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This article was published on November 4, 2008


    The laptop celebrates its 40th anniversary

    The laptop celebrates its 40th anniversary
    Ernst-Jan Pfauth
    Story by

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

    You might not realize it when you’re playing around with a fancy Macbook, but the laptop has been around for forty years now. It all started with the Dynabook, a conceptual system proposed by Xerox PARC in 1968. Credits for this innovation that inspired computer makers to work on laptops and tablet pc’s go to researcher Alan Kay.

    Like every tech inventor, he isn’t satisfied with the recent developments. Kay doesn’t like the fact that small mobile devices are capable of the same things as laptops.

    When Kay designed the prototypes of the Dynabook, he aimed for children. Of course, adults could have their way with the small computers, but the main focus was on developing educational applications for kids. So I guess it’s not a coincidence that Kay currently works for the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC).

    To honor Kay’s achievements, Mountain View’s Computer History Museum on Wednesday will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the legendary Dynabook.

    Here’s a video of Alan Kay’s recent Ted Talk.

    [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg_ToU7m1MI]

    [Hat tip: Bright]