Chuck Thacker, the innovator of the first modern PC, has passed away at 74 years old.
According to CRN, Chuck Thacker passed away on Monday at his home in Palo Alto, California. His daughter, Christine Thacker said that the cause was complications of esophageal cancer.
Thacker worked for Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC) who were founded in 1970 with the aim of carrying out future-orientated research. Xerox PARC is recognized with the invention of Ethernet, Xerox Alto and the development of the laser printer.
The Xerox Alto Personal Computer was Thacker’s brainchild. This was the first personal computer that supported an operating system based on a graphical user interface (GUI). It was mouse-driven, had removable storage and was designed to provide easy accessibility while still being powerful. Essentially, it was the first computer that is comparable to the modern computers that we use today.
The Xerox Alto cost around $12,000 to manufacture, and if it had been sold to the public it would have been priced near $40,000.
In fact, Thacker was so influential, Microsoft founder Bill Gates also credits the Xerox Alto for inspiring what eventually became Microsoft Windows.
Thacker was also pivotal in the creation of the Tablet. He helped develop the hardware for Microsoft’s original line of Tablet PC’s.
He graduated with a B.S. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1967. He then proceeded to join the university’s “Project Genie” in 1968.
The computer in your house today would not exist without the ingeniousness of this man.