Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, April 15, 2017

John Naughton, Memex: Bob Taylor, the man who funded the Arpanet (the military precursor of the Internet), has died at the age of 85. He also funded much of Doug Engelbart's "augmentation" research at SRI. After Arpanet was up and running, Bob left to found the Computer Science Lab at Xerox PARC. His ambition for CSL, he said, was to hire the 50 best computer scientists and engineers in the U.S. and let them do their stuff. He didn't get 50, but he did get some real stars -- including Bob Metcalfe, Chuck Thacker, David Boggs, Butler Lampson, Alan Kay and Charles Simonyi who -- in three magical years -- invented much of the technology we use today: bitmapped windowing interfaces, Ethernet and the laser printer, networked workstations, collaborative working, to name just a few.

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One of the greats passes on.

I had lunch with Dr. Metcalfe in the mid-80's (he had left PARC and was with 3Com at the time). From that conversation I came away with the opinion that the folk at PARC were the best of the best.

And it was Bob Taylor who brought them all together.

RIP and godspeed.

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-04-15 07:41 PM | Reply

A legend.

True creator of the following:

The Internet (via Arpanet).

The Personal Computer (look up the Alto, which was on everyone's desk at PARC).

The GUI that became the Macintosh (that Jobs and Wosniak stole).

Ethernet.

First WYSIWYG word processor, Bravo (which, after Gates hired Simonyi, became Word).

His best creation was an unfettered environment for engineers to create without restrictions, which became the underpinnings of modern Silicon Valley.

He was a good friend of my father and my sister's father in law and a true gentleman genius.

RIP Bob, you changed our world like no other.

#2 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-04-15 08:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Great, it's because of him that true human interaction is disappearing. It's because of him that kids have the attention span of a gnat. It's because of him that everyone goes trough their day staring at the phone. I would say it's very much his fault that Trump is President.
Most computer technology has been a bane on society and humanity.

#3 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2017-04-16 06:48 AM | Reply

#3 | POSTED BY TFDNIHILIST

It's because of him that we know of you.

#4 | Posted by tontonmacoute at 2017-04-16 11:28 AM | Reply

It's because of him that we know of you.
#4 | POSTED BY TONTONMACOUTE

True, but I don't really know if that's been a boon for the world.

#5 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2017-04-16 01:42 PM | Reply

I had lunch with Dr. Metcalfe in the mid-80's (he had left PARC and was with 3Com at the time).

That's extremely cool. I wish I had tried harder to meet some of the greats in computing back in the 1980s and 1990s.

#6 | Posted by rcade at 2017-04-16 04:01 PM | Reply

Great, it's because of him that true human interaction is disappearing.

The game you're playing goes both ways.

It's because of him that millions of people are alive today.

It's because of him that the human genome is being mapped.

It's because of him that diseases are being cured.

It's because of him that millions of people who felt alone because they are different found people like themselves.

#7 | Posted by rcade at 2017-04-16 04:08 PM | Reply

True, but I'm not one of those people who see all those as good things. Overpopulation of the Earth is not good, and the entire industries built around keeping old people alive so they can lie in loneliness at the home all day does not seem like a good thing to me.
Sometimes different people should stay alone and not amplify their ------ up ideals.

#8 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2017-04-16 06:01 PM | Reply

Overpopulation of the Earth is not good ...

So you wish life expectancy is where it was in the 1940s and also that your grandparents and great-grandparents died sooner?

I'd say that was pretty dumb but it's obvious you don't really mean it.

You're enjoying the perks of living in the modern world as much as anybody else, or you wouldn't be here.

#9 | Posted by rcade at 2017-04-16 09:41 PM | Reply

So you wish life expectancy is where it was in the 1940s and also that your grandparents and great-grandparents died sooner?
#9 | POSTED BY RCADE

Wouldn't matter to me when they died. I'm not one of those folks who gets surprised or upset when people die.
Of course, I'm reaping the benefits, what choice do I have.
I usually put it like this: I don't mind walking most places, even if it's a few miles, but if somebody offers me a ride, of course I'll take it. People live in the times they are born in.
And I do mean it.

#10 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2017-04-16 11:31 PM | Reply

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