Research: Do you need a PhD to receive a Turing Award? Inventor of the Alto Computer
When you run across a person that has done much of the same things that you have done and gets a big award you think two things (or at least I did):
- Cool, a computer engineer receives a Turing Award!
- Hey how come I didn’t get one?
Ok, take a look at this bio on Chuck Thacker: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/thacker-030910.aspx and see that he really deserved this award for his work on the first personal computer, the Xerox Alto PC.
Now that I have read Chuck Thacker’s bio, it shows a great deal of focus and vision. Vision I might have, focus, well, bright shiny objects come to mind. And Vision without focus is just useless most of the time. I would definitely have to say that my career was influenced by his work on the early personal computers, and likely so was yours.
To find out more about the Alto computer: http://www.guidebookgallery.org/articles/thexeroxaltocomputer
And what blog post would be complete without a mention of a game made to work on the Xerox Alto, MazeWar
MazeWars is used in the CS 244b Spring 2011 class at Stanford: http://www.stanford.edu/class/cs244b/mazewar.html#prog
You can give it a try as everything is open for your to use. See if you could be a student at Stanford without the expense of attending!
Bottom line, Good work Chuck Thacker and congratulations! Drinks on me if we should ever meet!