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The Hacker and the Ants is a work of science fiction by Rudy Rucker published in 1994 by Avon Books. It was written while Rucker was working as a programmer at Autodesk, Inc., of Sausalito, California from 1988 to 1992. The main character is a transrealist interpretation of Rucker’s life in the 1970s (Rucker taught mathematics at the State University College at Geneseo, New York from 1972 to 1978. from Wikipedia). The plot follows:

(…) Jerzy Rugby is trying to create truly intelligent robots. While his actual life crumbles, Rugby toils in his virtual office, testing the robots online. Then, something goes wrong and zillions of computer virus ants invade the net. Rugby is the man wanted for the crime. He’s been set up to take a fall for a giant cyberconspiracy and he needs to figure out who — or what — is sabotaging the system in order to clear his name. Plunging deep into the virtual worlds of Antland of Fnoor to find some answers, Rugby confronts both electronic and all-too-real perils, facing death itself in a battle for his freedom. (…)

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Where is the frontier between what’s digital and what’s real, asks “Iggy” the cat. Damn, where is it? Where is it? … damn …

[…] We are quickly passing through the historical moment when people work in front of a single computer, dominated by a small CRT and focused on tasks involving only local information. Networked computers are becoming ubiquitous and are playing increasingly significant roles in our lives and in the basic infrastructures of science, business, and social interaction. For human-computer interaction to advance in the new millennium we need to better understand the emerging dynamic of interaction in which the focus task is no longer confined to the desktop but reaches into a complex networked world of information and computer-mediated interactions. We think the theory of distributed cognition has a special role to play in understanding interactions between people and technologies, for its focus has always been on whole environments: what we really do in them and how we coordinate our activity in them. Distributed cognition provides a radical reorientation of how to think about designing and supporting human-computer interaction. As a theory it is specifically tailored to understanding interactions among people and technologies. In this article we propose distributed cognition as a new foundation for human-computer interaction, sketch an integrated research framework, and use selections from our earlier work to suggest how this framework can provide new opportunities in the design of digital work materials. […], in James Hollan, Edwin Hutchins, David Kirsh, “Distributed cognition: toward a new foundation for human-computer interaction research“, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), Special issue on human-computer interaction in the new millennium, Part 2, Vol. 7 (2), pp. 174-196, June 2000. [url]

[...] People should learn how to play Lego with their minds. Concepts are building bricks [...] V. Ramos, 2002.

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