anecdotes

All posts tagged anecdotes

In the beginning there was nothing but undifferentiated ether that took form when something decided it was time for the infinite void of indifference to chose what to be. Some things spun off into matter and some to energy, and everything changed in the longest  instantaneous blink of an eye. As things cooled down, patterns emerged and took form.

The patterns became more and more complex as time went on. Eventually, man too would create virtual universes cast in electrons and controlled by gates pulsing to the beat of an unsteady clock.

As engineers worked, they invented ways to work in this universe and be able to comprehend it all. Initially there were patterns that became patterns of letters glowing green or amber rasterized onto dim black screens. And so this was the interface to the world of electrons for decades. Then some very smart people started thinking about better and faster ways to express data, and new paradigms to work in, and the graphical user interface (GUI) and mouse were born farther back in time than most people realize.

As time marched on more people began to refine the GUI and human interfaces that controlled them: trackballs, touch pads, touch screens, etc. But all this might not have happened if not for one person, and it’s not who you’d think it is…

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Hey, I’m not always goofing off on the internet. That’s not why I’m not getting article 2 out the door. No, to preface the content and explain my lack of article 2 I’ll explain (and hopefully wordpress won’t lose my text this time).

I take part in about 5 forums where the focus is on various things from games to tech support, to tech trends, etc. It’s one of the first things I do in the morning: I check my email for replies in the forums I’m watching, then reply if warranted. So this guy says that when they were first introduced GUIs were crap because they were unreliable and hard to understand and navigate.

I disagree, and write the following which I thought would be good to include here:

Actual events that took place in 1984 in a little computer store in San Jose/Santa Clara between my father and the salesman:
Salesman (S) to my Father: “Yes, that’s the new Apple Macintosh. We only have a few….”
(I sit down in front of it, look at the mouse and the black and white 9″ screen.)
S to me: “That’s called a mouse. you move it to move the pointer on screen.”
(move the pointer to a picture of something labeled “MacPaint.” and click on it. The picture inverts.)
S to me: “Oh, to start the program you cli-”
(I double click and MacPaint Launches.)
“ck the button twice…”
(I start drawing…)
S: “Oh, I see he’s got it.”
(He shuts up while I play with the new toy, and then after a few minutes he and my father start talking price.)