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Xerox Alto Click any image to see it full size Item Description Yes, That's right, You are looking at a system-complete, never commercially sold Xerox Alto. This is grandfather of all modern computing. First produced in 1973, the Alto was WAY ahead of it's time, including: 1) Full ethernet networking 2) A 3 button Mouse (first in a non-DARPA computer) 3) a Full-page portrait CRT 4) Graphical user interface 5) The first WYSIWYG word processor 6) The first integrated email application 7) The first graphical network based computer game (Alto Trek!) 8) The first WYSIWYG integrated circuit design software 9) The first implementation of the Smalltalk development environment 10) Bitmapped graphics, menu's, icons, the "folder" metaphor for storage, etc.... 11) Removable storage - 2.5 Megabyte (yes, megabyte!) The following text was adapted from Data General's archival history pages (no longer online): The Alto came out of Xerox's original Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), known for giving its research groups substantial freedom and generous funding, and was one of the most innovative computers ever designed. Often called the first personal computer or workstation, it used bit-mapped graphics, a mouse, menus, icons and other features that would prove to be the basic technologies of today's PCs. The designers also created the Ethernet local area networking protocol to link Altos within PARC. This particular workstation has been sitting in storage for a LONG time. I spent the last few days removing and testing the power supplies, as I wanted to see if I could IPL (boot) it. Unlike my last computer auction (the Apple 1), I knew these particular machines were very, very well built. I had to replace two capaciters, but I was able to turn the power on to the unit. The Power light goes on, all the fans go on, and I can hear the drum unit engage, but I get no response at all from the monitor or keyboard. Normally, this would be the type of problem I would love to dig into, but I pulled it out of storage to sell it as a very rare and unique museum piece, not as another one of my hobbies. The unit is about 36 years old, and has the usual scuffs, dings, and 'signs' of a piece of electronics gear this old. I have no doubt an industrous computer collector, museum, or EE major will not have too much difficulty bringing this piece of history back to life, or just showcasing it as the centerpiece of a computer collection. Why would I sell something like this? I have two, and frankly, I would like this to go someplace where it would be better appreciated than my storage facility. I could use the space for my 'other' collectables :> Thing's I've noticed about the unit since I've pullled it out of storage: 1) There is a plastic swivel on the bottom of the portrait display that get's bolted into the metal 'base' unit. The plastic swivel is broken. I can still place the remaining plastic into the bolt on the base, but this should be epoxied or replaced before the full weight of the CRT is back on the plastic (I have photographed this) 2) The left shift key is loose. These are old school spring loaded keys, and the larger keys take two springs. The left shift seems to be missing one of the springs. Doesn't effect it's use, nor would you notice it unless you put your finger on it, but since I noticed it, you now know about it. 3) This unit was clearly used as a file server. The normal termination block has a secondary cable (which I photographed ) which would go to an external drive. This is a bonus, as the terminators and cables are impossible to find 4) I believe the CRT is good. While my first thought was the screen must be bad, I can see the cathode warming up through the back. I believe the machine is hanging during IPL, which is the best possible scenario from a troubleshooting perspective. 5) The unit is on wheels, but one of the casters is flakey. It's like getting the 'bad' cart at the supermarket. This unit is the foundation of so many other modern computers, it really is the ultimate computer for the collector or museum. from wikipedia: " In 1979, Apple Computer's co-founder Steve Jobs visited Xerox PARC, where he was shown the Smalltalk-80 programming environment, networking, and most importantly the WYSIWYG, mouse-driven graphical user interface provided by the Alto. He reportedly was not impressed by the first two, but was excited by the last one, and promptly integrated it — first into the Apple Lisa and then in the Macintosh, attracting several key researchers to work in his company ." Too bad this machine was never commercially available, as it would have started the computer revolution a decade earlier.\ This unit is HEAVY. Takes two strong, and fit people to lift it into a truck. My preference would be to have this picked up locally. If that is not an option, I am willing to drive 100 miles in any direction from Chicago to meet the buyer. If that is not an option, because of the weight, this will have to be palleted and shipped ground via a freight fowarding company. This will be the only shipping option available in the auction, and I will rebate 100% of the shipping fee to someone who will p Shipping Details This unit is HEAVY. Takes two strong, and fit people to lift it into a truck. My preference would be to have this picked up locally. If that is not an option, I am willing to drive 100 miles in any direction from Chicago to meet the buyer. If that is not an option, because of the weight, this will have to be palleted and shipped ground via a freight fowarding company. This will be the only shipping option available in the auction, and I will rebate 100% of the shipping fee to someone who will pick it up Payment Details Paypal only please! If paying via 'e-check' I can't ship or allow you to pick it up before it clears, and Paypal seems to take forever. The apple 1 owner had to wait over 10 full business days before the e-check cleared. Ouch! Auction listing templates at BiggerBids.com.