Charles P. Thacker
|Charles P. (Chuck) Thacker|
February 26, 1943 |
Pasadena, California, USA
|Institutions||Xerox, DEC, Microsoft Research|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
|Notable awards||A. M. Turing Award (2009)|
Thacker was born in Pasadena, California on February 26, 1943. He received his B.S. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1967. He then joined the university's "Project Genie" in 1968, which developed the pioneering Berkeley Timesharing System on the SDS 940. Butler Lampson, Thacker, and others then left to form the Berkeley Computer Corporation, where Thacker designed the processor and memory system. While BCC was not commercially successful, this group became the core technologists in the Computer Systems Laboratory at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).
Thacker worked in the 1970s and 1980s at the PARC, where he served as project leader of the Xerox Alto personal computer system, was co-inventor of the Ethernet LAN, and contributed to many other projects, including the first laser printer.
In 1983, Thacker was a founder of the Systems Research Center (SRC) of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), and in 1997, he joined Microsoft Research to help establish Microsoft Research Cambridge in Cambridge, England.
After returning to the United States, Thacker designed the hardware for Microsoft's Tablet PC, based on his experience with the "interim Dynabook" at PARC, and later the Lectrice, a pen-based hand-held computer at DEC SRC.
In 1996, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus in Computer Science at U.C. Berkeley.
In 2007, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Computer History Museum for "leading development of the Xerox PARC Alto, and for innovations in networked personal computer systems and laser printing technologies."
In 2010, he was named by the Association for Computing Machinery as the recipient of the 2009 Turing Award in recognition of his pioneering design and realization of the Alto (computer), the first modern personal computer, and in addition for his contributions to the Ethernet and the tablet computer.
- "Fellow Awards — Charles Thacker". Computer History Museum. 2007.
- IEEE "Awards/Bios" page for winners of the IEEE John von Neumann Medal
- Interviewed by Al Kossow (August 29, 2007). "Oral History of Charles (Chuck) Thacker". Reference no: X4148.2008. Computer History Museum. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- Thacker, C.P.; McCreight, E.M.; Lampson, B.W.; Sproull, R.F.; Boggs, D.R. (1982), "Alto: a personal computer", Computer Structures: Principles and Examples: 549–572, retrieved 2010-09-02
- "List of ACM Fellows". ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery). Retrieved March 13, 2010.
- "Distinguished Alumni Awards in Computer Science". UC Berkeley.
- "Recipients of The Charles Stark Draper Prize". National Academy of Engineering.
- "ACM Turing Award Goes to Creator of First Modern Personal Computer". ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery). Archived from the original on March 9, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- Clark, Don (March 9, 2010). "Computing Prize Winner Did Not Rest On His Laurels". The Wall Street Journal ("BLOGS"). Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2010. "“This guy is a real genius,” says Alan Kay, a researcher who worked with Thacker at PARC and a fellow Turing award winner. “We don’t like to sling that word around in our field, but he is one. He is magic.”"
Further reading 
- "Hoffmann, L. (2010). "Q&A: From Single Core to Multicore, Leah Hoffmann interviews Charles P. Thacker". Communications of the ACM 53 (7): 112. doi:10.1145/1785414.1785444.
- Thacker biography, Microsoft
- An interview with Chuck Thacker
- 2007 IEEE Medals and Recognition Recipients
- Chuck Thacker Attains Computing’s Peak
- Podcast interview with Chuck Thacker upon receipt of Turing Award by , Stephen Ibaraki