Computer Lib/Dream Machines PDF/EPUB ☆ Computer

Computer Lib/Dream Machines [EPUB] ✻ Computer Lib/Dream Machines By Ted Nelson – Thomashillier.co.uk Nelson writes passionately about the need for people to understand computers deeply deeply than was generally promoted as computer literacy which he considers a superficial kind of familiarity with pa Nelson writes passionately about the need for people to understand computers deeply deeply than was generally promoted as computer literacy which he considers a superficial kind of familiarity with particular hardware and software His rallying cry Down with Cybercrud is against the centralization of computers such as that performed by IBM at the time as well as against what he sees as the intentional Computer Lib/Dream MOBI :↠ untruths that computer people tell to non computer people to keep them from understanding computers In Dream Machines Nelson covers the flexible media potential of the computer which was shockingly new at the time.


10 thoughts on “Computer Lib/Dream Machines

  1. Peter Morville Peter Morville says:

    After borrowing the title of my latest book Intertwingled from one of the many neologisms in this brilliant manifesto by Ted Nelson I knew I had to own a copy So I bought a used First Edition It wasn't cheap But it's filled with all sorts of fascinating ideas and inspirations And I love the sprawling magazine layout and two books in one design Computer LibDream Machines isare a wonderful refreshing books that could never be contained in a Kindle


  2. William William says:

    °͜°There are two books here very dated but fascinating nonetheless The first book Computer Lib is about computers in general as they were in 1972 74 or so Computers were becoming generally known to the public and and widely used in all kinds of business and academiaFlip the book upside down to the back and you get Dream Machines a look at the most clever computer based and computer related technologies of the dayThis book was the first popular book for the general public about computers and interactive systemsWonderful for those who want to understand the early days of computers and the coming of personal computers


  3. Joe Raimondo Joe Raimondo says:

    Ted Nelson is in my opinion the most influential systems thinker of the past 60 years


  4. Michael Scott Michael Scott says:

    About Ted Nelson's dual book Computer LibDream Machines is a 1974 overview of the field of computing both as practice at the time and as vision much remains a dream The book is largely forgotten now but for decades and surely before the resurgence of 'the cloud' in the mid 2000s it was hailed as a masterpiece and must read of the field I'm glad I did even belatedly You should too I won't spoil the fun by saying this is a book started from a genuine desire to tell everyone about the then mysterious emerging artifact called 'the digital computer' Sure digital computers have been around for a few decades already but they were accessible to rhe select few and often for classified projects But in the early 1970s PLATO and various DartmouthMinnesota projects and the Altair 8800 personal computer were around the corner or making inroads with the general public Ted Nelson took the risk of postulating 'You can and must understand computers now' and this book is now good historyThe format is difficult for the starting reader especially for readers used to the secure uniform standard formats of rhe 2010s bookselling industry It's two books where the pages of one are displayed on the back of the other's and sometimes made to match It's magazine like formatting but a creative magazine at that with diverse column breaking layouts zany hand drawn graphics and cartoons and comics and font sometimes digital and sometimes hand drawn as well Ironically and unfortunately the format cannot be reproduced in modern digital readers turns out the dream of Ted Nelson of making a good display of complex information see among others the pages on Xanadu DM56 7 available and affordable for the general public is still open So are Vannevar Bush's Memex and Doug Engelbart's System for the Augmentation of Intellect The Computer Lib side explains humorously and with many side notes but with a clear direction and excellent presentation the technology and business of computing It's the basics bits bytes electronics as much as a computer scientist needs the full computer running a program; the software early languages BASIC TRAC APL FORTRAN including Pi not uite 3 not uite 4 ALGOL PLI COBOL LISP JCL; the hardware early systems details IBM DEC and its PDP and LINC lines CDC and its 6600 Univac and its 110608s Burroughs 5500 and later; the mainframe minicomputer microprocessor and the sales pitfall related to the microcomputer; the advanced programs operating systems batch processing multi programming and time sharing from McCarthy and Licklider's early success to TENEX MULTICS and IBM's promises on OSVS2 2; advanced software for a variety of domains there's so much The jokes the insider info the credited rumor Datamation articles often the constant IBM bashing etc there's even an auto biography p 70 On the opposite page in Dream Machines there's even an explanation about the path taken by the book itself p 126 in the 1975 edition Plus lots of exclamation underlines and weird page layouts makes for fantastic reading try it out then check out what Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog was the end By Computer Lib I mean simply making people freer through computers p 70The Dream Machines part is too big to summarize here You will find the early networks and distributed computing projects PLATO Dartmouth ARPA and military projects; hypermedia and hypertext before the World Wide Web there was this notion of hypertext invented by a young academic called Ted Nelson AI IR; computer assisted instruction CAI in the book but one of the few terms where the acronym did not gain ubiuitous acceptance; some weird concepts and ideas that are still not possible today in computing including the seemingly easy to achive idea of a document reader that would allow opening the document at different points with different views and annotations for each can you Acrobat Reader or PDF viewer do this? Mine can't There's Xanadu and Thinkertoy both nice ideas that were not ultimately successfulI found it fascinating how many things he gets right but also how many sound by now obsolete uaint of slideware promises made on PowerPoint slides; of course PowerPoint always computes I won't spoil the fun because reading this is rewarding also for the comedic effect Also you may want to know you'll find here new cyberspace terms worthy of a Vernor Vinge William Gibson or any other excellent cyberpunk writer among which intertwingling and intertwingled to express the making and existence of interdependencies between hypertextual objects


