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Meet your desktop's ancestors: AT&T exhumes footage of the Bell Blit (video)

Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
August 29, 2012
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AT&T's video archives are rich seams of juicy historical tidbits, and today's offering is a fine example. It's sharing footage of the Bell Blit, a graphic interface that Bell Labs developed after being inspired by the Xerox Alto. Originally named the Jerq, it was created by Rob Pike and Bart Locanthi to have the same usability as the Alto, but with "the processing power of a 1981 computer." Watch, as the narrator marvels at being able to use multiple windows at once, playing Asteroids while his debugging software runs in the background on that futuristic green-and-black display. The next time we get annoyed that Crysis isn't running as fast as you'd like it to, just remember how bad the geeks of yesteryear had it.



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