Posts Tagged 'GUI'

A Short History Of The PC Progress Bar

progbarThe New York Times reported –

“People wait for all sorts of things every day, sometimes more happily than others,” wrote the interface designer Bob Stahl in a 1986 article for Computerworld. “The problem is how the user feels about waiting.” At the time, machines were often slow and unreliable, and users didn’t always know when their programs crashed. A “progress bar” might mitigate frustration, Stahl suggested, by signaling that bits were flipping with a purpose somewhere deep inside the C.P.U.

The push to make computers more user-friendly gained momentum in the early 1980s. At a 1985 conference on the nascent field of computer-human interactions, a graduate student named Brad A. Myers presented a paper on the importance of what he called “percent-done progress indicators.” “I had the sense that they were useful and important, and not used as much as they should have been,” Myers says today. (He’s now on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.) He told his colleagues that progress bars made computer users less anxious and more efficient, and could even help them to “relax effectively” at work.

Continue reading HERE

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Dec.9, 1968 – Modern PC Debuts

Wired reports –

1968: Computer scientist Douglas Engelbart kicks off the personal computer revolution with a product demonstration that is so amazing it inspires a generation of technologists. It will become known as “the mother of all demos.” The presentation included the debut of the computer mouse, which Engelbart used to control an onscreen pointer in exactly the same way we do today. For a world used to thinking of computers as impersonal boxes that read punched cards, whir awhile, then spit out reams of teletype paper, this kind of real-time graphical control was amazing enough. But Engelbart went beyond merely demonstrating a new input device — way beyond. His demo that day in San Francisco’s Brooks Hall also premiered “what you see is what you get” editing, text and graphics displayed on a single screen, shared-screen videoconferencing, outlining, windows, version control, context-sensitive help and hyperlinks. Bam! What’s more, it was likely the first appearance of computer-generated slides, complete with bullet lists and Engelbart reading aloud every word onscreen. Fortunately, the proto-PowerPoint section only made up a small fraction of his otherwise understated and impressive tour de force. And though it took years for the industry to catch up, many later computer scientists acknowledged their debt to Engelbart.

Continue reading HERE.

Watch the 1968 demo HERE.


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