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Re: Ventura



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Forgive me for stepping in the middle of this thread.
I hadnt been paying much attention but as someone who
was there, I can answer a few questions...

You can also try this link for more detailed info:
http://www.computerhistory.org/

They are located in silicon valley and usually keep our
stories for us...


Jules Siegel wrote:
> >
> Richard Minsky wrote:
>
> > The Xerox GEM interface that it uses was the basis for both the MAC
> > and Windows operating systems.
>
> I don't think Xerox had anything to do with GEM, which was part of the CPM
> operating system, and used by Ventura prior to the program having been sold
> to Xerox and converted to Windows.

Xerox didnt. GEM was created after Xerox had already done their seminal
work with Alan Kay and others.The El Dorado was the first computer that
they had a windowing system on and it was called something else that my
poor brain has forgotten. That GUI work fed the Apple Lisa computer
which the Mac was the next "generation" of. MSWindows copied the Mac.
>
> I'd really be interested in seeing some historical thoughts on the
> development of the graphical user interface (GUI). It's not exactly bookart,
> but maybe someone here knows more about it than I do.

If you have other questions, let me know. My day job is user interface
design and I have being doing that for over 20 years....
>
> >From what I recall, the very early development of the GUI began as an
> attempt to humanize computing so that any cook or baker could get a missile
> launched no matter what might have happened to he rest of the unit.

Actually, it was more that people wanted to make this computer beast
more accessible and usable by real people. Document processing was one
of the first tasks.

>
> The mouse was invented (or was there prior development elsewhere?) at
> Xerox's PARC for similar reasons. In the late '70s, Xerox tried to market an
> executive computer and was astounded at the lack of sales. They did a study
> and found that executives refused to use keyboards, because a keyboard was a
> low-status device used by secretaries and bookkeepers. This led to the mouse
> and the GUI, which an Apple engineer saw in a tour of PARC and brought to
> the attention of Steve Jobs.

Xerox did NOT invent the mouse. Douglas Engelbart did in the late 1960's.
Xerox merely picked up his invention. Many people in the industry feel that
if the Mac had not been a success, the mouse would have never survived.
Xerox did do studies as we all did to determine how many buttons, etc.
There were many debates.

Douglas Engelbart is one of the most influential pioneers of computing.
If you really want to know history investigate him. He's an amazing
man who was doing things similar to "chat rooms" and cooperative computing
20 years before anyone else was.

>
> I don't think the mouse was the first pointing device, as I saw a digitizing
> stylus when I visited the New York office of Genigraphics (a General
> Electric company that was probably the first computer-generated slide
> producer) in 1980. They also had a vast library of icons and symbols, which
> they told me came out of the military division of General Electric.

By the 1970's many of the pointing devices had already been invented. It
usually takes, or did then, about 10-12 years for a new technology like a
pointing device to really make it into the real world in successful products.
>
> I am also under the impression that the GUI did not begin with Xerox,
> either. When Apple sued Microsoft for copyright infringement, it came out
> that Hewlett-Packard had developed an earlier GUI, and Apple therefore did
> not invent the concept. I know that X-Windows (the UNIX GUI) was an early
> contender, too, but I'm not sure exactly when development began.
>

Having been at Apple during certain litiginous days, HP didnt invent it
either. IBM, Xerox, and many other companies had research groups doing work
that resulted in the GUIs of today. At the time of the lawsuit, HP had
a GUI that was not based on Xerox's work but more on MSWindows. Xerox went
further than most but their research group was unable to get Xerox to
make the GUI into a product. Once Apple had shipped a product, they were
able to get more support.

bye,
Annette
anet@anet26.com

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