The Jewish computer scientist who gave the world the ‘copy and paste’ function has died aged 74.
Larry Tesler began his career at photocopying company Xerox before being recruited by Steve Jobs to work at Apple, where he rose through the ranks to become chief scientist 17 years later.
He invented functions such as ‘cut/copy and paste’ and ‘find and replace’ for Apple’s Lisa computer in 1983 and the Macintosh a year later. Editing before then meant people physically cutting portions of printed text and sticking them elsewhere.
Likewise, before Tesler’s inventions, directing a computer meant typing a command on the keyboard, but Tesler designed the system whereby the user just clicks on one of the icons on the screen.
Describing his boss’s reaction at the time, Tesler later recalled: “Steve started jumping around the room, shouting, ‘Why aren’t you doing anything with this? This is the greatest thing. This is revolutionary!’”