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The Palo Alto Research Center


Xerox created the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), employing some of the world’s brightest researchers, to look into the true possibilities of a paperless office. Such researchers have been given the freedom to pursue their wildest ideas and personal computing has forever been changed. From the mouse to the laser printer and everything in between, they were able to come up with workable ideas, some stolen by others in the industry, with Xerox’s financial support.

The Palo Alto Research Center


Former Research

Alto and Star Computers

Graphical User Interface       WYSIWYG Editing

Bit-Mapped Display              Overlapping Windows



Laser Printers





Ultra-high Resolution Flat-Panel Displays

Flash Scanners Multibeam Lasers

The Future

Image Processing

Document Content

Micro-Scale Devices

Biomedical Sciences

Mobile & Wireless


They are currently partnering with many forward thinking companies. Their past and current ideas, including “network in a box,” have earned them many awards and the respect of others. PARC’s success has led Xerox to spin off new companies based on their accomplishments, and many of their researchers from the early days have gone on to join or create successful computer businesses of their own. The future is happening today at PARC.

  • Curbow, Dave. Xerox Star Historical Documents. 2004. Online. Internet. 16 May 2006. Available: https://www.digibarn.com/friends/curbow/star/index.html.
  • Xerox. PARC Fact Sheet. 2006. Online. Internet. 15 May 2006. Available: https://www.parc.xerox.com/about/factsheet.html.
  • Xerox. PARC History. 2006. Online. Internet. 15 May 2006. Available: https://www,parc.xerox.com/about/history/

Question 2

Cringely described Bill Gates as a “megalomaniac” and Steve Jobs as a “sociopath” (Cringely: x) their differences do not end there. They came from two very different worlds to succeed in personal computing. They are also similar in many respects and some of these similarities have been a problem for them.

Bill Gates came from an influential family and has strived in life to be recognized in his own right and succeeded, even though he dropped out of Harvard as a sophomore. Microsoft’s operating system, MS-Dos, was bought by one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world, IBM. Windows and Internet Explorer set standards for which many software developers have tried to copy and compete. Microsoft itself and PARC have shaped the manner in which businesses work in the computer industry. It has also influenced how these businesses conduct business.

Steve Jobs never knew his real parents and it is believed that this fact accounts for his volatile nature and the need to be recognized in hopes that his parents will find him. Unlike Gates, when he joined the industry Employment was already employed at a video games manufacturer. Apple computers are his claim to fame. It was his idea to improve and develop the original machine built by Steve Wozniak, and then market it. Unlike Gates, he has left Apple and moved on to other things. The NeXT computer was his creation. He is always looking for a new idea and better ways of computing and communicating.

In that respect both men are similar. They both want to improve the way that we work, play and communicate with personal computers. Neither of them was afraid to use other’s ideas and products, by adapting them to their needs, and turn them into their own successful products. Jobs appropriated the mouse and Gates rewrote BASIC. They saw the possibilities and with a few changes of their own created new products which revolutionized the industry and how we use computers today.

They are both excellent salesmen: enthusiastic, driven, and influential. They are able to captivate audiences with their energy and belief in their products and turn them around to their way of thinking. Neither of their initial products was perfect, but people bought into the idea that they could be in the future, with these men driving their companies to improve, refine, develop, and succeed. Their energy stimulated the creativity of others in their businesses, leading to further developments and successes.

They are both equally volatile and manipulative. These have proven to be strengths and weaknesses for both of them. Both of them wanted to set the industry standards and put their products in every home, school, and office in America and were willing to exert their wills on employees, competitors, and suppliers. Though this attitude has worked for Gates, with the exception of influencing the US government, it has proven to work against Jobs. He managed to alienate even his partners at Apple and left under a cloud of doubt and despair.

They are probably two of the most recognizable faces and names in the industry and have been willing to financially back their ides, no matter how risky. Gates has been the big winner in this aspect of their personalities, but Jobs isn’t broke and continues to support new ideas and products with the same zeal he employed at Apple.

They are innovators and visionaries who will continue to influence all aspects of personal computing in the future.

Question 3

There are many easy ways to combat writing stress online and these apply whether in class or a forum or a blog. Keeping things simple is the main secret of success. If you have something you know you are going to say or ask while online you should write it down first, prior to going online, to clarify points you want to make or the wording you are going to use. You should try to use short paragraphs and sentences, with two lines between, the paragraphs so that your messages are easy to read and understand.

Try to keep your comments or messages limited to two screens of text. In this way readers will not be bored and miss the points you are trying to express. How you express yourself is important too. People can’t see you, so what you say and how you say it is important. Be supportive to others and express your attitude simply and courteously and if you like you can use emoticons to convey your attitude.

Finally, when speaking to others, be specific. Communicate with people by name and mention previous comments they’ve made so that there are no misunderstandings. This way other participants won’t think you’re “talking” to them. Above all, just keep it simple and short and your online writing experience will be more rewarding.

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