  5. Jerry Jerry says:

    Until we overthrow the myth that people always have to adapt to computers rather than the other way around things will never go rightNelson coins a lot of terms in this book most of which never went anywhere One that sounds useful is “cybercrud” or “putting things over on people using computers” No man has a right to be proud that he is preserving and manipulating the ignorance of othersSadly he’s a little prone to it himself He devotes a couple of pages and they’re big pages with tiny text to cybercrud from the Club of Rome something I’ve seen recently while rereading old OMNI magazines from 1979 Civilization and the bulk of mankind have about forty years to liveThis was 1974 or earlier—the book was published in 1974 but appears to have been written in spurts starting well before that—putting the end of the world in about 2014 Like most religions the end of the world has a fallback position of 2100 far enough into the future that it can’t be used to test the hypothesis He describes those who disbelieved the Club predictions as taking the “ostrich position” that “science will save us” And yet that’s exactly what happened Food production and distribution soared faster than population growth Energy extraction soared faster than energy useWhich makes it reading the book almost half a century later an interesting confirmation of his main point which is to avoid cybercrudThe book is rambling and incoherent by design he designed it deliberately after the Whole Earth Catalog among other publications but if there is another main point it is that computers should not be the domain of a technological elite “Rigid and inhuman” computer systems are the creation of rigid and inhuman peopleHe takes direct aim at the excuses still used today that “computers can’t do that” and “the computer won’t let me do that” euphemisms for “I don’t want to program that” and “the software was programmed without regard for who was going to use it” Using a computer should always be easier than not using a computerAnother thread running through the book is what was apparently a cultural identification war between fans of IBM and fans of DEC Most techies and many non techies are familiar with this today as “format wars” because it usually manifests itself in identifying too strongly with a particular format such as Betamax over VHS or 8 track over cassette or even oddly Laserdisc over DVD A on target comparison might be Mac vs Windows except that from what I see of his descriptions in Computer Lib there is far of a difference between Macintosh and Windows than there ever was between DEC and IBMNelson was a DEC man I hope that this book will help people who are inconvenienced by computer systems to understand and pinpoint what they think is wrong with the systems—in their data structure interactive properties or other design features—and that they will try to express their discontents intelligently and constructively to those responsible Including where appropriate International Business Machines Corporation Armonk NYHe was a big fan of the PDP series and it led to an interesting in retrospect aspect of some format wars dismissing anything outside of the dichotomy Nelson dismissed microprocessors as only really for toasters and cars and other dedicated purposes Minicomputers were the way to go and you really needed to get together with some friends and neighbors to pool together and buy oneThe book is interesting both for its generally good advice about what to put up with and what not to put up with from computer experts and software writers and the glimpse it provides of a computer subculture dedicated to everyone understanding computers—and being comfortable working with them—before it was at all feasible for most people to own or for the most part even access one for general use It is only by clarifying distinctions that people are ever going to get anything straightThis is a flip book; the front is “Computer Lib” with a stereotypical sixtiesseventies clenched fist on the cover The back is “Dream Machines” with a superman in torn jeans pressing a glowing screenIt is in fact very much about computer screens or only slightly generally computer displays They were the next big thing because they could change—the teletype once it printed a response could not change that response The computer