Xerox Alto Is Rebuilt and Reconnected by the Living Computer Museum
Paul G. Allen

Pretty awesome! We call these “technoarchaeology” or literally the archaeology of technology. Our team has done similar resurrection of old tech, including 1960’s tape drives to recover original images from the Moon in the 1960’s.

I was privilaged to actually use one of these Alto’s in 1985–86 at a company called Alpharel. We developed the first terabyte class engineering document server for the USAF and Army. We used the Alto in engineering to design the cable harnesses for our Laser Aperture Card Scanner (LACS). We used the principles behind the terminal in the development of our Graphics Data Terminal (GDT), which was a 200–300 dpi bitmapped graphical terminal interfaced to an IBM mainframe, which was the only system that could handle high refresh rates at that bit density.

The princples of the Alto was also used at another company I was a test engineer for, which was Symbolics, the first generation AI computer that ran LISP as native microcode in 1984…

Great to see this accomplishment and will play with the emulator and see if I still remember how it worked!

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