The legendary Xerox machine "Alto" Jobs based on the Macintosh GUI design is restored

It displays intuitive operation by displaying graphics on the screen and operating with the mouseGraphical user interfaceWith the realization of the GUI (GUI), it is said that until then the computers that had manually entered commands like cryptography became familiar. A computer that realizes such a GUI for the first time in the world and now tells that Steve Jobs who passed away is inspiredAltoRestore project that is trying to resurrect again is proceeding.

Y Combinator's Xerox Alto: restoring the legendary 1970s GUI computer

It can be said that the GUI was indispensable for the spread of computers such as Apple Computer's Macintosh, OS such as Microsoft Windows, and touch-type interface which directly manipulates the screen like a smartphone. The computer that realized such GUI for the first time in the world was "Alto" which Xerox (Xerox) made in 1973 made appearance.

Alto is the first computer system supporting the object-oriented programming language "Smalltalk", it is well known that the world's first mouse to use a computer for operation. In addition, contents displayed on the display can be output as they are as printed matterWYSIWYGIt is this Alto project that first created the editor technology and Ethernet connection by LAN connecting the computers, and it is no exaggeration to say that many of the computer technologies leading to modern times were formed at this stage. The central role of such Alto project was called 'the parent of personal computer'Alan KayHe is.

Kay is a venture capitalY CombinatorI lent the real machine of Alto for restore, and computer engineer'sKen ShirriffAlto's revitalization plan is about to start in the form that Mr. is in charge of the actual work.

The appearance of Alto trying to get into work is put in the movie and it is published on YouTube.

Seminal Xerox Alto arrives for restoration - YouTube

This machine is the origin of contemporary computer Alto Xerox. A total of 2000 units of Alto were produced and utilized inside Xerox's company, but it was said that there was never on the market. In that sense, it seems that the actual machine of Alto which is present is valuable.

The mouse which Mr. Jobs was greatly affected also remains. The Alto mouse is a type with three buttons.

In the movie, Alto was placed next toMacintosh SE / 30Also appeared. Although the age that was made is two computers that are different about 10 years, this Macintosh is present on the extension of Alto.

Mr. Jobs who was successful at the first Apple computer has the opportunity to visit the Palo Alto Research Center in Xerox in 1979. So Jobs saw what Alto was seeing, but Mr. Jobs showed three ideas at this time, but because I could not take my eyes off the splendidness of the GUI, I could not understand the other two And that. It is said that the two were "object-oriented programming" and "computer networking" where computers are connected to each other, but it is surprising that both technologies were about to be formed at the stage before 1980.

The heart of the computer taken out of the housing.

There are four large cooling fans on the back.

Looking at another side, terminals connected by a large amount of electric wires are lining up.

This is the connector part for connecting the board of the computer that will appear later. On modern computers, it is just a thing that makes you feel the age, such as goggles that you do not see about, terminal terminals that wind up cables and solder, and so on.

What kind of blue boxes are switching power supplies that supply power to each part. A power supply that supplies + 15V, -15V, and + 12V on the other side and a power supply that supplies + 5V and -5V for the bigger one in front.

And this is the logic board which is the heart of the computer. It seems that ten boards of a certain size are used as much as modern motherboards.

Loosen the lever and pull out the board ......

The ALU board responsible for computation came out. ALU chip that heart was popular at that time74181Are used, and in the vicinity there are necessary for the operation of the ALU chipregister(Storage devices) are spread out.

And this is the board with the main memory. The memory capacity of a board that contains 80 Intel memory chip "4116" is only 128 KB by this. Restored Alto is a model called "Alto II XM (eXtended Memory)" which realized 512 KB of memory with four boards, but the moment that I am keenly aware of the flow of the times to the small number.

The main body has a huge slot to insert the storage media. What is used here is probably a model called MEMOREX by Diablo Systems.

And this is the storage media cartridge. It has a huge hard disk of 15 inches, but the storage capacity seems to be only 2.5 MB.

Comparing numerical values ​​and performances with modern computers is not very meaningful, but it seems like a long history is felt when thinking that many modern computers have started from here. It is interesting to know when the restore is completed and will be operational again.

in Hardware,   Video, Posted by darkhorse_log