Digital computer grounded in ideas from 1700’s & 1800’s



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Digital computer grounded in ideas from 1700’s & 1800’s

  • Digital computer grounded in ideas from 1700’s & 1800’s

  • Computer technology became available in the 1940’s and 1950’s

  • see further: History of Computing History of HCI





















“As We May Think” - 1945 Atlantic Monthly “…publication has been extended far beyond our present ability to make real use of the record.”

  • “As We May Think” - 1945 Atlantic Monthly “…publication has been extended far beyond our present ability to make real use of the record.”



Postulated Memex device

  • Postulated Memex device

    • Can store all records/articles/communications
    • Large memory
    • Items retrieved by indexing, keywords, cross references
    • Can make a trail of links through material
    • etc.
  • Envisioned as microfilm, not computer





1960 - Postulated “man-computer symbiosis”

  • 1960 - Postulated “man-computer symbiosis”

  • Couple human brains and computing machines tightly to revolutionize information handling “The hope is that, in not too many years, human brains and computing machines will be coupled together very tightly and that the resulting partnership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today.”



Immediate Intermediate Long-term

  • Immediate Intermediate Long-term



Computers too expensive for individuals -> timesharing

  • Computers too expensive for individuals -> timesharing

    • increased accessibility
    • interactive systems, not jobs
    • text processing, editing
    • email, shared file system




SketchPad: 1963 PhD thesisat MIT

  • SketchPad: 1963 PhD thesisat MIT

    • Hierarchy - pictures & subpictures
    • Master picture with instances
    • Constraints
    • Icons
    • Copying
    • Light pen as input device
    • Recursive operations




Engelbart invented the mouse at Stanford Research Labs in 1964.

  • Engelbart invented the mouse at Stanford Research Labs in 1964.

  • Landmark system/demo:

    • hierarchical hypertext, multimedia, mouse, high-resolution display, windows, shared files, electronic messaging, CSCW, teleconferencing, …
    • Augment/NLS system [NLS: oN Line System]






Dynabook - Notebook sized computer loaded with multimedia and can store everything

  • Dynabook - Notebook sized computer loaded with multimedia and can store everything

  • Personal Computing

  • Desktop Interface

  • The FLEX software





Computers can help people, not just business

  • Computers can help people, not just business

  • Coined term “hypertext”



MIT machine architecture & AI group (1969-1980s)

  • MIT machine architecture & AI group (1969-1980s)

  • Ideas:

    • wall-sized displays, video disks
    • AI in interfaces (agents), speech recognition, multimedia with hypertext


Late ‘70’s

  • Late ‘70’s

    • Apple II
    • Z-80 CP/M
    • IBM PC
  • Text and command based

  • Word processing

  • Spreadsheets

















Xerox PARC - mid 1970’s

  • Xerox PARC - mid 1970’s

    • invention of the first PC: ALTO
    • Local processor, Bitmap display, Mouse
    • Precursor to modern GUI
    • LAN - Ethernet




First commercial PC designed for “business professionals”

  • First commercial PC designed for “business professionals”

    • Desktop metaphor, pointing, WYSIWYG
  • First system based on usability engineering







Commercial flop

  • Commercial flop

    • $15k cost
    • closed architecture
    • lacking key functionality (spreadsheet)




Based on ideas of Star

  • Based on ideas of Star

  • More personal rather than office tool

    • Still expensive!
  • Conceptual success, but commercial failure







Aggressive pricing - $2500

  • Aggressive pricing - $2500

  • Not trailblazer, smart copier

  • Good interface guidelines

  • 3rd party applications

  • High quality graphics and laser printer












































































































































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