Robert Taylor popularly known as Bob Taylor who provided visionary leadership in the creation and development of the personal computer and networking died on April 13, 2017 at the age of 85.
many of his peers who helped build the internet, Bob Taylor, was not
a computer scientist. He earned a master's degree in psychology at
the University of Texas at Austin and joined the Pentagon as a
research official. He worked as a civilian official at the Pentagon's
Advanced Research Projects Agency in the 1960s.
Taylor had three separate computer terminals in his office to
communicate with his colleagues across Berkeley, MIT, UCLA and
Stanford. Each terminal connected to a different computer in a
different part of the country. Here his frustration with the
inefficient communication led him to approve
the funding to launch the government computer network.
In 1966, he succeeded Ivan Sutherland as Director of the Information
Processing Techniques Office of the Advanced Research Projects where
he initiated the ARPAnet project, which laid the foundation of
today's Internet. He published a paper in 1968 titled, "The
Computer as a Communication Device," with JCR Licklider, which laid
out the future of the Internet.
In 1970, Taylor founded and
later managed the Computer Science Laboratory at Xerox Corporation's
Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Here, Xerox
Alto which is considered as an early personal computer was developed
in 1973. It was the first computer to use the desktop metaphor and
graphical user interface (GUI).
He also founded and managed
Digital Equipment Corp.'s Systems Research Center (SRC) until his
retirement in 1996. Among SRC's projects were the first
multi-threaded Unix system, the first User Interface editor, and an
early high performance search engine, Alta Vista.
In 1999, Taylor received the
National Medal of Technology and in 2004, the National Academy of
Engineering gave him its highest award, the Draper Prize.