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Re: [midatlanticretro] OT: Maybe... How Alan Kay envisioned the IPad

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  • Evan Koblentz
    Also -- Alan himself makes no such claim of having invented the laptop -- it s just been thrust upon him. In fact, when engaged about the subject, he always
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 22, 2010
      Also -- Alan himself makes no such claim of having "invented" the laptop -- it's just been thrust upon him.  In fact, when engaged about the subject, he always divert the topic to software.  He says the Alto, NoteTaker, etc. were "interim Dynabooks" and that in his opinion, the Dynabook doesn't exist yet (not counting Toshiba's use of the "Dynabook" name on a laptop from the late 80s/early 80s I think.)

      Granted, I last talked to him pre-iPad, and I didn't ask him about Apple.

      Still, his primary interest in software.  He feels that computers should do whatever people (especially kids) want them to do, without the software getting in the way.

      That would be nice, wouldn't it?

      How does he feel about the iPad software?  I don't know.  I might revisit that with him when I write my last chapter (about lessons from the past that can be applied to the future.)

      Original post is here: http://gigaom.com/2010/01/26/alan-kay-with-the-tablet-apple-will-rule-the-world/

      There's a mistake.  The author states that Kay is "credited with inventing the concept of the laptop" -- it's true that Kay is often * credited * with inventing the concept, but as you know, many people are credited with things they didn't do all by themselves.  Others before him had explained such hardware; Kay articulated the software.  The closest he got to building such a computer was PARC's "NoteTaker" (Osborne-like) which was made by his team members, not by him.

      That's not to take away ANYTHING from his accomplishments.  The man is a living genius, which is why (commercial plug) I interviewed him a few months ago for my book.

      This is interesting.


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