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Butler Lampson

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Butler Lampson is considered to be one of the great computer scientists in the history of computing. During the 1960s, Lampson and others were part of Project GENIE at UC Berkeley. In 1965, several Project GENIE members, specifically Lampson and Peter Deutsch, developed the SDS 940's operating system which allowed the development of Douglas Engelbart and SRI's On-Line System (NLS). Lampson was one of the founder members of Xerox PARC in 1970, where he worked in the Computer Science Laboratory (CSL). His now-famous vision of a personal computer was captured in the 1972 memo entitled "Why Alto?" In 1973, the Xerox Alto, with its two-button mouse and full page sized-monitor, was born and is considered to be the first actual personal computer in terms of how it was meant to be used.

Lampson helped work on revolutionary technologies such as the Alto personal distributed computing system, laser printer design, two-phase commit protocols, the first local area network (LAN) to use Ethernet, and several programming languages. By the early 1980s, Lampson left Xerox PARC for Digital Equipment Corporation and now works for Microsoft Research. In 1992, he won the distinguished ACM Turing Award for his contributions to personal computing and computer science.

Link to Lampson's website: http://research.microsoft.com/lampson/

See also: Alan Kay



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