Larry Tesler, who died last week, has left a lasting legacy with his pioneering innovation “cut, copy, paste and find, replace” that have been playing a key role over the decades in making computing more personal. At a time when modes allowed users to switch from one function to another, Tesler took the world by storm with his simple philosophy "no modes".
Steve Jobs hired Tesler for Apple when he saw the latter use a mouse to point and click at icons on a prototype; earlier, every action/function had to turn into a tedious typing exercise. While Tesler's cut-copy-based method was based on old manual editing techniques where blocks of the written word were literally cut and pasted, its impact was fabulous with computer ushering in a revolutionary change in the way memory, recall and skill work.
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