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Have it Your Way: What Happens When Users Control the Interface

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Title: Have it Your Way: What Happens When Users Control the Interface
Author(s): Weissman, Jessica R.
Subject(s): Human-computer interaction User interfaces (Computer systems)
Abstract: When computers were new, nobody had fun with them except, possibly, the people who created them. The computers themselves were locked away in special rooms and not everybody had access to them. Users, even the most serious of programmers, spent many hours going over their programs and other input just to be sure it Was perfect. The act of programming was carried out at desks, using paper and pencils. When the programmer was finished, another group of people translated the program into a set of punched cards. This was a particularly slippery and risk-prone embodiment of the hours of work the programmer had already put in. When the card deck was ready, the programmer or someone else took the stack of cards to an input clerk. The input clerk had tremendous power. She (they were mostly women) decided whose jobs could jump ahead in the line. Hours later, the programmer got back his output, generally in the form of a printout. If everything went well and there were no mistakes of form or logic, the results would be useful. If either the programmer or the keypuncher made even one tiny slip, all the hours of work and waiting went to waste. Even if the mistake was a trivial or easily discovered one, the programmer had to wait for his next turn to have his program run. In many installations, programmers got only two or three runs per day.
Issue Date: 1988
Publisher: Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info: In M.A. Siegel, ed. 1988. Design and evaluation of computer/human interfaces : issues for librarians and information scientists. Papers presented at the 1988 Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library and Information Science: 95-104.
Series/Report: Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing (25th : 1988)
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/1255
ISBN: 0-87845-072-6
ISSN: 0069-4789
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Rights Information: Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1988.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-07-10
 

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