Cut, Copy, Paste… End Task!
Nowadays, people often tend to wonder what their lives would have been, had there not been the options of Cut, Copy & Paste! We don’t even bother to count how often we use this command while working on computers at work stations or at home… Lawrence Gordon Tesler (April 24, 1945 – February 16, 2020), an American Computer Scientist who worked in the field of human-computer interaction and the inventor of Cut-Copy-Paste, passed away earlier this month…
Although Tesler was not as famous as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Dennis Ritchie; the former was an important figure in the world of technology. Born and brought up in New York, Tesler had earned a Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University in the 1960s. Later, he worked at renowned companies, such as Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC), Apple, Amazon, and Yahoo!
Tesler joined Xerox PARC in 1971, after completing his studies. While working at Xerox PARC in California, he and his colleague Tim Mott developed the basic Cut-Copy-Paste function, now a standard feature in computing.
Tesler left Xerox PARC in 1980 to join Apple Computer following Steve Jobs’ visit to PARC in late 1979. During their first meeting, Tesler demonstrated to Jobs the Xerox Alto, including its computer mouse-driver GUI features, Gypsy, and Smalltalk. While the Alto had been a mere curiosity for Xerox, Jobs found a huge amount of potential in the graphical interface, and immediately after returning to Apple’s headquarters, asked his team to create a similar graphical user interface for their first product, the Apple Lisa, incorporating additional information provided by Xerox, later refined into the first Apple Macintosh! After starting his venture at Apple in July 1980 as a support staff for the development of the Apple Lisa, Tesler worked for them until 1997, holding various positions, including those of the Vice President of AppleNet, the Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group, and the Chief Scientist.
The genius who invented Copy & Paste
In 1997, Tesler set up his own company Stagecast Software to help young people learn the programming concept. Thereafter, he worked in Amazon and Yahoo before concentrating on consultancy works related to technology at his own office in San Francisco Bay Area.
Netizens are paying a rich tribute to Tesler for his contribution in developing ease-of-use user interfaces. After a salesman told Tesler that Word Processors were difficult to sell because they were “just so unfriendly“, the latter tied to the origins of the phrase “what you see is what you get“. The Computer Scientist and his colleagues were not at all happy with the way documents printed out differently to their appearance on the screen. Tesler, a perfectionist, was heard saying: “What you see on the screen should be what you get when you print it.”
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