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The Xerox Star|
The Star also includes fonts and symbols for equations and scientific
One of the major features of the Star is the "What you see is what
you get" document editing. This photo shows how a document appears on the
screen exactly as it appears on the printout.
Other word processors of the time might display such a document as a
mess of control codes and unformatted character cell text on the screen,
usually with no graphics ability at all.
The Star was, of course, designed to work with Xerox laser printers.
The Star was all about printing, something that is still important but
not given as much consideration today.
Graphing is an optional capability of the Xerox Star. It can pull data
from a variety of sources and turn it in to a graph.
Another optional application is a small record processing database.
This could be used in conjunction with the graphing or document software.
One thing the origional Star lacked was a spreadsheet application. This
turned out to be a major drawback as spreadsheet software had become very
popular at the time.
A huge mistake that Xerox made was that the Xerox Star was a completely
closed system. Xerox would not license the MESA programming language or
development environment to anyone outside of Xerox. This meant that no
third-party software could be developed for it.
A bit-mapped screen dump of a Xerox Star.