Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Feb 2014 12:31 UTC
Google

John Gruber, on Google's Project Tango:

Google is starting to remind me of Apple in the '90s: announcing more cool R&D prototypes than they release actual cool products. Even the R&D team names are similar - Google's is called "Advanced Technology and Projects"; Apple's was called "Advanced Technology Group".

Funny. Google's 'moonshots' actually remind me more of another R&D-focused company. Interestingly enough, without that company, the computer industry would have been set back decades, and Apple would most likely have been reduced to a footnote in computer history.

I would rather large companies spend their cash on potentially awesome research that may (or may not) advance computer technology and the human race, than have them stash it away in shady overseas bank accounts.

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RE: Set Back Decades
by Jbso on Wed 26th Feb 2014 16:34 UTC in reply to "Set Back Decades"
Jbso
Member since:
2013-01-05

I'm honestly not convinced that, without the R&D done by Xerox/PARC, the computer industry would have been set back decades.


You are focusing too narrowly on PARC. The important point is not that Xerox was the only company that could have done it, but rather, Xerox was the company that did do it because they were the ones willing to spend money on it. There are lots of advancements that can't be made without spending a good deal of cash, no matter how smart the researchers are.

Also, the GUI thing probably would have happened not too much later because all the groundwork had been laid. You have to think in the aggregate, if all the building blocks had been delayed, and all their prerequisites had been delayed, and so on recursively forever, we could still be without GUIs.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Set Back Decades
by Alfman on Wed 26th Feb 2014 16:58 in reply to "RE: Set Back Decades"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Jbso,

You are focusing too narrowly on PARC. The important point is not that Xerox was the only company that could have done it, but rather, Xerox was the company that did do it because they were the ones willing to spend money on it. There are lots of advancements that can't be made without spending a good deal of cash, no matter how smart the researchers are.


There's no debating that they deserve tremendous credit as the earliest pioneers in GUI and in many cases directly influenced the commercially successful computers which would follow. However I think if we view this is terms of moores law, the increasing accessibility of computers/components deserves more credit than any single player in the industry for the highly innovative period which followed.

This timeline gives a glance into all the activity that was going at the time:
http://oldcomputers.net/indexwp.html

This is an excellent source for reviewing the technology / prices of computers from our past.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Set Back Decades
by Vanders on Wed 26th Feb 2014 23:02 in reply to "RE[2]: Set Back Decades"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

There's no debating that they deserve tremendous credit as the earliest pioneers in GUI..


Apart from the small detail that they weren't.

Edited 2014-02-26 23:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2