display screen is the new frontier of our livesA timely criticism of computer display is that it needs electricity But it saves paper and importantly it bodes to save energy as wellIF WE SWITCH TO COMPUTER SCREENS FROM PAPER PEOPLE WON’T HAVE TO TRAVEL AS MUCH Instead of commuting to offices in the center of town people can set up their offices in the suburbs and share the documentary structure of the work situation through the screenHis screens are also responsive Responsive computer display systems can should and will restructure and light up the mental life of mankind The computer’s capability for branching among events controlling exterior devices controlling outside events and mediating in all other events makes possible a new era of mediaUntil now the mechanical properties of external objects determined what they were to us and how we used them But henceforth this is arbitraryDespite the person on the cover touching the screen he expects and appears to prefer light pens for handling this branching His description of how his hypertext works makes me glad for the computer mouse And he did know about the mouse—he also has a page on Doug Engelbart and The MouseDream Machines also mentions briefly one of the then modern microcomputers the Altair in a supplement to the 1975 editionHis big push on both sides is that computers ought to be easy to use And by easy to use he specifically does not mean human If like the author you are bemused by the great difficulty of getting along with human beings then the creation of extraneous beings of impenetrable character with vaguely human ualities can only alarm you and the prospect of these additional crypto entities which must be fended and placated clawing at us from their niches at every turn is both distasteful and alarmingThe pages in this book are usually self contained articles and the text made small enough to fit on the page rather than large enough to read He apologizes in the intro for not fixing this; ironically the smallest text and the hardest to read is his description of his proposed Xanadu system for hypertextThere’s a neat reference to David Gerrold’s The Man Who Folded Himself as the closest analog to Nelson’s vision for editing documents It is a great book but I suspect any document editor that used it as a model would end up in as sad a position as Gerrold’s protagonistIn the movies and photographs sections he talks a lot about a form of “halftone image synthesis”; his preferred method appears to be the precursor to modern ray tracing tracing light rays from their destination back to their sourceNelson is an odd figure; he criticizes others for keeping their systems closed but kept Xanadu completely under wraps even though it would have been likely to succeed had there been content for it from third party sources He champions computers for all but mostly ignores the microprocessor revolution that would bring computers into the homeAs an overview of what people thought the future was going to be however this is a great read I’d really have hated to miss being in this field just for the thrilling madness of it all


  6. Vivienne Vivienne says:

    Fascinating glimpse to the future in a highly readable and thoroughly entertaining book As well as original text from 1974 there's extra text written for the 1987 version updating on what has changed since 1974 Wish I'd read this years ago I can easily see why it became a cult classic among the hackers programmers when first published


  7. Chip Chip says:

    Computer LibDream Machines contains a treasure trove of information about the pre PC world of computing which is both fascinatingly alien and eerily familiar Nelson exclaims You can and must understand computers NOW warning its readers that computers are a tool that can work for you if you understand them and against you if you don't It's a must read for any computer nerd


  8. Enrico Enrico says:

    Ted Nelson invented the term 'hypertext' and we still do not have a system as good as XanaduProbably we never will


  9. Seth Wagoner Seth Wagoner says:

    For it's time this was absolutely incredible I imagine the first edition is now worth a tidy some of cash if you're lucky enough to have one


  10. Dhiren Dhiren says:

    Presages the advent of the World Wide Web


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