Abstract- Tracing the Dynabook: A mythological archaeology of personal computing.

In 1970, Alan Kay began a project at Xerox' Palo Alto Research Center that would have an unparalleled impact on the media landscape of the 21st century; he set out to invent personal computing. Kay's contributions are, in one sense, ubiquitous: laptop computers, graphical interfaces, the object-oriented paradigm. And yet, the central goal of Kay's work remains unachieved: the definition of a new kind of literacy for young children. My aim in this poster session is to outline the contexts of Kay's project and its fate in terms of the intellectual history and technocultural traditions-within computing, philosophy, design, education, science-that have shaped and been shaped by it. As this is a poster and not a paper, I take the opportunity to compose a schematic rendering of some of these currents.