Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg’s “Personal Dynamic Media” Nugget

This “Personal Dynamic Media” by Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg was written by writers way past there time! They have descriptions of cursors. Programs like Word in which you can save, edit, delete, create folders, etc. old_painting_man_using_ipa_450Programs like Paint in which you can draw in different tones, symbols, and brush shapes. Add animation. Add music. Add simulation. Something like the description of an IPad which is very complex yet so simple to use that elementary school kids can use it.

This whole article listed great information and facts that was strengthening my thinking. It was hard to include separate nuggets that included everything I wanted to touchdynabookPad on until I found this nugget in the conclusion. In this nugget I found a lot of information that intersected with my work. I basically treated this article about the Dynabook like it was an article about a 3D printer.

“What would happen in a world in which everyone had a Dynabook? If such a machine were designed in a way that any owner could mold and channel its power to his own needs, then a new kind of medium would have been created: a metamedium, whose content would be a wide range of already-existing and not-yet-invented media.

An architect might wish to simulate three-dimensional space in order to peruse and edit his current designs, which could be conveniently stored and cross-referenced.

A doctor could have on file all of his patients, his business records, a drug reaction system, and so on, all of which could travel with him wherever he went.

A composer could hear his composition while it was in progress, particularly if it were more complex than he was able to play. He could also bypass the incredibly tedious chore of redoing the score and producing the parts by hand.

Learning to play music could be aided by being able to capture and hear one’s own attempts and compare them against expert renditions. The ability to express music in visual terms which could be filed and played means that the acts of composition and self-evaluation could be learned without having to wait for technical skill in playing.”

Alan and Goldberg first states that the Dynabook would be a metamedium, whose content would be a wide range of already-existing and not-yet-invented media. Similar to 3D printing whose abilities are able to touch so many different industries. Alan and Goldberg also mention that the Dynabook was designed so the owner can mold and channel its power to their own needs. I related this to an article where a dad uses 3D printing to make his son a prosthetic hand from The Huffington Post. In that article a boy’s father molded and channeled the power of a basic plastic 3D printer to make a new prosthetic hands as he got older. One of the many examples of the 3D printer being applied to different fields.

3D-Printing-Applications1Alan and Goldberg go on to state how the Dynabook is used for architects, doctors, composers and children. Just like the 3D printer’s ability to print objects that can be used by doctors, students, musicians, and children. 3D printers are able to print organs or replicas , print molds for students to practice on, print violins, toys, tools etc. Like the Dyanbook’s ability to aid and awake new ways to experience certain events like learning music, the 3D printer aids and also awakens many life experiences.

“For educators, the Dynabook could be a new world limited only by their imagination and ingenuity. They could use it to show complex historical inter-relationships in ways not possible with static linear books. Mathematics could become a living language in which children could cause exciting things to happen. Laboratory experiments and simulations too expensive or difficult to prepare could easily be demonstrated. The production of stylish prose and poetry could be greatly aided by being able to easily edit and file one’s own compositions.

These are just a few ways in which we envision using a Dynabook. But if the projected audience is to be “everyone,” is it possible to make the Dynabook generally useful, or will it collapse under the weight of trying to be too many different tools for too many people? The total range of possible users is so great that any attempt to specifically anticipate their needs in the design of the Dynabook would end in a disastrous feature-laden hodgepodge which would not be really suitable for anyone.”

After reading this nugget I concluded that the 3D printer could be some sort of extension to the Dynabook. The Dynabook is able to display more realms than a book can. It can touch your sense of sight and sound. The 3D printer could be added to this technology to create a sense of touch and possible smell or taste, because of a 3D printer’s ability to also print food.


Lastly I would like to focus on the last paragraph. Like the 3D printer it is being forced to be applicable to everyone. Could the 3D printer be useful to everyone, or will it collapse under the weight of trying too many different tools for too many people? In its early stages it has proven to be nothing but helpful and beneficial but it could in the end be disastrous after being forced into so many different spheres of research.

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