Personal Dynamic Media Article

Alan Kay Alan.Kay at
Fri Apr 5 19:38:32 UTC 2002

Jerry --

Thanks very much for doing this.

For those who are interested, this was originally a proposal to NSF 
in 1975 (written by Adele Goldberg and myself) to get support for 
large scale longitudinal studies of the effects of Smalltalk-72 
programming by children. NSF deemed this to be much too controversial 
(they were funding Seymour Papert at the time and were starting to 
get cold feet about LOGO as well) and turned down our request.

In 1976 we edited the proposal and published this orange PARC report. 
Then we got asked to do an article for IEEE Computer, and Adele 
decided to really edit it down. So this is a hefty superset of the 
IEEE Computer article. Then I got asked to do a Scientific American 
article for their special issue on Microcomputing for Sept 77. (We 
should scan that one in also ... .)




At 9:52 AM -0600 4/5/02, Jerry Bell wrote:
>Well, I don't have that one, but I do have a Xerox PARC Orange Book (well,
>it >looks< orange) entitled Personal Dynamic Media.  It's stamped (c) 1976
>in the front cover and is the greatest find my wife has made on Ebay to
>I've been meaning to scan and post it for some time now.  I was afraid to
>scan it for fear that it would come unbound.  Well, I went ahead and scanned
>it this morning, and it did indeed unbind :( - but I guess I can always get
>it professionally rebound. 
>I just happen to be testing a new T1 line here, so I'm going to temporarily
>make a PDF of the book available at - in a few
>days I'll move it to a more permanent home on  Please let
>me know if anyone has any problems accessing it.
>This is a really great little book and I'm sure that just about every
>Squeaker out there will be interested in seeing it. 
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: Daniel Erasmus [mailto:daniel at]
>>  Sent: Friday, April 05, 2002 1:03 AM
>>  To: squeak-dev at
>>  Subject: Personal Dynamic Media Article
>>  Hi,
>>  Does anyone know where I can get hold of a copy of the
>>  following article:
>>  Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg, "Personal Dynamic Media," IEEE
>>  Computer 10(3),
>>  pp. 31-41 (March, 1977).
>>  I keep seeing it mentioned, and quoted, but I can find it
>>  nowhere on the
>>  net. For an article that, from the bits and pieces I have
>>  been able to
>>  read, so well describe what a computer should be, it is realy
>>  strange that
>>  it is so difficult to find.
>>  About the only piece I have found so far is:
>>  "enough power to outrace your senses of sight and hearing,
>>  enough capacity
>>  to store for later retrieval thousands of page- equivalents
>>  of reference
>>  material, poems, letter, recipes, records, drawings,
>>  animations, musical
>>  scores, waveforms, dynamic simulations, and anything else you
>>  would like to
>>  remember and change..."
>>  Thank you,
>>  Daniel


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