Feeds

PARC turns 40: mice, money, and the new interwebs

A place whose time has come. Again

High performance access to file storage

PARC at 80?

The big question: where will PARC be on its 80th anniversary? In 2050?

PARC's director is setting his sights more modestly - Bernstein's looking just 10 years out, to 2020 with the work on CCN. "Just getting through to 2020 is as far as we're thinking now," he said. Peering further out is a risky proposition, given massive changes in computing that succeeded PARC's formation in 1970 and those first ideas. "Forty years back when PARC was started... it's incredible the nature of change that's taken place," Bernstein said.

The future is an unpredictable place, it seems.

"CCN, if adopted, will have a real transformative impact on the way people consume information, and the performance of the network will change," he said. Away from computing: he's optimistic about clean technology and creating liquid fuels from carbon-dioxide capture, and work in thermodynamics for greater energy and power efficiency.

PARC exterior

PARC today: still on a journey and making progress?,

(photo by Gavin Clarke)

St. Claire's excited by the potential for CCN and also sees opportunity in imprinted electronics and ethnography, especially in Japan and South Korea that are keen to move from being "fast followers" to innovators. "That is a perfect place for us to play," she said.

PARC's history is inspiring. In the early 1970s it quickly laid the foundations of modern personal computing and networking. Fans of these contributions are not difficult to find, with Shuttleworth and Cutting both ready to praise its breakthroughs on technology work that was validated by virtue of the fact others widely adopted them. Even yoked by Xerox, PARC was something of a business success because it added to the parent's multibillion-dollar bottom line with innovation in printers and copiers - a story Seely Brown says is often overlooked.

Further, PARC achieved all this on a relatively small staff - around 250 researchers compared to three thousand working at Bell Labs, which gave the world Unix, over on the East Coast.

The history of PARC is also frustrating - and painfully slow for something positioned to sift the fast-paced flow of technology and new ideas. PARC was restricted by very the parent that gave it its liberal charter in 1970, a fact that saw much of the early talent pull the ripcord. Even rebirth in twelve years later failed to provide the operation the clean break it really needed, and only now - forty years into the whole PARC experiment - does the proper business acumen actually seem in place.

St. Claire believes that it's the history of innovation that'll help her in her work winning new business and expanding operations – and help PARC capitalize on its new thinking and innovations.

"I thought it would be a lot more challenging than it actually is here," she said of the job after 12 months. "I was once on the sales side at very small company, and trying to get an audience with people was very different. I'm on the sales side at PARC, and our name and reputation extends quite a bit."

"We are a relatively small company, as we exist as a subsidiary. If you were any other small company and not PARC, people would be concerned about: 'Do I want to form some kind of long-term relationships with you as an OEM?" Our name really helps us overcome a lot of that concern and certainly creates a degree of excitement." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.