As some of us remember this commercial.  Predicting the future.  Note that Ethernet is a bus topology at this point.


Anyway, Allen Kay recently uploaded a copy of the wonderful and futurist “Xerox Information Outlet TV commercial to YouTube.”  A number of us think it aired in the late 70s’, early ‘80s i.e. around the time of DEC/Xerox/Intel “Blue Book” definition of Ethernet.

I understand the back story on the commercial is this:

The PARC guys did the drawing on the wall with a pale blue pencil so the actor would see it, but the camera wouldn’t. All he had to do was trace the lines.

Take 1. His delivery was perfect in but his drawing looked like a giant smashed spider.

Take 2. Again, a flawless reading. This time his work of art was about 11”x17”.  You had to squint to see it. The director yelled, cut! Then he said to the actor, “Come here for a second.” He came forward. “Turn around,” said the director. The actor did an about-face. They both stared at the wall. Like talking to a 4-year old, the director said, “Look...what... you... did.” “Whoops!” said the talent.

Take 3. The drawing was great but he flubbed the last. .. ah damn…

Take 4. Started out fine. We held our breath. Good...good...good. “...and...Cut!!  Perfect!” The director shouted.