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Which clippings match 'Information Age' keyword pg.1 of 2
13 JULY 2016

Martin Cooper: Changing Life as We Know It with the Cell Phone

"Martin Cooper made the first mobile phone call in 1972, and communication has never been the same. Listen as Martin takes us through the invention process and shares how he predicts the technology will continue to evolve."

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19721973 • antenna and wireless communication • ArrayComm • AT and TBell Labs • car phone • cellphonecellular mobile networks • cellular networks • cellular phone • cellular technology • change the world • Chicago Ideas Week • communicationsdigital healthDynaTAC • Edison Talks • important technologiesinformation ageinvention • invention process • Jitterbug (cell phone) • Laura Desmond • Martin Cooper • mobile phonemobilityMotorolaNew York Citypatentspioneering technology • Star Trek Communicator • technological innovationtechnology pioneertechnology transparencytelecommunicationstelephone

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 MARCH 2016

British television series 'Database': How to send an 'E mail' in 1984

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1980s1984BBC MicroBritish television seriesCommodore 64 • Commodore VIC-20 • computer agecomputer historycomputing history • Database (TV series 1984) • Dragon 32 • Dragon 64 • early adopterearly computer-eraforerunnerhome computerinformation ageInternet • Jane Ashton • Julian Green • Micronet • modem • online server • Pat Green • personal computerprecursor technology • press telephone • Prestel • Prestel MicroComputing • rotary telephone • telecommunicationstelephonetelevisionThames TelevisionTV seriesUK • UK Post Office • VIC-20 • Videotex • Viewdata technology • ZX SpectrumZX81

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 APRIL 2014

Designing the Star User Interface: Familiar User's Conceptual Model

"A user's conceptual model is the set of concepts a person gradually acquires to explain the behavior of a system, whether it be a computer system, a physical system, or a hypothetical system. It is the model developed in the mind of the user that enables that person to understand and interact with the system. The first task for a system designer is to decide what model is preferable for users of the system. This extremely important step is often neglected or done poorly. The Star designers devoted several work–years at the outset of the project discussing and evolving what we considered an appropriate model for an office information system: the metaphor of a physical office.

The designer of a computer system can choose to pursue familiar analogies and metaphors or to introduce entirely new functions requiring new approaches. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. We decided to create electronic counterparts to the physical objects in an office: paper, folders, file cabinets, mail boxes, and so on–an electronic metaphor for the office. We hoped this would make the electronic 'world' seem more familiar, less alien, and require less training. (Our initial experiences with users have confirmed this.) We further decided to make the electronic analogues be concrete objects. Documents would be more than file names on a disk; they would also be represented by pictures on the display screen. They would be selected by pointing to them with the mouse and clicking one of the buttons. Once selected, they would be moved, copied, or deleted by pushing the appropriate key. Moving a document became the electronic equivalent of picking up a piece of paper and walking somewhere with it. To file a document, you would move it to a picture of a file drawer, just as you take a physical piece of paper to a physical file cabinet.

The reason that the user's conceptual model should be decided first when designing a system is that the approach adopted changes the functionality of the system. An example is electronic mail. Most electronic–mail systems draw a distinction between messages and files to be sent to other people. Typically, one program sends messages and a different program handles file transfers, each with its own interface. But we observed that offices make no such distinction. Everything arrives through the mail, from one–page memos to books and reports, from intraoffice mail to international mail. Therefore, this became part of Star's physical–office metaphor. Star users mail documents of any size, from one page to many pages. Messages are short documents, just as in the real world. User actions are the same whether the recipients are in the next office or in another country.

A physical metaphor can simplify and clarify a system. In addition to eliminating the artificial distinctions of traditional computers, it can eliminate commands by taking advantage of more general concepts. For example, since moving a document on the screen is the equivalent of picking up a piece of paper and walking somewhere with it, there is no 'send mail' command. You simply move it to a picture of an out–basket. Nor is there a 'receive mail' command. New mail appears in the in–basket as it is received. When new mail is waiting, an envelope appears in the picture of the in–basket (see figure 1). This is a simple, familiar, nontechnical approach to computer mail. And it's easy once the physical–office metaphor is adopted!

While we want an analogy with the physical world for familiarity, we don't want to limit ourselves to its capabilities. One of the raisons d'être for Star is that physical objects do not provide people with enough power to manage the increasing complexity of the 'information age.' For example, we can take advantage of the computer's ability to search rapidly by providing a search function for its electronic file drawers, thus helping to solve the long–standing problem of lost files."

