Humans and Machines !

Revised Nugget #5

“The Learning Research Group at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center is concerned with all aspects of the communication and manipulation of knowledge. We design, build, and use dynamic media which can be used by human beings of all ages.”


Palo Alto Research Center has huge contribution in world of technology. They have contributed a lot and their inventions are extremely beneficial. They have invented laser printers, computer generated bitmap graphics, graphical user interface (GUI), WYSIWYG text editor, interpress, Ethernet, object oriented programming in Smalltalk programming language, and the model view controller software architecture. They always contributed in the field of communication and have introduced and manipulated the knowledge related to communication as well. They certainly have introduced so many things related to dynamic media that has been used by human beings of all ages.

Every year PARC files 100 applications per year for patent. Not only has that, their employees on average published 150 journals per year. They have worked in different areas such as bio medical, sciences and natural language technologies, security, communication and online social networks. They have strong commitment towards CleanTech initiatives. They are also looking forward for future innovation in nanotechnology, clean tech, intelligent systems and human information interaction.

The Graphical User Interface is one of the best examples of the dynamic media. Every user use GUI and without GUI, all the software’s are useless because the user would not be able to see anything. I am using the Blog and it has a GUI which allows me to see different menus, buttons and guides me what to do with my blog. Other students can view my post and comment with the help of GUI. They certainly have a huge contribution in designing and building of dynamic media.

“The Dynabook can be used as an interactive memory or file cabinet. The owner’s context can be entered through a keyboard and active editor, retained and modified indefinitely, and displayed on demand in a font of publishing quality.”


Another dream of Palo Alto Research was Dynabook and they invented it. It was considered to be personal computer of children and outlined as an education device. In 1970s, the technology was not that advanced as it is today but still they developed such device which worked as a tablet. The Dynabook prototype became the first personal computer which could incorporate the GUI. It could also work as a file cabinet and had the capability to be used as an interactive memory.  The users now days use mouse or keypad in order to transfer their files into USB or other memory devices. In case of Dynabook, the user’s context could either be entered by using keyboard and active editor. It allowed the user to view and modify the context as many times as he wants. Also, user could view the content as many times as he wants.

They explored the use of Smalltalk and interim Dynabooks as a programming and problem solving tool. Also, they utilized it as an interactive storage and manipulation of data, as a text editor and as a medium for expression through drawing, painting, animating pictures and composing and generating the music. The Dynabook no doubt was the best thing at that time.

Now days, technology is evolving and we use memory as a main source of file transfers. I remember, I have used Floppy and it was considered to be the most expensive and good way of transferring and storing data. The technology evolved and then CDS came into existence. After CDS, we are using USBs and external hard disks to store and transfer our data from one place to another. The technology will keep evolving and everything that has been invented is dependent and will be dependent on previous invention.



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