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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells
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Actual entry from one of the students quizzes in Kiev University of Commerce and Economics (which used Volkov Commander as a standard shell in all computer labs)
Q: What is the name of OS in which you performed the assignment?
A: Volkov Commander.
About incompatibility of Norton Commander and alcohol:
A drunk programmer is sitting behind the computer with Norton Commander on the screen. Both left panel and right panel displays the content of disk C:. "Why do I need two disks C:?" thinks the drunk, its only waste of space. Then he selects all the files and directories on the active panel and clicks F8.
This ancient netnews article was posted some years back:
= Article: 25276 of comp.sys.amiga.advocacy = From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Daniel Barrett) = Subject: Shells vs. GUI's vs. Muhammed Ali = Summary: BLAZEMONGER INCORPORATED teaches EVERYBODY a lesson = Keywords: alien blintzes = Organization: University of Massachusetts, Amherst = = In response to the holy gospel of: = >[Shells are great, GUI's are greater, Finder vs. Workbench, etc...] = = I am getting TIRED of all you people comparing user interfaces, = shells and GUI's, etc, when you all have absolutely NO IDEA what you are = talking about!! I think you all need a lesson in user interface history. = The following text should make it all PERFECTLY CLEAR and stop these = POINTLESS "shell vs. GUI" arguments for good. = = A BRIEF HISTORY OF USER INTERFACES = = Thousands of years ago, back in Paleolithic times, user interfaces = were very primitive. They essentially consisted of a thick, wooden club = that was used to "access" your enemy's brains. Simple but effective, this = interface has since been adopted by the famed BLAZEMONGER "Customer = Service" Department. = = At first, there was little or no standardization; users had to = learn entirely new methods of "access" for human enemies, mammoths, = mastodons, Saber-C tigers, etc. But as time went on, people settled on two = basic modes of use: = = (A) Run as fast as you can in a straight line, bashing everything = in sight. = = (B) Stand in one place, swinging the club wildly in all = directions. = = These 2 modes became so popular that they were given names that have = survived to this day: "sequential access" and "random access." = = This went on for centuries, with users happily "accessing" each = others' bodily parts with bigger and bigger clubs, until the 20th century, = when the COMPUTER was invented. Tired of crushing each other's skulls, = users flocked to the new invention, eager to put their talents to new uses, = like playing video games and building "Star Wars" missile systems. = = The first computer user interface consisted of a large button on = the front panel, labeled "0". By pressing this button repeatedly, users = could "program" the computer to do all kinds of tasks. Sadly, none of = these programs worked, and the scientists could not figure out why. = Then, in 1962, some dweeb finally had the idea to add a "l" button, = and the Computer Age officially began. = = But pressing "0" and "1" buttons was not anybody's favorite = pastime, so some other dweeb invented the computer terminal. Thanks to = this clever device, with over 50 different keys, users were able to = create bugs and cause crashes dozens of times faster than before. = But at least the hardware was now in place, so it was time to address the = software issues of user interfaces. = = First, there was the command-line interface. This allowed users = to type a line of text representing a "command", press the RETURN key, and = receive a response like "0x38754: ERROR NOTEXT PETUNIA". Thanks to this = handy software tool, the suicide rate rose almost overnight. = = But in the mid 1970's, the clever folks at AT&T invented the UNIX = "shell". This was a SIGNIFICANT advance over ordinary command-line = interfaces, as the following example shows: = = ORDINARY COMMAND-LINE INTERFACE: = = type myfile = 0x9852: ERROR_FILE_LACTOSE_ANAL = = UNIX SHELL: = = $ cat myfile = Segmentation fault - core dumped = = For many years, command-line interfaces dominated the computer market. = Smart computer buyers began to compare the power of different operating = systems by how much they let you tailor the command-line prompt. For = example, my friend John would only use computers that let him set the = prompt to: = = Suction? = = Nobody knew why. Eventually, John was given a job in the Federal Government. = = But these years of happy command-lining were fated to end. Behind = the scenes, those clever folks at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto useR interfaCes) = were creating a completely graphic user interface. We modern computer users = are familiar with windows, icons, and clicking, but the first attempts at = Xerox PARC were quite different from this. For example, the early version = of the "mouse" was shaped more like a semi-automatic machine gun. To select = an icon, users would point it at the screen, click the button, and blast the = icon to pieces. This was great fun, and kept the Xerox programmers amused = for months. Eventually, the Xerox hardware engineers developed a device = more like the modern mouse, and the programmers used that instead -- point, = click, and the icon blows up. Alternatively, you could drag the icon around = the screen, smearing blood and guts all over the place. = = After a few years of fun and games, some dweeb at Xerox PARC finally = had the idea that the icons could be used to represent FILES. WOW!!! The = world had many responses to the Xerox breakthrough. Computer users = congratulated Xerox for this brilliant manuever. The President of the = United Nations pinned a medal right on the Xerox building! And Apple = Computer stole the idea outright and created the Macintosh. = = The "Mac" truly brought computing power to the common people. Even = the most naive, ignorant Mac user was able, with a simple mouseclick, to = cause a spectacular crash. This same philosophy has stayed with the machine = through the years. The most recent operating system version is called = "System 7", which to me sounds like a bad science-fiction TV show, and it = has many new and exciting features. One of the most novel features is the = "Help