User:Lieven Van Speybroeck/Reading/Theory/Kay&Goldberg Personal Dynamic Media

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Notes on Alan Kay's & Adele Golberg's Personal Dynamic Media (1977)

  • Dynabook: a vision of the 'true' personal computer ~ modern laptops/notebooks today
  • Although thinking goes on in one's head, external media serve to materialize thoughts and, through feedback, to augment the actual paths the thinking follows.
  • Human interaction with classic media (newspapers, television, movies,...) > primarily passive (one-way: media to receiver) -> static
  • Every message is, in one sense or another, a simulation of some idea. The essence of a medium is very much dependent on the way messages are embedded, changed and viewed ((and vice versa?) ~ McLuhan)
  • Computer as metamedium > true interaction between user and medium (two-way: media to user and vice versa)
  • kids as the initial goal user group (fun!)
  • interim Dynabook: use of Smalltalk programming language
  • Description of characteristics/functions/examples:
    Output devices
    Input devices (mouse: ~ Bootstrapping!)
    Applications (painting, drawing, filing, editing, animation, music ..)
    Fonts (~ text quality, moods, effects, eyecandy,...)
  • High expectations for the use/development of the Dynabook
    • problematics of accessibility/usergroup focus: would it get too versatile/accessible/felxible and destroy itself as a useable, democratic medium?
    -> matter of communication/feedback: give users the chance to describe their desires for a specific tool
    -> provide an implemented set of standard tools so people can use the medium immediately