Robert Taylor, helped create the Internet, PC and Mouse

Robert Taylor, Innovator Who Shaped Modern Computing, Dies at 85

https://nyti.ms/2nNiwAw

Comments

  • 27 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,564
    Great writeup of a true computer visionary. A life well-lived, Robert. RIP.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • MikeDYurMikeDYur Posts: 2,175
    edited April 15 Vote Up0Vote Down
    There is a computer you don't think of as the first PC.

    At ten's of thousands of dollars each, it wasn't advertised in any magazine I was reading in the 70's.

    BTW: It was a hit in Silicon Valley, anybody have one?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerox_Alto
    1280 x 1707 - 278K
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 19,856
    edited April 15 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Yeah, yeah, we know. The Alto.

    Probably the worst thing to happen to computing ever.

    As a result of the Alto we have all these pointy, clicky interfaces on Macs and Windows and Linux that never work. And when they don't work you stand no chance of finding out why not.

    Sorry, I'm grumpy. I just bought a pair of Sennheiser Bluetooth headphones. Can my Win 10 machine pair to them? No, it does not even see them. Can I find out why not? No, not in anyway I can find on Google.

    I now have a 40 page Sennheiser manual to read. Grief for head phones!

    Same shit when WIFI does not work or whatever. It's like playing some kind of poker machine with the buttons. If you are lucky it works. For a while...

    As a result of the Alto we have things like Word. Pretty much unusable for anything serious.

    The old Alto guys will say, yes but Mac, Windows, Linux GUI's are a pale shadow of what we had in in mind. Perhaps. Don't believe you.





  • @Heater, I have never been able to get Bluetooth headphones to pair with Windows. I have had no problem with Android, but Windows just doesn't seem to work.
  • Can't pair with these Sennheiser's from my Android phone either.

    Other bluetooth speakers in the house are easy.



  • Heater. wrote: »
    Can't pair with these Sennheiser's from my Android phone either.

    Other bluetooth speakers in the house are easy.

    Batteries perhaps?
    In science there is no authority. There is only experiment.
    Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
  • Batteries were charged for 3 hours before doing anything. As per the instructions. There is a girl in the phones announcing when power is switched on, then repeatedly saying "connection lost".

    Why they want to put a stupid annoying voice in the phones I don't know. That could put me off ever using them.
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,564
    Happy Easter Heater!
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Sorry, am I grumping again?

  • MikeDYurMikeDYur Posts: 2,175
    edited April 16 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Heater. wrote: »
    Sorry, am I grumping again?


    I wonder sometimes what Android, Linux, Windows and accessories have in common when it comes to Bluetooth. Pain.

    BTW: Happy Easter.
  • Also Apple. My friends iPhone won't pair with anything.
  • I've paired bluetooth speakers to several Win10 machines without trouble, but sound is known to be an issue on Win8-10. I have a Win8 tablet I use as a media server which won't play sound through the HDMI port to the TV unless the TV is on and in HDMI mode when I turn the tablet on -- and if I let the tablet go to sleep, when it wakes up it won't play sound until I reboot it. We also had a Win10 box bought specifically to do audio recording that had no volume on the audio input; googling suggested this is a common problem, and none of the OS controls would fix it. But some third party programs -- we found a freeware graphic equalizer -- apparently set whatever multiplier isn't being set by the OS controls, and fix the problem.

    The problem isn't the graphics and the pointy-clicky things. Back in the day the GEM and Amiga graphical interfaces were pretty solid. It's that the underlying software isn't thoroughly vetted before being released, and being so complicated it does inevitably have edge case bugs which people inevitably find because there are so many people using them.
  • Heater. wrote: »
    Batteries were charged for 3 hours before doing anything. As per the instructions. There is a girl in the phones announcing when power is switched on, then repeatedly saying "connection lost".

    Why they want to put a stupid annoying voice in the phones I don't know. That could put me off ever using them.

    It's like every advance to what is possible. Use it as often as possible even if doing so is ridiculous and irritating. I remember my first batch of "personalized" junk mail when pasting fields into form letters became possible. My full name appeared at least once in every sentence. It did impress me, but certainly not in the way the senders were hoping.
    In science there is no authority. There is only experiment.
    Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
  • We have a pair of UE BOOM speakers here. They pair with all the Windows 10 machines around here very easily. As a stereo pair no less. Thy don't have any annoying voice announcing "power on" and "connected" etc. Just some quite unobtrusive bongo sounds. There has been no issues with sound with this setup.

    The Sennheiser's though....hopeless. And annoying!

