Xerox Alto

Xerox-AltoThe Xerox Alto personal computer, designed at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC) and introduced in 1973, was the first computer to use a graphical user interface (GUI) using bit-mapped graphics and experimenting with the desktop metaphor. It was developed into early graphics office systems such as the Xerox Star and was a key influence on later graphical systems such as the Apple Lisa, Three Rivers PERQ and Sun Workstations.

[Xerox Alto image to right from]


ContrAlto Emulator

ContrAlto is an application created by the Living Computer Museum for modern PCs that simulates the original Xerox Alto, from the graphical display to the Ethernet interface. It allows you to experience part of the world Xerox PARC created 40 years ago. It draws on the preservation work of and the Computer History Museum.

ContrAlto-diskimage-part-1 ContrAlto-neptune
ContrAlto-calculator ContrAlto-battleships


Smalltalk was designed at the Learning Research Group (LRG) of Xerox PARC by Alan Kay, Dan Ingalls, Adele Goldberg and others during the 1970s.


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1 Response to Xerox Alto

  1. bat says:

    The Bitsavers web site which has preserved Xerox Alto disk images and other materials also holds resources for other early personal computers that we used at the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute and for early work on the O-Plan TF Workstation in 1984 [Image at end of this paper on TF method – PDF paper]

    * Three Rivers PERQ
    * Terak 8510/a

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