I’ve had the good luck to know many people from Xerox PARC and through that network I ended up talking with an ex-PARC, Alan Kay, about an upcoming museum exhibit focused on the first WIMP computer, the Xerox Alto.
He enjoyed one of my 1:6 scale Memex and is now funding the creation of 6 full scale Alto replicas. There are a bunch of people involved with the software but my part is making the physical objects.
Anyway, yesterday I had my first dry fit of roughly printed test parts with the laser cut and bent metal frame parts.
Much work remains but it’s fun to directly see the overall shape of something from the early 70s that I’ve only ever seen behind glass or in photos.
I remember these units well …guess that dates me!
Thanks for showing this! I’d love to keep seeing pictures as this comes together.
My wife’s Aunt oversaw one of the first Xerox Alto setups in the federal government — awesome technology — really wish we could get back to that sort of consistency and innovation.
This display case print is the first multi-day test of my new heated enclosure for the CR-10s5 so the bottom few inches show layer adhesion problems. But, it’s now pretty well dialed in and seems to handle cold nights. I can still use this print to improve my finishing techniques.
I’m using a 1mm nozzle so there will be filler and a lot of sanding.
Any news about the Alto replica? I’m very interested into this project as an Smalltalker and passionate about the Xerox PARC history. Do you have the models, sketches, software or some kind of related stuff published somewhere?
Hi Luque and Welcome to the Forum. @trevorflowers has been sharing more of his awesome Alto PARC replica journey over on his Mastodon account. You can browse though his feed for a lot more build updates.
He didn’t tag all his PARC posts with hashtags but the hashtag #OnTheBench will get you a lot of them.
Oh, I forgot to post updates here!
In the meantime I built six replicas, took them all to the Computer History Museum for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Alto, and now two of them live at the museum.
Here are a few photos of the event:
A minivan filled with Alto replicas on our way from Seattle to Mountain View:
Dan Ingalls demoing Smalltalk:
Alto replicas waiting for the events to start:
Some of the original PARC folks trying to hack Contralto and the Alto Executive to see if their code is still in there:
Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the replica keyboards and mice in time for the trip but I’ll complete those in the next month or so.
Sorry to send you a message, I am very interested in this Xerox computer replica, can I buy one please? How can I contact you, my email is：[REDACTED]
Hi, I’m searching for a 3D model of the Xerox Alto for my 3D printer. Where could I find it? Thanks in advance
Hey, I created the models used for that project and they’re not publicly available.