  • My main bluetooth issue is my smartphone and my car. (Subaru Outback) I want to pair the phone to either make calls or get turn by turn GPS directions. Calls - ok. But if I do that for GPS, then I can't listen to the radio. The system doesn't seem to understand the concept of potting down the radio and playing audio from the smartphone only when it's present. Then potting back up the radio. If I use the car's built-in GPS then that works fine. But the phone's GPS is so easier to use and can take advantage of traffic data.
  • MicksterMickster Posts: 981
    edited April 17 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I don't remember if this applies to pairing as well as connecting but my li'l lady keeps making the mistake of trying to connect to her external speaker when another powered-up device , in the area, has grabbed the connection. It gets her every time.

    Edit: I had a few issues with my XP machine until I downloaded a Toshiba BT driver. Been rock-solid ever since.

    Edit again: You probably already have this
    PropBASIC ROCKS!
  • Mickster,

    So I installed the Sennheiser updater software. Only 50MBytes or so. Turns out it does nothing except update software, which I don't have installed and it does not offer to install. Useless.

    So I installed the Sennheiser Headsetup package. Only another 50MB download. That does nothing except display a big black cross and tell me no devices are connected.

    It's disgusting. Another hundred megabytes of my SSD taken up with code that does absolutely nothing!

    Still these phones don't show up in the Bluetooth settings of Win 10.

    And that annoying girl stuck in my phones.

    So far the worst product I have bought for years.


  • Fridiculous!

    You had me looking at that Surface Pro but I have just about had it with Windows. I have a couple of XP toughbooks and an ancient W7 desktop. I dread having to "upgrade".
    PropBASIC ROCKS!
  • To be fair this is perhaps not a Windows problem. Those Sennheiser's don't show up on my new Samsung phone either. Or my friends iPhone(but nothing much Bluetooth works there anyway).

    The Fridiculous 100MB download from Sennheiser that does nothing at all is hardly Windows fault. Neither is the annoying girl in the phones.

    As it happens, I love my Surface Pro. I live with it 24 hours per day. From a hardware perspective it's great. I have never liked big honking, noisy, PC's that are mostly full of air space. I have never liked laptops with their invariably unusable keyboards, track pads, etc. Tablets don't cut it from a software perspective. No, this machine runs everything I normally use under Linux. All be it GUI apps like Firefox, Chrome, GIMP, etc. Or command line tools under cygwin or the Linux Subsystem for Windows. Or at a pinch actual Linux under VirtualBox.

    Yes, Win10 has some serious annoyances, but I have found they are manageable. Mostly I'm not interacting with Windows.

    This, from a guy who has used nothing but Linux since 1999 or so!

    I wonder what happens when the battery fails. Assuming most of it still works at that time I will find away to open the thing up. I suspect a mill world do. And by all reports it's possible to get a usable Linux system install on there!


  • TorTor Posts: 1,813
    edited April 18 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I used Bluetooth for all kind of things in the past. I don't see the need for that anymore. The only thing I use Bluetooth for, when I use it at all, is for a small bluetooth mouse and a bluetooth keyboard that I occasionally use with an Android tablet. Even transfering photos from a mobile device has become a pain with Bluetooth, so now it's email over wi-fi. I have never used BT for headphones. I did use one of those small mic/earplug thingies with a mobile phone ages ago, and remember it mostly for its terrible sound quality.

    BT doesn't have much use for me anymore. It was nice for a time, but that time has passed, except for kbd and mouse where it *is* useful, and work without hassle for me. For all that other stuff there are now much better ways around (including using a cable for hi-fi headphones).
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,564
    Agreed, BT is passé. Back OT, RT passed away.

    Any pertinent comments?
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • TorTor Posts: 1,813
    In an interview some years ago Robert Taylor said that he eventually got fed up with Xerox' inability to use any of his innovations, so he left and joined DEC, and 15 others followed him there.
  • The odd thing is that I don't recall ever hearing of Robert Taylor before.

    A quick scan of his bio indicates that he was great and getting people to invest money to develop other peoples great ideas. Which is a great and worthwhile talent of course.

    Did I use "great" too often there?

  • TorTor Posts: 1,813
    One thing I noticed when I read about Robert Taylor is that he worked on something at DEC that became the beginning of Java. I thought Java was Gosling's idea from the start. So that claim was a bit odd.
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 19,856
    edited April 19 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Oh, someone was having a joke. When I checked the Robert Taylor page on Wikipedia a couple of days ago it read:


    Taylor was known for his high-level vision and invention of the "any" key: "The Internet is not about technology; it's about communication and choice, if you want to press any key. The Internet connects people who have shared interests, ideas and needs, regardless of geography."


    Invention of the "any" key ?

    That entry has been fixed since:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Taylor_(computer_scientist)

    Edit: Don't ask me why but it seems to be impossible to post that link here correctly.
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,564
    Heater. wrote: »
    When I checked the Robert Taylor page on Wikipedia a couple of days ago ...

    It MUST be true if it's on the Internet.



    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • If it was not true before the internet it is true now. At least until we change it again.

    We are living in the age of "alternative facts"

    Or as Nik Turner sang in 1980 something : "Post future reality, it's a better real world"


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