PC-Letter "WUI" War over User Interface 1-1988

r.stricklin bear at typewritten.org
Wed Nov 22 22:01:42 CST 2017

On Nov 21, 2017, at 8:36 AM, william degnan via cctech wrote:

> Basically I am unsure what planet the author was from, but you can decide
> for yourself.  Talks a little about HP's GUI product, Sun/AT&T, Apple
> Finder, etc.  Mentions NeXT is coming, Commodore is dead, ... opinionated.

I don't know, I found the authors observations apposite, and his conclusions pretty reasonable. He is more sympathetic toward DeskMate than I think I was inclined to be, but his angle re: Tandy's being in tune with small business is interesting, and something I hadn't really considered properly before.

'87 was a little early to declare Amiga "dead", I suppose, but his criticisms of what (if I've figured correctly) would've been Workbench 1.1 are pretty well on the mark (though I don't understand why he thinks having drives named df0: etc. represents some kind of problem). It did improve in many necessary ways, but sometime after the A3000, Amiga seemed to me to be pretty well "stuck".

New Wave was neat, but solved problems with Windows that ultimately nobody was interested in having HP solve. The proto-OLE features were very clumsy to make work in practice, as one might have predicted based on the state of the PC applications market at the time. I think the announcement of OLE probably took a lot of wind out of New Wave's sails (wind it may never really have had).

The Xerox 6085 is certainly interesting, but not an especially powerful machine, and ViewPoint does indeed suffer from Xerox' insular development culture. It is without question a great tool, within its specific design parameters. But those same design parameters gave it profound (I'd argue "catastrophic") limitations w/rt finding success in the more general purpose personal computer market.

Screenshots for a few of these systems (and a number of others from my collection) are on my site; http://www.typewritten.org/Media/


until further notice

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