(David Smith, Charles Irby, Ralph Kimball, Bill Verplank and Eric Harslem, 1982)

David Canfield Smith, Charles Irby, Ralph Kimball, Bill Verplank and Eric Harslem (1982). "Designing the Star User Interface: The Star user interface adheres rigorously to a small set of principles designed to make the system seem friendly by simplifying the human–machine interface." Reprinted from Byte, issue 4/1982, pp. 242–282.

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1982 • alien environment • analogy • Bill Verplank • black and white • Byte (magazine) • Charles Irby • common metaphorscomputer history • computer system • conceptual model • concrete objects • David Smith • desktop metaphor • digital analogues • display screen • electronic mail • electronic metaphor • electronic world • Eric Harslem • familiar analogies • familiarityfiles and foldersfiling cabinetfolderGUIinformation ageinterface metaphor • international mail • intraoffice mail • mailbox • memo • office environment • office metaphorold-world equivalents • operational behaviour • physical metaphor • physical world • Ralph Kimball • resemblanceskeuomorphismvisual analogyvisual metaphorWYSIWYG • Xerox Corporation • Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)Xerox PARCXerox Star PC

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 NOVEMBER 2013

Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln: Department of Hybrid Space

"A new interdisciplinary field of design, researching the transformations of architectural, urban/regional space of the emerging 'information age', explores the dynamic interaction of architecture/urbanism and the space of mass media and communication networks. It develops scenarios for the interplay of public urban and public media space. The products of these alliances of urban/regional and media networks, of architectural and media space, are bastards: ambivalent spaces that are at the same time analog and digital, tactile and abstract, material and immaterial, expanding hyper–sensuality in the time– and placelessness of media flows. These hybrid spatial morphs act simultaneously in urban (local) and media (global) space and mediate between them, unfolding the undefined space between the local and the global, occupying the vacuum between local place and global space. Within the inversions of identity (communication), within the fluid ever–changing densities in the knitted networks, fused analogue/digital cultures are idensified."

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Academy of Media Arts Cologne • ambivalent spaces • analogue and digital • analogue and digital cultures • architectural conjecturearchitectural space • architectural transformations • architecturebastard • changing densities • Colognecommunication networksdesign coursedesign field • Elizabeth Sikiaridi • embodied interactionsflows • Frans Vogelaar • global space • glocalglocalizationhybrid spaces • hybrid spatial morphs • hyper-sensualityidentityidentity constructionimmaterialinformation ageinformation flows • interdisciplinary design • interdisciplinary field • knitted networks • Kunsthochschule fur Medien Koln • local place • local space • mass mediamaterialitymedia arts • media flows • media networksmedia spaceplacelessnesspublic space • public urban space • regional space • tactile experience • undefined space • urban spaceurbanism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 AUGUST 2012

Le Minitel Bye Bye on 30 June 2012

"Après 30 ans d'existence, le Minitel s'apprête à tirer sa révérence. Les plus jeunes ne verront même pas de quoi il est question, mais ceux qui étaient au collège ou au lycée dans les années 90 s'en rappelleront peut–être pour avoir recherché dessus leurs résultats aux examens du brevet ou du bac. Le Minitel, ou l'ancêtre d'internet ! Invention 100 % française, le 1er réseau dans l'histoire des télécommunications à permettre la 'connexion de terminaux permettant la visualisation de données informatiques' disparaîtra le 30 Juin 2012, et avec lui la machine à l'origine du fameux '36–15″. Définitivement la fin d'une époque.

After 30 years of existence, the Minitel is preparing to take its final bow. The youngest will not even see what it is about, but those who were in college or high school in the 90s will remember perhaps have looked over their test scores. The Minitel, or the ancestor of the Internet ! 100% French invention, the first network in the history of telecommunications to allow 'terminal connection to visualization of computer data' will draw his bow on June 30, 2012, and with it the machine behind the famous '36 – 15 '. Definitely the end of an era."

(Vincent Laserson, 31 May 2012, De Jeunes Gens Modernes)

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1980s19822012 • adult chatrooms • Apple Mac • beige plastic kitsch • chat roomcommunicationscybersex • De Jeunes Gens Modernes • design classic • deviceend of an eraFranceFrench • French invention • important technologiesinformation ageinformation technologyInternetle Minitel • Little French Box • Macintosh computerMinitel • Minitel Rose • network informationobsolescenceobsolete technologyprecursor technologyproduct designredundant technologysocial networkingSteve Jobstechnological innovationtelecommunicationstelephoneterminal connectiontransitional technologies • Ulla • user-friendly • world wide web • yellow pages

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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