Saturday, October 16, 2010

Xerox Alto Computer

The Alto Computer, a 1973 Xerox creation, was a hugely innovative beast, that could easily be described as the first proper workstation and the grandfather of modern computing. Years before Apple got, uhm, "inspired" by it, the Xerox Alto offered an amazing GUI complete with file folders and bitmap icons, WYSIWYG word-processing and design software, a 3-button mouse, ethernet support, a built-in e-mail app and even a removable hard disk. The thing was also home to the ground-breaking Maze War game, that was the first online FPS ever.

You could (and should, really) find out more about the Xerox Alto here, here, here, and here. You can even try and emulate it via the rather lovely though not 100% ready Altogether simulator.

As the Xerox Alto was quite the computing behemoth and never got itself commercially sold, it is most definitely a particularly rare mini computer. This Xerox Alto Vintage Computer that has appeared @ eBay might just be a great chance to grab one, provided of course you have your very own and fully equipped vintage computing museum. Seller ships only within the US (this is a truly heavy machine).

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