“When I saw the iPhone, I figured that they had already done a tablet version, which is easier to make work than the iPhone, so I was partially joking with Steve when I said ‘make the screen at least 5″ x 8″ and you will rule the world’.”
What can we learn from history?
Well, everything has it’s preceding ideas.
Would Einstein’s Theory of Relativity be possible without Newton’s Laws? Edison and Swan were the two most successful at combining the necessary technologies and engineering techniques to build a light bulb (electricity and the knowledge of how to economically create vacuums).
There is no need to talk about COPYING. Success comes up when intelligence combines the right things at the right time in a sexy apparel. This alone is already a technological achievement and innovation crowds of people today derive benefits from.
People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.
Jobs made it to the core principle of Apple.
This message would be an exaggeration nevertheless it’s a fact that Apple changed the way we communicate today and handle information. And that was definitely not just one small step for man. Neither Alan Kay nor Steve Jobs ever claimed to be the only inventors.
Thanks for reading.