Balloon" mode, which allows the user to see what anything on the = screen is thinking to itself. Unfortunately, most computer icons and menu = items are very boring thinkers, so the balloons usually say things like "I = wonder when the user will click on me" or "Will you PLEASE move me away from = the 'HyperMoose' icon -- it smells really bad!" = In 1985, two new machines with GUI's appeared on the market: = the Atari ST and the Commodore Amiga. The ST's graphic user interface = is called "GEM", which stands for "Graphic User Interface". Although = initially popular, the ST has died a slow death, partly due to operating = system bugs, such as the infamous "40 folder limit". If the user tried = to create more than 40 subdirectories inside a directory, Jack Tramiel = would come to his house and whack him on the head with a thick, wooden = club. This caused permanent braindamage in many ST users, and they can = still be found to this day saying things on the Net like "Tramiel is God" = and ''Amigas can't multitask". = = The Commodore Amiga was introduced with version 1.0 of its = system software. This combined a great CLI, a great GUI, and the = awesome ability to crash 12 times per hour. Following this success, = versions 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 were released rapidly over a short period of = only 25 years. = = But the real Amiga breakthrough came with the introduction of = Amiga OS 2.04. Originally, this was available only on Amiga 3000's = sold in Albania to certified developers who knew the secret password and = Marc Barrett's social security number; but after a mere 400 years, it was = made available to the public. = = OS 2.04 was the first version to make the GUI "Workbench" truly = usable. In previous versions, dragging an icon with the mouse required the = user to hold down seven or eight different keys simultaneously while dancing = the "Funky Chicken". In addition, not all files had icons, meaning that the = Workbench could not access them. But thanks to version 2.04, every file = now has over FOUR HUNDRED different icons, for a totally streamlined = and efficient interface. = = SHELLS VS. GUI'S = = With both shells and GUI's now in existence, each has its fans and = enemies. Proponents of GUI's say they can do ANYTHING as well as shells can. = In fact, street corners in major cities are often occupied by these people, = stopping random folks as they pass by, and saying things like "I can do that = in FEWER than THREE mouse-clicks!!" Currently, there is legislation pending = that will make such comments punishable by heavy fines and/or death. = = On the other hand, proponents of shells say that GUI's are a waste = of time. They commonly cite examples like the "delete wildcard" problem. = From birth, all shell users are able to type ridiculously complicated = "delete" commands like the following: = = 1> delete #?.(a|A?)*&-2^5%%*.*vavoom! = = which says, of course, to delete all files named #?.(a|A?)*&-2^5%%*.*vavoom! = "Let's see you do THAT with a GUI!" they cry. The GUI users are silent = about this, mainly because they are all out doing useful work instead, = like blowing up icons with a mouse. = = In any event, most people today admit that the ease-of-use of a shell = FAR exceeds the "thick wooden club" interface of Paleolithic times. But = designers haven't stopped working on the problem of friendlier and more = useful interfaces. So we now have... = = MORE MODERN USER INTERFACES = = Extended keyboards. Touch screens. 5-button joysticks. Virtual = reality. MIDI synthesizers. Light pens. Cardboard boxes. Hand grenades. = Canned tuna. Vaginal warts. All of these concepts have affected the way = people use computers. Thanks to modern research, many new and "hybrid" = interfaces have been developed. The following is a brief description = of some of the more interesting ones. = = (1) Point 'n hit-return = = Clicking on the icon inserts text into the command line, = which can then be edited. Press RETURN when done. = = (2) Type 'n click = = The user types a command. Every key pressed on the keyboard = causes an icon to be displayed on the screen. When finished = typing, drag select or double-click the entire set of icons. = Or just drag them into the trashcan... whichever is more = efficient. = = (3) Point 'n spit = = Instead of a mouse, the user chews a large wad of tobacco = or a small, dead animal. To activate an icon, merely = spit at the screen. = = (4) The pepperoni pizza interface = = The screen contains an image of a large pizza. The crust = represents the operating system, the cheese is the windowing = system, and the toppings are the individual files. Using = a digital pizza cutter, the user hacks off a piece of the = pizza and deposits it into an onscreen "mouth" which = then digests the information. A resounding belch comes = from the internal disk drive, and it is ready for the = next command. = = (5) The BLAZEMONGER interface = = This is, of course, the ULTIMATE interface. It consists of = a hunk of raw meat that is hurled with high velocity at a = "touch screen". If it hits the right icon, the user is = rewarded by NOT having his/her nipples torn off with = tweezers. = = CONCLUSIONS = = That ends our little tour of user interface history. This should = clear up all the .advocacy arguments from the past 3 or 4 months. = = If you are interested in learning more about user interface history = and comparisons, I suggest that you check out some of the following = references: = = o "The History of User Interface Design", by Harold Dweeb, = Linda Dweeb, and the Dweeb-ettes. = = o "Shell Design", by Ima Clam. = = o "I'm a User...I'm a Loser....I'm a Mac Plus Chooser", by = The Steve Miller/Steve Jobs Band. = = o "Deleting Files: It's Not Just For Shells Anymore", = by Peter Norton and Oliver North. = = o "Really, Really, REALLY Graphic User Interfaces", by Adolf = Hitler and BLAZEMONGER INCORPORATED. = = o "UI's for U and I", by the cast of Sesame Street. = = Dan = = = //////////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ = | Dan Barrett -- Dept of Computer Science, Lederle Graduate Research Center | = | University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 -- email@example.com | = \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\//////////////////////////////////////
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Created Jan 2, 1997. Last modified: September 12, 2017