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The Long Strange Trip to Java (1996) (blinkenlights.com)
65 points by mariusae on Dec 26, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 14 comments

Here's a video of James Gosling showing the the Star7 PDA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg8OBYixL0

It's absolutely mindblowing what they built in one year in 1992(!). It had had a touch screen and inertial scrolling.

These are true hackers! It is absolutely mind boggling how far ahead they were 20 years ago.

Nice, but more a research vehicle than a PDA. About three times as thick as the later Newton, which wasn't known for its thinness, and does not look battery operated yet (scroll to 8:45 in the video)

Also, 1992 was late for touch screens. Plato (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato_computer) had one in 1972, and wasn't even the first (http://billbuxton.com/multitouchOverview.html)

So, like almost everything in technology, once you zoom out enough, things that seemed outliers start to fit in patterns.

Wouldn't that be prior art to Apple's scrolling patent?

Prior art? Sure.

Invalidating prior art? Well, that's a very different question.

Sadly the modern legal system is owned by whoever has the most money to throw at lawyers.

What are you even talking about?

As for the rest of his story, Naughton went on to build some of the most successful web properties of the late 90s before having his life derailed by an FBI online sex sting.

I'm no javascript expert so this is probably not the prettiest way of doing this, but:


Makes the article readable

If you want to set up a quick way to make any article readable, you can make a bookmarklet (Javascript bookmark that runs on the current page) for it here: http://readable-app.appspot.com/setup.html

Not affiliated.

That won't let me set the width above 80%, so I prefer http://evernote.com/clearly/ . (Again, not affiliated)

Or open the Inspector and add some rules for body:

  margin: auto 20%;
  background-color: whitesmoke;
  color: black;

Hugely exciting to read things like this. It feels like a lot of the early craziness that made things fun is missing from the Valley today. Sun, and the group of people they managed to attract, doesn't get enough credit for the remarkable company they were. RIP.

The sad part about this is how they kicked Bill Joy off the team because he wanted Java to have closures, functions as first class types, etc and nobody else did.

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