The original different thinker.
December 24, 2011 2:07 AM   Subscribe

Jack Goldman died this month. Mac? Windows? X11? You may think of visionaries who shaped technology as you know it. You might imagine that they were the original thinkers or visionary businessmen. You're wrong. The guy who laid the foundations started out trying to invent the electric car at Ford, before being hired to Xerox creating the legendary PARC labs that invented computing as we know it; he lived to see his prediction that "...any electric car produced in our lifetime will have to be a hybrid" come true.
posted by rodgerd (17 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
More on PARC.
posted by rodgerd at 2:09 AM on December 24, 2011


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posted by jchaw at 2:20 AM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's a legacy.

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posted by arcticseal at 2:48 AM on December 24, 2011


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posted by mccarty.tim at 5:59 AM on December 24, 2011


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It's crazy to think of the amount of world-changing tech that can be traced back to PARC.

Technically, doesn't the existence of the Nissan Leaf make the last statement false?
posted by selfnoise at 6:00 AM on December 24, 2011


Technically, doesn't the existence of the Nissan Leaf make the last statement false?

But given his age and life expectancy in 1968, I think he could have expected to die in the 1990s, in which case it would be pretty accurate.
posted by snofoam at 6:41 AM on December 24, 2011


Well, there was the EV-1, which was loved by the people who were permitted to have them.
posted by hippybear at 6:50 AM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyway...

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posted by hippybear at 7:27 AM on December 24, 2011


What a visionary. Makes me want to look behind all the credit hoggers out there to see who was actually the catalyst.

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posted by yoga at 8:22 AM on December 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah my Leaf would like a word with him...
posted by Windopaene at 8:43 AM on December 24, 2011


But given his age and life expectancy in 1968, I think he could have expected to die in the 1990s

Wait, life expectancy in 1968 was only 32 years?
posted by localroger at 9:17 AM on December 24, 2011


Oh, right. Carry on.
posted by localroger at 9:17 AM on December 24, 2011


Well, there was the EV-1, which was loved by the people who were permitted to have them.
posted by hippybear


Drove one of those a few times. The cool part was how it would let you expend a full charge in a 3 second burst of glory, if you so desired.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:35 AM on December 24, 2011


>Yeah my Leaf would like a word with him...<

Yea and my 2010 Tesla is a bit offended.
posted by twidget at 9:39 AM on December 24, 2011


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posted by Artw at 10:16 AM on December 24, 2011


With all due respect to Jack Goldman and his significant accomplishments, you (and the Ars Technica obit writer) are overselling Xerox PARC a bit. Doug Englebart (and people that worked for him before they went to PARC) is responsible for the development of the mouse and much of the GUI, and in terms of being a "visionary businessman", well, the Xerox GUI was an internal secret for nearly a decade before a certain recently-deceased gadget mogul paid them for access to it.

(Note to mods: not trying to derail an obit thread here, but the framing of this post seemed to be inaccurate to me, not to mention a little ax-grindy.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:21 AM on December 24, 2011


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posted by homodigitalis at 12:13 PM on December 24, 2011


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