I first seriously got into Alan Kay’s ideas about ten years ago, when YouTube became a thing. I watched The Computer Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet (YouTube). My eyes were opened. The typical story of personal computing is one of innovation, revolution, exploding possibilities, exponential curves of processing power per dollar. However, Alan Kay has a much bleaker view of the current timeline because he dreamed a bigger dream before it all started.
Alan Kay invented Smalltalk and Object-Oriented Programming. He reads more than a book per day. He has worked at Xerox PARC, Atari, and Apple. He’s currently the president of the Viewpoints Research Institute.
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A Conversation with Alan KayTextInterview
Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves.
Statements like this make me sad. I want to help but what can I do?
A Conversation with CMU Faculty & StudentsVideoInterview
A Dynamic Medium for Creative ThoughtVideoPresentation
Alan Kay, back in 1972, presenting bitmapped fonts, images inline with text, and other crazy stuff from his research.
A to Z of programming languages: Smalltalk-80TextInterview
Alan Kay - 2012 SCIx Keynote PresentationVideoPresentation
In this talk, Alan Kay explains the who, how, and why of the research done at Xerox PARC, and why that kind of research doesn’t happen nowadays.
Alan Kay CES Jan 2010VideoPresentation
Alan Kay Interview (1990)VideoInterview
As an Alan Kay fan, I was surprised to discover this gem of an interview. It’s almost three hours long. He talks about the history of computing, education, and some of the research at Xerox PARC.
An Interview with Computing Pioneer Alan KayVideoInterview
An Interview with Computing Pioneer Alan Kay (Time Magazine)TextInterview
Best Paper Award PresentationVideoPresentation
Beyond Printing (medium)VideoPresentation
CHI 2016 Plenary: Alan Kay in conversation with Vishal SikkaVideoInterview
Doing with Images Makes SymbolsVideoPresentation
Alan Kay talks about the educational ideas behind Smalltalk. This is an amazing lesson in theories of how we learn, especially learning by doing. If you don’t know, much of Alan Kay’s work has centered around how to make computing into a medium for kids to learn in.
History of the User Interface EditVideoPresentation
How Simply and Understandably Could The “Personal Computing Experience” Be Programmed?VideoPresentation
Interview in *Rolling Stone* by Stewart BrandTextInterview
Interview with Alan KayVideoInterview
Interview with Alan Kay (Dr. Dobbs)TextInterview
Inventing the Future Part 1VideoPresentation
Joe Armstrong interviews Alan KayVideoPresentation
Media Lab 30VideoPresentation
Normal Considered HarmfulVideoPresentation
Personal Dynamic MediaPDFArticle
Points of ViewPDFBooks
Power of SimplicityVideoPresentation
President, Viewpoints Research InstituteVideoPresentation
Programming and ScalingVideoPresentation
Rethinking CS EducationVideoPresentation
Rethinking Design, Risk, and SoftwareVideoPresentation
SRII 2011 - Keynote Talk by Alan Kay - Q&A SessionVideoPresentation
Seminar on Computer SystemsVideoPresentation
The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Invent ItVideoPresentation
The Dynabook—Past Present and FutureVideoPresentation
The Early History of SmalltalkTextArticle
This paper documents the influences that led up to Smalltalk, how it happened (it was a bet!), and the lessons they learned about it.
The Future Doesn't Have to Be IncrementalVideoPresentation
When you go into universities or into companies, what are they using? They’re using laptops. These are machines from the past. You’re not going to get anything but incremental improvements with that.
Alan Kay is encouraging large companies to spend more money on research that generates new inventions that change the context. For instance, Apple is still busy reproducing the computing environment they had at PARC, which included OOP, networked computing, and GUIs.
The NITLE Summit 2012 - Keynote Address by Dr. Alan KayVideoPresentation
The Reactive EngineTextPaper
Alan Kay’s PhD Thesis, which describes the machine he called “The FLEX Machine”.
The computer revolution hasn't happened yetVideoPresentation
Presented in 1997 at the OOPSLA conference, Alan Kay’s keynote was a harbinger of the ideas he would present in the twenty years hence. This is a must-watch talk.
The Computer Revolution tickled those feelings inside me that were not satisfied with how software is made, with the things we can do with our computers, and how little the computers help us. The talk was already ten years old when I first saw it, but the message is still relevant and probably will be for a long time.
User Group University talk 1987VideoPresentation
VentureBeat’s Tam Vo interviews PC pioneerVideoInterview