Xerox Alto: restoring the legendary 1970s GUI computer

Alan Kay recently loaned his 1970’s Xerox Alto to Y Combinator and I’m helping with the restoration of this legendary system. The Alto was the first computer designed around a graphical user interface and introduced Ethernet and the laser printer to the world. The Alto also was one of the first object-oriented systems, supporting the Mesa and Smalltalk languages. The Alto was truly revolutionary when it came out in 1973, designed by computer pioneer Chuck Thacker.

This is just great. All-around great. No possible way to snark, be cynical, blame it on Android updates or iOS walled gardens – just plain old great. Be sure to watch the introductory video, and definitely don’t forget part one of the restoration, with more sure to follow.

Goosebumps the entire time. I would give a lot to be in that room.


  1. 2016-06-20 12:26 pm
  2. 2016-06-20 4:25 pm
  3. 2016-06-20 5:45 pm
  4. 2016-06-20 9:08 pm
  5. 2016-06-21 7:30 am