Designtel - Xerox Alto, Charles Patrick Thacker

Xerox Alto [1973]

Charles P. Thacker

Widely regarded as the first personal computer, Xerox’s Alto helped popularise the desktop metaphor, gaining notoriety in Silicon Valley despite untenable unit costs and limited production numbers. Comprising a portrait orientated screen atop a cabinet housing the CPU – an undeniably innovative Xerox failed to comprehend the true worth of their technology in terms of a public product offering. Many of the Alto’s features would later be refined, distilled and found within subsequent Apple offerings (notably the Macintosh) after then-CEO Steve Jobs toured Xerox in 1979.

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