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Why is copy-paste grieving in the world?

Larry Tesler

Lawrence Gordon Tesler This name may not tell you anything right now, but it is one of the people who has had the most influence in your life and has saved you countless hours of work. Yes, Larry Tesler has left us at the age of 74 and, above all, remains an indelible legacy after being responsible for creating one of the most used and practical functions: the copy-paste function (copy paste). Now you see it as usual, but this great gesture of pressing a sequence of keys to select, copy or cut and paste a text, had an origin and was the consequence of a brilliant idea.

To understand it in its context, we traveled in time to 1975, the Pleistocene of personal computing and entered Xerox Park in the Californian city of Palo Alto. Ah, a team of engineers is working on an innovative project named Gypsy and that will later shape a large part of the systems we use today. Among them is Larry Tesler and everyone works on an interface through which you can achieve the magic of Wysiwig (what you see, what you get), or what is the same, get the computer to execute actions through a visual input on the screen and play them.

Steve Jobs was dazzled

In the mid-70s, computers were beasts stored in rooms that executed commands entered through a sequence of characters, and this team understood that it would be much simpler and more intuitive than a graphic interface to be the only thing that separated man from the machine. As a result of this effort, which was still an experimental project and without feasibility in Xerox, the Xerox Alto was born, the first computer in history based on a graphic interface. And this is where Steve Jobs comes into play.

The brilliant co-founder of Apple carried out his historic visit to Xerox in 1979, where, in the company of Tesler, the anecdotal project of the company was presented. The rest, as you well know, is history and was the seed of what is now Apple and, by extension, the rest of the computer and telephone. Larry Tesler, as we have pointed out, was one of those present and co-responsible for the work that was being carried out and soon ended up swelling Apple's employee lists.

The copy-paste command created accessory to Gypsy by Tesler solves in a clean and efficient way a great dilemma in the edition of texts: how to move a word or phrase from one place to another in the document? Now we have assimilated it as something natural, but it was Larry Tesler who gave life to a sequence that would transform, forever, the world of technology. Possibly without too much brightness or cry, Tesler has left us like many other geniuses, with the humility and satisfaction of having created something that seemed useful and coherent. Rest in peace.

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