Welcome to the blog tour for the fascinating new release by Albert Cory, Inventing the Future! Read on for more info and a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!
“Inventing the Future is Based on the True Story of the Xerox Star, the Computer that Changed Everything”
Inventing the Future
Publication Date: August 10th, 2021
Genre: Based on a True Story/ Historical Fiction/ Technologies
Imagine a time before everyone stared at a screen, before fonts, icons, mice, and laser printers, before Apple and Microsoft… But behind the scenes, Xerox engineers were dreaming and inventing the modern personal computer.
Who were these people who changed the world, and why did corporate management just want to sell copiers and printers?
Albert Cory* was one of the engineers, charged with making that dream a reality and unknowingly starting a revolution. Inventing the Future is based on the true story of the Xerox Star, the computer that changed everything.
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It was finally happening. After almost five years of labor by 250-plus people, the Office of the Future was here. Despite the prayers for them, 64K memory chips had not appeared. Michael had gotten corporate approval to increase the manufacturing cost with an extra 64K words of memory. Star now had 256K words, or 512K bytes of main memory. The performance was still poor, but at least it was tolerable now.
Star had been announced and demoed in New York already, and this week was the National Computer Conference in Chicago, starting Monday, May 4, 1981 and lasting until Thursday. Dan had volunteered to man the Xerox booth for all four days. He flew out to Chicago on the Sunday morning before it started, but with the time change, it was past dinner when he finally arrived at McCormick Place.
Dan read the Sunday Chicago Tribune.
In Business, Compushop was offering an Apple II starter system for $1,595. But then buried deep inside the section, Dan found what he was looking for, a story about the Star. It began:
Xerox terminal has symbols, not codes
Managers and professional workers haven’t been the best customers for automated office equipment like computer terminals.
Maybe it’s because they are more accustomed to pointing and selecting material rather than typing out explicit commands.
Maybe it’s because they can’t type.
The article quoted a Xerox marketing executive, who explained that the Star was aimed at “managers or professionals who produce documents, reports, or charts.” It explained how the mouse worked. The executive went on to explain that the Star system cost $15,595, but “technological advances will allow price reductions in the future.” Star would be demonstrated at the National Computer Conference at McCormick Place this week.
Dan, Janet, Martin, Henry, and the rest of the Xeroids were continuously busy, explaining the Star to curious attendees. Visitors could try a mouse, and lots of them did—almost no one had ever used a mouse before. A technical staffer had brought a box full of spare mice and swapped in a new one every hour since the accumulated dirt and finger oil from all the guests made the rubber balls in the mice sticky.
As each hour approached, people began gathering around the monitors to see the demos. By noon, they were waiting 10 minutes before the hour. Michael stationed himself near the left side monitor, where he kept busy talking to reporters, executives, and random attendees. Michael watched the crowd closely, and he noticed that Steve Jobs, one of the Apple founders, came every hour, surrounded by other guys Michael didn’t know. He knew that Jobs had visited PARC the year before last for a demo of the Alto and Smalltalk, but he hadn’t seen Star before. He had supposedly asked, “Why isn’t Xerox doing anything with this?” Now, he found out they were.
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About the Author
*Albert Cory is a pen name for Bob Purvy, a retired software engineer who worked on the Xerox Star. In his career he also worked at Burroughs, 3Com, Oracle, Packeteer, and Google. All characters are fictional and are composites of the scientists, engineers, and executives who lived the story, with the exception of the auto-biographical character, Dan Markunas. The other two main characters, Janet Saunders and Grant Avery, are completely fictional, and are not in any way representative of the real people who had their jobs (note: the author makes clear which events are real and which are composites in the Endnotes).
International Giveaway: $50 Amazon e-Gift Card!
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Need a new haunting book to read?
Try out Emily’s Lair! It is a witch themed thriller novel.
Synopsis: Investigating a grisly murder, detective Will Heller finds himself drawn to person of interest Emily Kostova, the owner of a local bookstore. Emily’s broad knowledge of the Whitechapel murders, and of Jack the Ripper, persuade Will that his conversations with her might help him catch his killer. It is through these discussions that Will learns of Liesbeth Janssen, a woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.
When additional murders bearing the same bizarre characteristics provide enough evidence to clear Emily, Will is finally free to act on his powerful attraction to her. As they grow close, however, what he discovers about Emily, and about Liesbeth, convince Will that the woman he loves may be harboring a terrible secret.
Giving the reader a harrowing ride between the infamous witch hunts of the 17th century and the present day, Emily’s Lair is a suspenseful page-turner of speculative fiction by Cary Grossman.
Buy the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097TQ1Q86
About the Author
Cary Grossman got the idea for his first book after spending two decades in retail management, a career in which he found little to inspire him. It took him over ten years to write his first novel, creating a story and with painstaking care learning the craft of turning it into a novel. His goal was to make page-turners; books that would get the reader involved from the first page. Two years ago, he abandoned retail for good and became the caretaker of a church, a career that leaves him plenty of time to write!
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I’m back with another bookshelf tour to show you guys all my indie books and ARCS that I currently have! A subscriber suggested this and I thought it was a great idea and a way to show the indie books that are not seen as much. Let me know if you have read any of these and what you thought about it!
Check out the video below: