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Photos: Inside the Palo Alto Research Center

A tour through the halls and labs of this center of research and development where laser printing and Ethernet networking got their start.

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James Martin

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PARC

PALO ALTO, Calif.--The Palo Alto Research Center was built here by Xerox in the early 1970s and was chartered with creating information architecture to serve as a West Coast center of research and development for the company.

Linda Jacobson, PARC's communications and marketing manager, recently showed CNET News around the now-independent facility where laser printing and Ethernet networking--among many other innovations--got their start.

Come along on our tour.

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SolFocus photovoltaic concentrator

Mountain View, Calif.-based SolFocus, whose photovoltaic concentrator is shown here, incubated at PARC. In addition to research and development for Xerox, PARC licenses patents and invests in early stage start-ups that it sees as commercially viable, Jacobson said.
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PARC lab

Scientists at PARC follow their own interests and expertise in developing new technologies. The labs play host to all kinds of research work in fields such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, intelligent systems, ethnography, anthropology, and psychology, Jacobson said.
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Biotech lab cancer research

Inside one of the biotech labs scientists are currently working on technologies that will detect cancerous cells in blood.
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PARC labs

The labs at PARC are capable of producing almost any piece of machinery or tool right in the building. This allows PARC to keep work secret and secure, as much of the research being done has not yet been patented, Jacobson said.
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PARC whiteboard

In 2002, PARC was spun out as an independent company, which allowed the researchers to cover a wider variety of projects, Jacobson said.
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PARC solar panel

Solar energy technologies, stemming from past Xerox research on printing technology, is yielding more efficient solar design, Jacobson said.
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First ethernet cable

Research conducted here has had a huge impact on modern computing. PARC created the world's first Ethernet cable, shown here, in addition to innovations in modern PC graphical user interface, ubiquitous computing, and very-large-scale integration.
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PARC hallway

The facility is built into a hillside and was designed to foster innovative thinking, and what has been called "creative egalitarianism," Jacobson said.
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PARC water filter

Extensive work is being done here on clean water technologies. Centrifugal and hydrodynamic forces are being used here to separate particles from dirty and salinated water, Jacobson said.
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PARC dressing room mirror

Adaptive mirrors, intended for use in dressing rooms, automatically match similar images to allow shoppers to compare clothes side by side.

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