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Fellow VentureBeat writer Dean Takahashi and I caught up with computing pioneer Alan Kay at Stanford University yesterday, at an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first public demonstration of the computer mouse. Yesterday he said that Engelbart was far ahead of his time with inventions such as a computer display for viewing computer output.

“Some people pooh-poohed him because they said nobody would spend hours in front of a screen,” Kay joked. Oh, how times have changed. Kay, who broke new ground with his work on object-oriented programming and whose concept of the Dynabook inspired today’s laptops, is now the president of Viewpoints Research Institute, an educational research nonprofit for children and personal computing. And he’s wickedly talented on keyboards (baroque pipe organ, anybody?) and the jazz guitar to boot.

VentureBeat’s Tam Vo interviews PC pioneer Alan Kay from Dean Takahashi on Vimeo.


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