Bob Taylor died on April 13, 2017 aged 85. An ordinary sounding name for someone who had a hand in founding almost every computing-related technology in the last 50 years.
Bob Taylor was a firm believer in the power of teamwork; one of his favorite proverbs was, “None of us is as smart as all of us”. And, the teams he was part of, and directed or funded, are stuff of Silicon Valley Legend. To name but a few:
In 1961, as a project manager at NASA, his support of computer scientist Douglas Engelbart, led to the invention of the computer mouse.
In 1966, at ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) Taylor convinced his boss to spend half a million dollars on an experimental computer network. This became known as ARPAnet — the precursor to the Internet that we all live on today.
In 1972, now at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) he and his teams of computer scientists ushered in the era of the personal computer. Some of the notable inventions at PARC during Taylor’s tenure include: the first true personal computer (Xerox Alto); windowed displays and graphical user interfaces, which led to the Apple Macintosh; Ethernet to connect networks of local computers; a communications protocol that later became TCP/IP, upon which runs most of today’s Internet traffic; hardware and software that led to the laser printer; and word and graphics processing tools that led engineers to develop PhotoShop and PageMaker (Adobe Systems) and Bravo, which later became Microsoft Word.
Read more about Bob Taylor’s unique and lasting legacy over at Wired.
Image: Bob Taylor, 2008. Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0./ Wikipedia.