Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 4th Nov 2007 19:24 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the third article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part III today, we focus on the desk accessory, popularly known as the widget, applet, mini-app, gadget, or whatever the fashionable term is these days.
Permalink for comment 282836
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
my first experience with multitasking was...
by karl on Mon 5th Nov 2007 11:00 UTC
Member since:

with my ancient TRS-80 Color Computer3(IIRC) back in 1986. The device had 512k of memory, 1 floppy driver, no hard drive and a 2Mhz 6809E Motorola processor. The OS I used was named OS-9 from microware.

OS-9 was coded in assembly and was amazingly efficient. It implemented a primitive *NIX like shell, complete with mutliple virtual terminals-which you could switch between with ctrl-alt-1 through ctrl-alt-9. Yatou could run an application in each of these seperate terminals all concurrently.

Shortly before I quit using OS-9 a GEM-like graphical user interface came out which was a precursor of what I later experienced using twm on Linux.I routinely ran 6-7 major applications at the same time(including a wordprocessor- Dynastar-a Worstar clone, a spreadsheet program-Dynacalc, a LOTUS-1-2-3 clone, and Dynabase, a DBASEII clone in addition a terminal for programming and other programs.

When I think about all of these applications running so smoothly on a 2Mhz CPU w/ 512K and only 1 floppy drive I remain underwhelmed by most of the advances in OS design and technological progress in hardware.

I got my first IBM clone in 1987 and I was thrown back into the stone age-only later did I find out about TSR's and GEM-DOS and windows-3.1 were horrible back then. One of the reasons I started using Linux in 1994 was because my 386sx laptop with 16MB memory running windows 3.1 in 1994 was not capable of doing what my old coco did back in the mid 80's.

When i started using Linux I rekindled some of my fascination with computing-in 1998 i went Linux fulltime and have never looked back. To this day Winxp cannot hold a candle to the multitasking I do under Linux each and every day.

Yet I still yearn for my old coco and OS-9....

Reply Score: 6