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PARC (Palo Alto Research Center)

PARC, formerly known as Xerox PARC, is the Palo Alto Research Center, located in California, in the high-tech area that has become known as Silicon Valley

Research areas at PARC include the physical, social and computer sciences. The research center developed a great number of concepts that have become integral to modern life, as well as others that have not yet found their place. 

Disruptive technologies invented at PARC include:

  • The laser printer.
  • Smalltalk, an object-oriented programming language that was hugely influential on future programming trends.
  • The personal workstation.
  • The WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) programming interface.
  • The first graphical user interface (GUI), developed for Xerox's Alto personal computer. 
  • Ethernet, a global standard for connecting workstations, files, printers and so on through a coaxial cable for a local area network (LAN). 
  • A refreshable electronic paper called Gyricon. 

In 2002, PARC was incorporated, under that name, as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox. 

This was last updated in March 2014

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