Sunday, May 9, 2010

HCI Remixed

My Vision isn't my vision: Making a Career out of Getting Back Where I Started

The story was written William Buxton and follows his story as a music undergraduate testing the NRC's digital music machine which was used to study computer human interaction.

The music machine sported an animation monitor and bi-manual input.

On the left hand Buxton could enter note duration on a keyboard with 5 keys.
On the rigt hand he could enter the pitch of the note using either a primitive version of the mouse or the 2 wheel knobs. Buxton opted for the wheel knobs.

Buxton felt that the machine was very advanced for its time and highlights that we should consider the user first when developing systems.


Drawing on Sketchpad: Reflections on Computer Science and HCI

The author of this short story, Joseph A. Konstant, talked about Sutherland's work on the sketchpad that featured many features that were ahead of their time such as:
Pointing with a pen light
Rendering lines, circles, and text
Constraints of the system and their displays
Data structures, algorithms, and object oriented programming structures

Sutherland essentially laid all the foundational work of graphical displays and drawing that rivals CAD systems.

Konstan said that we should innovate, communicate and not compute, and that we need to give more focus on systems for experts and not focus too much on knowledge workers.
The mouse, the demo, and the big idea

Stanford's Wendy Ju wrote an article that talked about Engelbart's online system (NLS) and the big demo that introduced and shock the world with the mouse.

Engelbart's system wasn't automatically accepted because research on the time was focused on office automation and artificial intelligence.

The goal of the demo was to change the way people thought, which it did, but not in the way Engelbart intended. Too many people were focused on the mouse.

Stanford had a "demo or die" culture.
Demonstrations create converts and makes a sale rather than just informs.

Wendy Ju argues that the computer is a tool to enhance and empower humanity rather than replace human input.
My spill:

The articles presented here provided an interesting view into the past of computing and CHI that demonstrated how much the field has changed (alot) and how much has stayed the same (nearly everything).

It's interesting to note that nothing we research is entirely new, but usually just research that has been brought to the spotlight again, but this time in a different light, approach, and researcher.

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