« Newegg and Pricewatch: useful resouces for building a PC from scratch | Home | 75k living Tech alumni? »

June 21, 2002

Xerox PARC no longer Xerox

I don't know how I missed this one, but Xerox PARC is no longer attached to Xerox. They're now just PARC - the Palo Alto Research Center; they're now an independent research house. John Seely Brown was the Director of PARC, but his name isn't in the list of management people, so I'm not sure what's happened to him. (His title was "Chief Scientist of Xerox," so I suppose he could have stayed with the parent company.)

This is a bit of sad news. Back in '79 or '80 when I was in the computer science program at UC Irvine, I was fascinated by Xerox was doing up at PARC. I found out that PARC had a tech report series, so I wrote off to PARC to request some of them. I still remember the day when I got a rather large box with two dozen of the famous blue-and-white covered reports. (I was amazed that they would send some random college sophomore so much paper!) I was so interested in what PARC was doing that I joined Xerox in El Segundo after I graduated from college. I spent 7 years working on the Xerox Star, a product that drew heavily on research from PARC.

The other half of the Xerox Star team was up in Palo Alto at buildings some miles from PARC, but I still found an excuse to go over and visit PARC once or twice. I do remember they had a wonderful cafeteria ...

I still have most of those old blue and white reports in my basement.