Larry Tesler, computer scientist and early computing icon, died at the age of 74, who, thanks to his innovations, which included cut, copy, and paste commands, made the PC easy to learn and use.
Tesler was born in 1945 in New York and studied computer science in Stanford, California. After graduating, he specialized in user interface design, i.e. making computer systems more user-friendly, and began working in Silicon Valley in the early 1960s, at a time when hardware Computers are not accessible to the vast majority of people.
After working in artificial intelligence research, he joined the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) of Xerox in 1973, where he developed the features of cut, copy, and paste, and these concepts later became the basis for the user interface for both text editing programs and entire computer operating systems.
PARC is well known for its early work on graphical user interfaces, how to navigate with the mouse, and because Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, saw this early research and used it as an inspiration to develop better copies of ideas for Apple products, Tesler was a reason for Jobs’s frequent visits To Xerox.
Tesler was a proponent of a concept called unconditional computing, an idea that meant that a program should not have modes, rather that user inputs do different things depending on the situation in which they are located, and his personal website says he developed the idea with his colleague Tim Mott. Mott while working at PARC on a Gypsy text editor.
The inventor of the copy, cut and paste feature joined Apple in 1980 and continued to work in the company until 1997, working on a number of products, including Macintosh, QuickTime, Lisa, and the Newton tablet.
Macintosh and Lisa computers were the first personal computers to promote cut, copy, and paste operations, thanks in large part to the participation of Tesler, who in 1993 was promoted to become the chief scientist, a position he also held (Steve Wozniak).
Tesler worked after leaving Apple at Stagecast, an education startup that broke away from Apple, also spent time in Amazon, Yahoo and 23andMe, and since 2009 has worked as a UX User Counselor.