Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Butler W. Lampson is a computer scientist, considered to be one of the most significant in the history of the field.
During the 1960s, Lampson and others were part of Project GENIE at UC Berkeley. In 1965, several Project GENIE members, specifically Lampson and Peter Deutsch, developed the SDS 940 's operating system.
Lampson was one of the founding members of Xerox PARC in 1970, where he worked in the Computer Science Laboratory (CSL). His now-famous vision of a personal computer was captured in the 1972 memo entitled "Why Alto?". In 1973, the Xerox Alto, with its three-button mouse and full-page-sized monitor was born, and is now considered to be the first actual personal computer (in terms of how it was meant to be used).
All the subsequent computers built at Xerox PARC followed a general blueprint called "Wildflower", authored by Lampson, and this included the D-Series Machines, the "Dolphin" Xerox 1100 , "Dandelion" Xerox 1108 , "Dandetiger" Xerox 1109 , "Dorado" Xerox 1132 , "Daybreak" Xerox 6085 , and "Dragon" (a 4-processor 6085 with one of the first snoopy caches, never released). The D-series machines were based on bit-slice AMD 2900 processors that ran up to 16 micro-tasks (one of which was an Ethernet controller), and these were some of the most affordable computers ever designed from TTL logic.
At PARC, Lampson helped work on many other revolutionary technologies, such as laser printer design; two-phase commit protocols; Bravo, the first WYSIWYG text formatting program; Ethernet, the first high-speed local area network (LAN); and several influential programming languages.
Lampson's most famous aphorism is his statement "All problems in computer science can be solved by another level of indirection".
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