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Xerox Alto

The Xerox Alto released in 1973 was the first computer that had a graphical user interface. It came with a mouse, bit-map graphics, menus and icons. The trash can, folder, file and printer icons already existed in the Alto and were very similar to their contemporary versions. The Alto was designed in Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). The Alto also came with a vector based drawing program titled Draw. In its tool palette Draw featured among other icons a paintbrush and scissors.

A total of 2000 units were sold at the time, mostly to universities and research centers. The Alto was later followed by Xerox Star and it strongly influenced all later graphical computer interfaces.


Photo of the Xerox Alto, taken by Martin Pittenauer.
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