Internet Pioneer Dies

One of the founding fathers of the internet has died at the age of 85.

Robert Taylor, initiated Arpanet, which was a computer network, linking four US research centres together, which later evolved into what we now call the “internet”.

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He had a long history working with computers and innovating future products.

Whilst at Xerox, he was was involved with the first computer desktop icons and an early form of a word processor that would provide the basis for Microsoft Word.

Mr. Taylor was a former NASA employee, before he joined the US Department of Defence.

Back in the 1960s and 70s, he inspired the way people worked by developing methods where scientists could share data using different terminals on their mainframes. He wanted to information to be stored in a central repository and users to be able to message each other from their computer terminals.

Robert Taylor helped bring about the creation of the internet

He built networks that connected interactive communities together and combined them into larger communities, where distance would not be an issue.

Despite reservations from colleagues, he was given $1m (796,000) to pursue the project.

He and his team built Alto, which was a personal computer. It was networked, utilised a mouse and had a graphical use interface, all of which were unknown at the time.

A certain Steve Jobs was permitted a look at Alto, which gave him the inspiration to develop what we know today as Apple, beginning with the Apple Lisa and Apple Mac.

Taylor resigned from Xerox in 1983.

He and a team of fifteen who joined him from Xerox, went to work for DEC.

There they developed AltaVista, which is an early form of an internet search engine. They also created a new computer language that would eventually become Java.

Mr. Taylor provided the foundations of the internet, word processors, GUI computer interfaces, which we all take for granted today.

We owe him and his team of pioneers so much.

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