Alan Kay’s 1968 Laptop Still Hasn’t Been Invented

dynabook by you.

November 5th, 2008 was the 40th anniversary since computer scientist Alan Kay devised the “Dynabook”, a theoretical computing device which was aimed toward higher education and “children of all ages”.

Since the device’s theoretical conception in 1968 and a publication of a paper proposing its use in 1972 when Kay was at Xerox’s PARC, many of the technologies that were in Kay’s conceptual device finally did come to fruition, such as portable and mobile computing, GUIs, and object-oriented programming languages. But has the Dynabook truly been realized?

Read the rest of this article on ZDNet Tech Broiler.

One Response to Alan Kay’s 1968 Laptop Still Hasn’t Been Invented

  1. However, I will say that going paperless and getting a cheap electronic tablet into everyone’s hands — not just students, is a very good idea for a ton of reasons. It’s ultimately green, vastly reducing the shipment of paper books to university stores which eats up natural resources and adds to our carbon footprint. Mass production and adoption of such a device would enable the use of social networking technologies — so that education can be extended outside the classroom, such as for distance learning and part-time students.
    >> In fact both approaches are possible:
    – build a Dynabook to respect the planet and develop remote access to the knowledge
    – never do it at all because some people love the book as a thing, they enjoy touching pages, watching covers, etc.

    let’s imagine for a minute it should possible to have both in a library:
    – physical books for their fans
    – electronic books for geeks and students

    It would be interesting to give the choice and see what’s working best in the long run.


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