= X =
XEROX PARC /zee'roks park'/ n.
The famed Palo Alto
Research Center. For more than a decade, from the early 1970s into
the mid-1980s, PARC yielded an astonishing volume of groundbreaking
hardware and software innovations. The modern mice, windows, and
icons style of software interface was invented there. So was the
laser printer and the local-area network; and PARC's series of D
machines anticipated the powerful personal computers of the 1980s
by a decade. Sadly, the prophets at PARC were without honor in
their own company, so much so that it became a standard joke to
describe PARC as a place that specialized in developing brilliant
ideas for everyone else.
The stunning shortsightedness and obtusity of XEROX's top-level
suits has been well anatomized in "Fumbling The Future:
How XEROX Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer" by
Douglas K. Smith and Robert C. Alexander (William Morrow & Co.,
1988, ISBN 0-688-09511-9).
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.