Bob Taylor’s Message

Last month we lost an Internet pioneer. “[The head of ARPA] liked the idea immediately,” Robert W. Taylor told the New York Times, “and he took a million dollars out of the ballistic missile defense budget and put it into my budget right then and there.” That was the beginning of Arpanet, which evolved into the Internet.

That was in 1966. In a paper he co-wrote two years later, Taylor predicted that the Internet would link humans in an unprecedented way, letting us communicate more effectively over the net than face-to-face, replacing existing print dictionaries and encyclopedias, and serving as a grand public information utility.

Later, he ran Xerox PARC, where he oversaw the development of the Alto computer and the modern graphical user interface, Ethernet, laser printer technology, and WYSIWYG word processing.

He also wrote this.

He died Thursday, April 13, in Woodside, California, at the age of 85.

Author: Michael Swaine

Michael Swaine is a writer and editor. He helped launch the first personal computer newsweekly, InfoWorld. He co-authored Fire in the Valley, the seminal tech history book on which the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley was based. He was editor-in-chief of Dr. Dobb’s Journal and has written for and edited several other magazines. His latest creation is PragPub for The Pragmatic Programmers. He and his partner Nancy Groth own Summer Jo’s, an organic farm, restaurant, and bakery in Grants Pass, Oregon.