Nugget #6

Personal Dynamic Media
“Imagine having your own self-contained knowledge
manipulator in a portable package the size and shape of an
ordinary notebook. Suppose it had enough power to
outrace your senses of sight and hearing, enough capacity to
store for later retrieval thousands of page-equivalents of reference materials, poems, letters, recipes, records, drawings, animations, musical scores, waveforms, dynamic simulations, and anything else you would like to remember and change.
We envision a device as small and portable as possible which could both take in and give out information in quantities approaching that of human sensory systems (Figure26.2). Visual output should be, at the least, of higher quality than what can be obtained from newsprint. Audio output should adhere to similar high-fidelity standards.
There should be no discernible pause between cause and effect. One of the metaphors we used when designing such a system was that of a musical instrument, such as a flute, which is owned by its user and responds instantly and consistently to its owner’s wishes. Imagine the absurdity of a one-second delay between blowing a note and hearing it!”
This is a nugget from “Personal Dynamic Media”, by Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg. The article talks about a product called the Dynabook. It can be used by anyone but the main target audience is children. The Dynabook is mainly for interactive learning, but can be used for other things as well. The Dynabook never became a commercial product, but it does sounds a lot like our tablets or even smartphones today. I even looked up a picture of one and it looks like a clunkier version of the first Kindle.
This nugget explains almost exactly what a tablet is like today except for the fact that now we have color images on a small portable device rather than just black and white. There have been so many advances in technology to make our tablets what they are today. Here is a video that shows all the nifty things a tablet has included.
Now here is a video of Alan Kay and his Dynabook
Although the Dynabook and todays tablets to not compare very well, the concepts are both the same! Alan Kay came up with this before the first Macintosh computer came out as well. That shows how advanced his thinking was at the time! This is an amazing example for why I believe things like JARVIS (the AI that Tony Stark works with in the movie Iron Man) will be real one day.

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