Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Hardest Chapter

Perhaps the hardest chapter is always the one that you're currently working on. However, the chapter on the innovations coming out of Northern California in the 60s and 70s is challenging me. There's just so much material and so many people involved. Compare this to the chapter on the Analytical Engine where there was really only Charles Babbage and little bit of Ada Lovelace.

However, I think a way through is emerging. I'm currently planing to concentrate on three people:

  • Doug Engelbart - the inventor of the mouse and heavily involved in the development of networking and the GUI
  • Alan Kay - the inventor of object-oriented programming and the Dynabook (the precursor of the iPad)
  • Steve Wozniak - co-founder of Apple and designer of the Apple I & II

I'll also concentrate on three institutions: SRI, Xerox PARC, and the Homebrew Computer Club.

I know that this will cause some to howl "what about so and so" and "what about such and such" but it has to be done.